Archive | July, 2014

Moratorium on Sleeping Ban Gains Support from ACLU in Santa Cruz

Rough sleepers and homeless activists believe the camping ban is a bad law because it criminalizes public nighttime sleeping, a necessity to survive. Outdoor sleeping is banned everywhere in Santa Cruz. Housing NOW believes that because this law is part of a system used to criminalize homelessness, it is unconstitutional.

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They Refused to Let Justice Be Crucified

On the same day that Medgar Evers was murdered, there was also a larger Tri-State Conspiracy to assassinate Bernard LaFayette and Rev. Benjamin Cox.

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Bernard LaFayette’s Long March from Selma

Bernard LaFayette’s long march has taken him from organizing disenfranchised black residents in Selma, to training disenfranchised prisoners in Kingian Nonviolence.

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His Heart Is Always with the People on the Street

“I don’t want to be another paper shuffler sending people to go here and there. They get plenty of that already. If I’m to connect people to mental health services or housing, there needs to be some significant investment in that. That’s why I’m not going to give up the social justice thing.”

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Homeless Advocates Are Targeted by Fresno Police

Pastor Chris Breedlove and other homeless advocates have been publicly smeared by the Fresno Police Department. City officials have demolished every encampment in Fresno and destroyed tons of homeless people’s belongings. The policy of the Fresno Police Department is to refuse to allow any homeless encampments to re-emerge.

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Creating Community on Skid Row in L.A.

“We hang out here because we’re not allowed in the upskirts of downtown. Some of us aren’t permitted because of the way we look. People have a label on us. They see me as a person who eats out of a trashcan.” — Linda Harris, a cancer survivor who lives in Skid Row

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U.S. Court Strikes Down Law Prohibiting People from Living in Vehicles in Los Angeles

The U.S. Court of Appeals sent a strong message across the nation that cities cannot attempt to make homelessness illegal by making it impossible for homeless people to survive by staying in their vehicles. Countless homeless people have been forced to use their vehicles as a shelter of last resort.

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A Constitution-Free Zone on the U.S./Mexico Border

Many constitutional rights are ignored in a zone within 100 miles of any U.S. border. In Arizona, the ACLU documented “unprovoked assaults and verbal abuse, the unwarranted use of handcuffs and shackles, extended and recurring detention, invasive searches, property destruction and confiscation, and denial of food, water and legal representation.”

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Activists Stage Jack London’s Radical Anti-Capitalist Novel “Iron Heel”

“The Iron Heel” is the strongest articulation of Jack London’s emerging anti-capitalism and may have been the first dystopian science fiction novel. The Iron Heel Theater Collective, a group of artists, activists and organizers, have brought it to life using puppetry, painted picture-story cantastoria banners, readers theater and live music.

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Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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.