Archive | November, 2012

Berkeley’s Choice: Compassion or Repression

“I really think it’s a stupid measure and it’s not going to do anything to help people on the street,” said Jesse Arreguin of the Berkeley City Council. “It’s not going to solve homelessness, it’s not going to do anything to improve the plight of small businesses in our city.”

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International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

“What an honor it was to accompany J. Fernandez to the United Nations and listen to him read his poem on a really big screen, and to see in front of the General Assembly the pictures of St. Mary’s Center and all of you. It was really inspiring and tear-provoking,” Carol Johnson said.

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A Poet’s Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the United Nations

This man with the weatherworn face made me realize that people living in extreme poverty have to make a strong effort to dispel the darkness, especially now that our rights are being systematically stripped away. There’s an urgent need for us to speak up whenever and wherever we can.

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I Lived on Violent, Ruthless Streets

The streets where I lived were ruthless and frequently violent. I often suffered from hunger, and would go days without something to eat. There was violence almost every night — from shootings to robberies and rape. This caused me extreme fear. Every little noise, you wake up.

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No Proof of Correlation Between Homelessness and Business Decline

Kriss Worthington denounced Measure S as immoral and a diversion from the issues of homelessness and poverty. Sales taxes have declined the most in places with a smaller concentration of homelessness. This gives the lie to the repeated efforts by some business owners to blame homeless people for declining profits.

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A Real Poem

Whether you’re in prison in New York/ or a detention camp in the fields of Nebraska/ I am you/ Whether you’re sleeping on a square
of cardboard in Oakland/ or under a grid in Philadelphia/ I am you/ I am in every living pulsating cell/ that hungers for justice

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The Bonds of Love: Cast Off on the Street, Homeless People and Abandoned Pets Take Care of Each Other

It is remarkable to see the reciprocal acts of kindness and love shared between unsheltered people and unwanted animals. Many homeless persons refuse to go into emergency shelters if their pets cannot go with them — sacrificing their own well-being and safety for the animal they have come to love.

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Finding an Abandoned Dog Led to Our New Home

The connection between homelessness and animals arose for me when I found my dog Clair on the street in downtown Berkeley’s business district after she’d been dumped out of a car. We found a home together. Clair was home to me for 17 years, and I was home to her.

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How Berkeley Police Office #145 Protects and Serves the Public

A group of artists sketched a large chalk representation of “The Last Supper,” a painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Jesus eating at a table with his disciples. Across the top was the statement, “Let Us Sit Together and Break Bread.” It was a colorful protest against Berkeley’s proposed anti-sitting law.

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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.