Archive | September, 2012

Blood on the Tracks: Brian Willson Dances in Resistance to the Weapons of Mass Murder

On September 1, 2012, Brian Willson returned to the railroad tracks where a weapons train once ran him down in a nearly lethal assault, fractured his skull, cut off both his legs — and he began dancing. He was forced to dance on two prosthetic limbs— but amazingly, he was dancing.

Read More Comments Off on Blood on the Tracks: Brian Willson Dances in Resistance to the Weapons of Mass Murder

The Santa Cruz Eleven Are Political Scapegoats

After protesters occupied a vacant bank building in Santa Cruz, the district attorney wildly over-reacted and began prosecuting media workers, community activists and caregivers whose work seems to be more reportorial than conspiratorial. This makes it appear that the Occupy Movement was the real target of the district attorney.

Read More Comments Off on The Santa Cruz Eleven Are Political Scapegoats

The Human Rights of the Poor Are Under Attack in Berkeley

It would be a monumental betrayal of human rights to stand by while a few affluent business organizations attack a vulnerable minority. Can it ever be right to see a brother or sister in need — hungry, ill-clad, destitute and homeless — and then unleash the police on them, merely for existing?

Read More Comments Off on The Human Rights of the Poor Are Under Attack in Berkeley

Brian Willson Returns to the Tracks: Photos of the 25th Anniversary of Nuremberg Actions

On September 1, 2012, the dedicated peace activists of Nuremberg Actions gathered with Brian Willson and Daniel Ellsberg at the Concord Naval Weapons Station to commemorate their nonviolent blockades of death trains and death trucks transporting weapons of mass murder for shipment to El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Read More Comments Off on Brian Willson Returns to the Tracks: Photos of the 25th Anniversary of Nuremberg Actions

Rhode Island’s Homeless Bill of Rights Offers New Hope

Rhode Island has become the first state in the country to pass a Homeless Bill of Rights. The law passed with the overwhelming support of both houses of the Rhode Island state legislature. It may offer new hope to homeless people who suffer unequal treatment from police and government officials.

Read More Comments Off on Rhode Island’s Homeless Bill of Rights Offers New Hope

The Long History of Brutal Laws That Banish the Poor

We have gone from the days when people could be told “you can’t sit at this lunch counter” to “you can’t sit on this sidewalk.” We’ve gone from from “you’re on the wrong side of the tracks” to “it is illegal to hang out” on this street or corner.

Read More Comments Off on The Long History of Brutal Laws That Banish the Poor

Busting Berkeley’s Favorite Myths

Despite the self-congratulatory myths of city officials, Berkeley is not generous toward the poor, nor is it a haven for free speech. Systematically destroying low-income housing and creating inventive ways to target the poor is mean-spirited, not generous. And it is a simple recipe for homelessness and hardship.

Read More Comments Off on Busting Berkeley’s Favorite Myths

Got Free Speech? Berkeley’s Downtown Ambassadors Ignore the First Amendment

Berkeley’s so-called “Downtown Ambassadors” demonstrate their hostility towards freedom of speech by going after activists who post political messages in public. They seem unable to grasp that there is no law in the land that allows them to remove certain posters based on the political content of their message.

Read More Comments Off on Got Free Speech? Berkeley’s Downtown Ambassadors Ignore the First Amendment

Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Response to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present

This timely exhibit features the work of 30 artists working over the last 75 years to document homelessness and the government’s role in the crisis. Depression-era and contemporary artists offer glimpses of life on the street and show the human face of poverty, injustice and economic hardships in both eras.

Read More Comments Off on Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Response to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present

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.