Archive | April, 2013

A Power That Can Overthrow Dictatorships

Nonviolent movements have toppled dictators all over the globe, in Mali, Serbia, Poland, Bolivia, the Philippines, East Germany, Latin America, and Africa. During the Arab Spring, it became clear that the power of nonviolence to overthrow tyrannical governments is giving new hope — and new revolutionary strategies — to people around the world.

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The Street Spirit Interview with Stephen Zunes

In Bolivia, after a coup by General Busch, the whole country went on strike and 600,000 people massed in La Paz. Union leaders walked into the president’s house, and asked him, “What’s your program?” He looked at them, then he looked at the 600,000 people in the streets, and he said, “Yours!”

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Berkeley Celebrates Luxury Housing for the Elite

I would have no problem with building luxury apartments if we weren’t in a housing crisis. Build for the rich, I would say. Build crazy stuff with gold-plated toilets and let them buy it. But we are in a housing crisis. The Downtown Berkeley Association tried to outlaw sitting on the sidewalk.

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Trials and Tribulations of Homeless Folks in San Francisco Courts

After spending 30 days in jail, a 52-year-old homeless man was sentenced to three years probation for illegal lodging, or sleeping outdoors. “A tired homeless man faced up to three years in prison for dozing off on a milk crate,” said Elisa Della-Piana. “Prison! For sleeping while sitting up…”

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Activist Linda Lemaster Convicted of Illegal Lodging

Homeless advocate Linda Lemaster asked, “Is Santa Cruz County still under the Constitution that we think of as the lead legal document of our land, where people — even if they happen to be homeless — have certain civil rights, and even some human rights are acknowledged in our constitution?”

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What if They Gave a War and Nobody Paid?

The government needs us to pay our taxes to cover the cost of soldiers, bombs, guns, planes and aircraft carriers. At what point do we the people refuse to cooperate with these immoral, illegal and senseless wars? The government cannot fight these wars without our tax dollars and moral support.

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Taking Down Telegraph Avenue’s Last Hippie

I have known Bob Meister for 25 years. I have watched him raise a family, and help homeless people regain a sense of their self-worth and restart their lives. I took lessons from Bob that helped me end my own homelessness, raise two children and start a new day in my life.

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The Rich and Poor Live in Very Different Worlds

Rich people won’t give you anything for free, unless something is in it for them, while poor people will help you when they can. Rich people can afford to buy the latest home security system to protect their valuables, while poor people are protected through having nothing worth stealing.

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Court Victory for Homeless Advocates Seeking Vacant Federal Property

The federal government is obligated to offer homeless service providers unused government property for free before trying to sell it. However, the court found that many federal agencies “appear to be hiding potentially eligible properties from the Title V process” — and that this widespread form of land banking is illegal.

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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.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.