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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.