Archive | April, 2012

The Mississippi Delta: Birthplace of the Blues – “This Is Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.”

This is a story about how poverty, segregation and racial discrimination harm human beings. This is also a story about how beauty flowers from the fields of brutality. This is a story of the blues. “This is where the soul of man never dies,” as Sam Phillips said about Howlin’ Wolf.

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WRAP Occupies Abandoned Building in San Francisco

Housing activists entered the vacant, two-story building owned by the San Francisco Archdiocese. They planned to occupy it so it could serve as housing for homeless people. Occupy SF member Emma Gerould said, “There is no reason why any building should be vacant when people have no housing.”

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Young Artists Crusade for Healthier Communities

The beautiful mural created by the young artists of Youth Spirit Artworks promotes healthy living and exposes the huge disparity between the health and lifespan of low-income and wealthier residents in Berkeley. The mural makes a strong statement about social justice by showing how poverty jeopardizes public health.

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Gandhi’s Closest Disciple Shares Insights and Joy

Narayan Desai’s life has been a message of nonviolence to the world. He has worked side by side with Gandhi’s successors, Vinoba Bhave in the land-gift movement and Jayaprakash Narayan in the Shanti Sena (peace brigade). He was chairperson of War Resisters International, and founding director of the World Peace Brigade.

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A Call to Join the Bay Area Walk Against Genocide

Those who come out for these Walks want all of humanity to live in a world where genocides and mass atrocities can be prevented before they begin. Although we may not realize this vision during our lifetimes, we make up the “permanent anti-genocide constituency” of the Bay Area.

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Berkeley City Council Moves to Privatize Public Housing

“The city and BHA promised to keep its public housing permanent to receive special funding from HUD to build housing for the poor. Now they are breaking their promise to current and future generations of the poor, who desperately need low-income housing to remain in their communities.” – James Vann

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The Prophets from Skid Row

Reading the book, Wisdom Under the Bridge, I re-learned that one can be saved by one’s guts, by the grace of God and pastoral helpers, by kindness, love, shelter in time of need and a good dinner — whatever it takes for a particular person and/or set of circumstances.

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April Poetry of the Streets

I found a haven where I can rest/ I found a haven, when in it, I feel blest./ It’s in a strange place though, surrounded by sounds/ of violence, sirens, people who are in need/ of a human touch of kindness./ Yes on this journey of homelessness/ I’ve found a place of Rest.

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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.