Archive | February, 2014

Igniting the Fight for the Homeless Bill of Rights

“We are not fighting for special rights but for the same rights that everyone else has. People who don’t have homes do not want to be arrested for sleeping, resting, sitting, because they have no private place to sleep, rest or sit!” — Jessica Bartholow, Western Center on Law and Poverty.

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Mary’s Luminous Spirit Shines On Brightly

Mary Rudge remains a luminous presence. She always championed the less-privileged, the beaten-down, and she was a vibrant peace activist who spoke against war at countless peace rallies. What a model of talent, grace and courage through adversity. We revere this poet’s ability to envision projects that enrich the human spirit.

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The Radiant Poetry of Mary Rudge

When she asks spare change/ but you pass by/ her only response is “God bless you”/ and a broken-toothed smile./ She shows you how hearts really break,/ can you feel your own?/ She lets you see a whole country with/ a government full of broken promises.

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Controversy Over Plans for Jail Expansion in San Francisco

Opponents of this jail expansion, including advocates for jail reform and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), dispute the need for a new jail. They oppose the idea of spending millions on a new jail instead of on mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment and affordable housing.

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A Joyous Prescription for Living

Pat Boushell had the capacity to become completely immersed in the power of words, poems, songs, political and social possibilities and, of course, religion, which brought him a deep sense of connection, comfort and family. Pat treasured life’s gifts and saw the magic in a moment that can transform a soul.

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The Myth of Abundance Promoted by the Wealthy

It is a Republican-promulgated myth to say that anyone, if they try hard enough, can work their way up from poverty to become successful and prosperous. Yet, most people suffering from poverty do not have much chance at becoming a movie star, a best-selling author, or a business tycoon.

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The Connection Between Cruelty to Animals and the Inhumanity of War

“A dog starved at his Master’s Gate, Predicts the ruin of the State.” George Bernard Shaw and William Blake, two of the greatest writers in the English language, both spoke out in defense of the rights of poor and oppressed workers, the victims of warfare, and mistreated animals.

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THE SHELTER

He needed to put his affairs in order before disappearing. Earth was on the verge of being uninhabitable, and there would soon be an enormous die-off of most living creatures.. The underground country was a secret, and those destined to relocate there had to sneak out for fear of tipping off the masses.

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February Poetry of the Streets

The war on poverty’s just begun:/ yet two steps forward, four steps back./ The losers? City corners stun./ The war on poverty’s just begun?/ Yet safety nets are holey or none —/ anyone care to really keep track?/ The poverty war is just begun —/ two steps forward, four steps back.

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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.