Archive | January, 2012

A Bell Tolls for Countless Deaths on Nameless Streets

The bell tolled for 91 individuals who died on the streets last year in San Francisco, and it tolled for the uncounted thousands of homeless deaths around the nation. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty reported that homeless Americans die, on average, 30 years earlier than those with housing.

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In Memory of All Who Died on Oakland’s Streets

Oakland’s Homeless Memorial was held to honor the lives of those who have suffered hunger, pain, loneliness, and premature deaths outside on the sidewalks. The service was moving, healing, and also inspiring in its ability to remind us of the importance of staying committed to the cause of justice.

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Political Art Keeps the Flame of Justice Burning

From the Great Depression to the present day, many artists have expressed solidarity with the 99% against the monopolized wealth of the ruling elites. Art has been a powerful catalyst for building solidarity with workers and poor people because the artists saw themselves as workers and poor people.

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Nonviolent Resistance and the Occupy Movement: Throwing Out the Master’s Tools and Building a Better House

We have another kind of power, though the term nonviolence only defines what it is not. Some call it people power. It works. It’s powerful. It’s changed and it’s changing the world. We’re unconventionally dangerous, because we’re not threatening physical violence but the transformation of the system (and its violence).

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Nonviolent Direct Action: The Best Map for the Movement

Nonviolent direct action clearly dramatizes the difference between the corrupt values of the system and the values we stand for. Their institutions silence dissent while we value every voice. They employ violence to maintain their system while we counter it with the sheer courage of our presence.

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Stop the Attacks on OccupySF

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee admits that “economic disparity and joblessness” are major problems, so why does he condone the police raids on OccupySF? Squelching legitimate protest is not going to make these problems go away. Only the creation of jobs and better housing will begin to end these ills.

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Homeless Memorials in Seven New Hampshire Cities

“This vigil is our way of strengthening ourselves and strengthening each other and reminding us that ending homelessness is our responsibility. We have to fight this fight. Every life we honor tonight was a blessing, a child born utterly innocent, who suffered a terrible loss of security and well-being.”

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UC Bulldozes Community Garden in People’s Park

Bulldozers destroyed huge numbers of healthy plants and trees at People’s Park in Berkeley on December 18, carrying out the orders of University of California officials. The bulldozers destroyed all the plants and flowers that had been carefully tended for decades by volunteer gardeners, leaving behind stripped earth.

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Keeping Promises, While Remaining Open to the Spirit

My Moslem friends say “Insha’ Allah.” My Jewish and Christian friends say “God willing” or “If the Lord wills.” What is sacred and sagacious in these expressions is the admission that all of our plans and promises are subject to the unexplained, unsolicited and, at times, unwelcome veto of the Almighty.

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Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.