Archive | August, 2012

Chilling Crackdown on the Santa Cruz 11

In a chilling strategy to crush political dissent, activists in Santa Cruz face felony charges for a peaceful occupation of a vacant bank building. Six of those charged are journalists and high-profile critics of the police and city council, prompting many to call it an attack on the First Amendment

Read More Comments Off on Chilling Crackdown on the Santa Cruz 11

How a Wells Fargo Occupation Led to Felony Charges

The occupation of a vacant building in Santa Cruz became a complicated and illegal experiment in social change. Eleven people — including alternative journalists and some of Santa Cruz’s most visible activists — were singled out and charged with misdemeanor trespassing, vandalism and felony conspiracy to commit trespass.

Read More Comments Off on How a Wells Fargo Occupation Led to Felony Charges

Mayor Bates Tries to Ram Through Anti-Sitting Law

Many Berkeley citizens have come out against this egregious attack on the civil rights of homeless people. Berkeley City Councilmembers Kriss Worthington, Max Anderson and Jesse Arreguin have shown us that not all members of the council have been corrupted by the baleful lure of big-time developers and their filthy lucre.

Read More Comments Off on Mayor Bates Tries to Ram Through Anti-Sitting Law

Federal Government Is Responsible for 25 Years of Failed Programs and Rising Homelessness

The U.S. government’s McKinney-Vento Act was enacted 25 years ago to address the emergency needs of homeless people. Yet homelessness has escalated to historic levels because federal officials have defunded, dismantled, and sold off hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units, thus ensuring that more and more people become homeless.

Read More Comments Off on Federal Government Is Responsible for 25 Years of Failed Programs and Rising Homelessness

Homelessness Isn’t Just an Accident—It’s a Plan

We know we’re one paycheck away, one injury away from being that homeless person our policymakers wish would leave town if we can’t keep up with exorbitant rents. Why do our political and planning representatives continue to build unaffordable housing instead of addressing the most pressing housing needs?

Read More Comments Off on Homelessness Isn’t Just an Accident—It’s a Plan

London Olympics Bring Rent Gouging and Repression

The Olympics have intensified the effects of the poisonous cocktail of corporate power and authoritarian government that has been building in Britain and across the world. It began with landlords evicting tenants to make way for Olympic lets, prompting a wider housing crisis and rent increases, followed by evictions.

Read More Comments Off on London Olympics Bring Rent Gouging and Repression

Gov. Brown’s Shocking Cuts to California’s Safety Net

Despite the already extreme levels of poverty in California, Gov. Brown is planning to balance the budget on the backs of the poor by grabbing an additional billion dollars from critical social services programs. This deal jeopardizes the state’s safety net, with permanent changes being made to many life-saving programs.

Read More Comments Off on Gov. Brown’s Shocking Cuts to California’s Safety Net

Berkeley Information Network: A Good Place to Seek Help

It is very rewarding for librarians when the Berkeley Information Network is used as a source of help for homeless people and those living on the edge. Berkeley librarian Isobel Schneider declares enthusiastically, “This is the area we really shine in — to help people find resources that can really improve their lives.”

Read More Comments Off on Berkeley Information Network: A Good Place to Seek Help

Raise the Minimum Wage to Raise U.S. Economy

“Our report on executive compensation will only fuel the outrage over corporate greed,” said Forbes. Most Americans are left out of the nation’s economic growth because 93 percent of the income growth went to the richest 1 percent. The bottom 90 percent of Americans got none.

Read More Comments Off on Raise the Minimum Wage to Raise U.S. Economy

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.