Archive | January, 2013

BLOCK BY BLOCK: A BID by Merchants to Seize the Public Commons and Erode the Rights of the Poor

Business organizations in Berkeley have adopted the Block by Block approach to erode the human rights of the poor. The Measure S initiative was the most expensive campaign in Berkeley’s history. It was funded almost entirely by large property-holding companies which play an influential role in the Downtown Berkeley Association.

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Occupy the Auctions vs. the Foreclosure Vultures

Foreclosed homes in San Francisco are particularly appealing to buyers, especially since they can snap them up reasonably cheaply. Occupy the Auctions champions affected families by declaring a halt on home evictions and auctions and instead insisting the banks come up with a fair, affordable arrangement for financially strained families.

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Doug Minkler: An Artist on the Side of the People

Berkeley artist Doug Minkler approaches his work with a passionate commitment to social change. He wields the artist’s brush like a hammer with which to reshape an unjust society. His poster art battle corporate polluters, predatory banks, nuclear weapons laboratories, brutal police, union-busting businesses and “the masters of war.”

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Sanam’s Search for Freedom Leads to Berkeley

When Sanam Kazerouni left her native Iran, she says, “I lost my country, my culture, my friends and family.” But she has found freedom and many friends in Berkeley who have welcomed her to a new home. She recalls a favorite saying: “Wherever you stop running is your home.”

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Gratitude for My Home — and Sympathy for Those Without

In my nice neighborhood, I see many destitute people standing by the side of the road with cardboard signs, begging so they can buy something to eat. When we understand our common humanity, we are obliged to be grateful for what we have, and to not scoff at those who have less.

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Christian Church Homes Offers Affordable Homes for Seniors

The “silver tsunami” represents an overwhelming new wave of aging seniors. Every day, about 10,000 Americans become seniors. The 65-and-older population will more than double from 40 million in 2012 to 80 million by 2050. Considering the nation’s economic troubles, countless seniors will need more affordable housing.

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January Poetry of the Streets

70 and Determined by George Wynn It’s strange to be an old man and begging for spare change and the coins don’t give you any new joy. At seventy you’re restless and depressed you fear the road but anything rather than face another day in the city by the bay. You pack your bag start […]

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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.