Archive | October, 2012

Keeper of the Dream: Bernard Lafayette Carries on the Living Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Dr. Bernard Lafayette was with Martin Luther King in Memphis on the morning of his assassination. In King’s final words to Lafayette, he said it was crucial to “institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.” Lafayette has spent his entire life in steadfastly carrying out King’s very last words to him.

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Will Berkeley Abolish the Human Rights of the Poor?

“This isn’t some problem of bored kids from Oregon coming to Berkeley for the summer,” said Pattie Wall. “This is our problem, these are our kids and we have a responsibility to them — and our responsibility to them doesn’t include arresting them for not having any place to go.”

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Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement: The Street Spirit Interview with Dr. Bernard Lafayette

“From my conjecture and my observations, the assassination was designed to stop the work of Martin Luther King. And the reason I went and prepared myself for this work is because I wanted to make sure that those who attempted to assassinate Martin Luther King’s dream — missed.”

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Berkeley Mayor and Business Execs Shun Scrutiny of Their Support for Measure S

Berkeley’s political and business leaders have ducked public scrutiny of their support for the sitting ban. But in a statement to Street Spirit, the mayor has admitted he put the sitting ban on the ballot because merchants demanded it. In Berkeley, human rights can be violated if it pleases the merchants.

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On October 16, Clergy Will Speak Out Publicly Against Measure S

Clergy and leaders of faith communities have signed a letter opposing Berkeley Measure S, the “no sitting” law, on the November 6th ballot. Religious leaders and young people will present the letter and list of signers on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m., Berkeley Old City Hall, 2134 MLK Jr. Way.

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Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Berkeley’s Measure S

Measure S is unjust and violates our spiritual call to seek justice. This harsh approach to dealing with the extreme difficulties people face during this painful economic period is ill-timed and cruel. As clergy and religious leaders, we could never condone this approach to “kicking someone when they are down.”

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After Being Beaten to Death by Fullerton Police, Homeless Man Is Cleared of Any Wrongdoing

The police repeatedly shocked Kelly Thomas with tasers and smashed his face with the butts of their flashlights, causing brain injuries, severe injuries to his face and neck, and fractured ribs, resulting in the homeless man’s wrongful death. Now the police have admitted that Thomas was innocent of any wrongdoing.

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Historic Call from Prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison to End Racial Hostility in State Prisons

The American Friends Service Committee finds this call by prisoners for a sweeping end to hostilities unprecedented. This is an opportunity that cannot be ignored. By their call, the prisoners are addressing the tensions between racial groups that have been used by the Department to justify long-term isolation.

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‘The Death Penalty: We Can Live Without It’

Two-thirds of the planet’s nations, and 17 U.S. states have already abandoned executions, but ours would be an abolition by the voters ourselves, not a governor or legislature. On November 6, California voters may make history, as we try with Proposition 34 to repeal our state’s death penalty.

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Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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.