Archive | March, 2014

A Poet Finds Moral Beauty in the Lives of the Poor

Peter Marin’s poetry portrays the lives of homeless people as sources of great artistic beauty. Marin sees nobility disguised under shabby overcoats and finds beauty hidden inside cardboard shacks, in the people that America forgot.

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The National Council of Elders Plants the Seeds of Freedom

There is a flower in Africa that blooms every 80 years. Imagine yourself planting seeds that may not bloom in your lifetime. But continue to water it even if it does not bloom in your lifetime.

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The Street Spirit Interview with Peter Marin

This is what the government must do: Leave all the war stuff aside, leave the NSA stuff aside, and the billions spent on this by the government. The very first thing, beyond everything else, should be housing, damn it. It goes without question because it is so necessary for human survival.

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Transfiguring Beauty: The Poetry of Peter Marin

Peter Marin’s poetry illuminates and transfigures, enabling us to see the sacred beauty of people living on the streets all around us. In a land where homeless people are shunned and persecuted, it is a revolutionary act when a poet finds beauty in their lives, and restores their stolen dignity.

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Renewing the Struggle for Civil Rights

The planet is speaking and too few are listening. The poor are weeping and too few are concerned. The despised and rejected of men are incarcerated and deported. The Guantanamo gulag still exists. Drone warfare continues unabated. The economic devastation caused by the uber-rich is paid for by the struggling poor.

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Lawmakers Bludgeon the Food Stamp Program

The Farm Bill includes massive cuts to the food stamp program that will affect about 47 million people living in poverty. Food stamp recipients will receive 90 dollars less per month when the cuts take effect, and in California alone, some 700,000 people in poverty will see their benefits shrink.

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Homeless People in San Francisco Can Phone in for Shelter Beds

Homeless people may use the 311 telephone system to reserve a bed for up to 90 days, using a unique identifying number to determine their spot on a waitlist. This method aims to move homeless people away from lining up at resource centers before they open, sometimes by sleeping outside overnight.

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A Celebration of Hepatitis C Awareness Week in Oakland

Hepatitis C has been a “silent killer” for decades, affecting millions of people, including many unaware that they have this potentially life threatening disease. This year Hepatitis C Awareness Week is more important than ever, because there are new treatments that are saving lives. Hepatitis C is now curable.

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Building a New Movement for Full Employment

If the federal government can figure out how to rescue Wall Street, it has a moral obligation to figure out how to rescue Main Street. Two-thirds of the American people believe the government in Washington ought to see to it that everyone who wants to work can find a job.

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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.