Archive | March, 2015

John Lewis and the Spirit of Selma

“I thought I was going to die on that bridge. I thought it was the last nonviolent protest. But somehow I survived, and a group of nuns took care of us at a hospital.” — John Lewis

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California Vagrancy Laws Violate Human Rights

“Anti-homeless laws today and the vagrancy laws of prior eras — restrictions like anti-Okie laws, the Sundown Towns and Ugly Laws that explicitly discriminated against migrants, people of color and people with physical disabilities — have come back with a vengeance.”

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

It is heartbreaking to go out to the Albany Bulb and see what has been done to our former home. Those of us who still live on the streets are under constant persecution due to the inhumane laws that criminalize our very existence.

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The Sense of Loss When a Community Is Erased

Andy Kreamer asked people to call out the names of Albany Bulb residents who had been lost. The amount of loss that has been suffered in the past year is overwhelming. The residents have lost more than their homes. They’ve lost their safety, their friends, their peace of mind.

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An SRO Hotel Is Hardly a Home in San Francisco

An eye-opening film by a UCB student exposes the degrading conditions and overcrowding in SRO hotels in San Francisco. Many low-income families are caught in slum conditions and live in cramped, unsanitary and dangerous rooms. They endure drug-dealing in hallways and managers who threaten tenants and their visitors.

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Food Not Bombs Sues for Right to Share Food in Florida

Fort Lauderdale faces a lawsuit by Food Not Bombs for criminalizing food sharing. Laws to criminalize homelessness are “a response to the visibility of homelessness in public spaces,” said Kirsten Clanton of Southern Legal Counsel. “It’s business interests. It’s an effort to sanitize public space, often for tourism and tourist dollars.”

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The Genesis of Street Spirit in a Berkeley Seminary

We blocked the roads into Livermore laboratory for hours until the police pulled up with giant earth-moving machinery. Father Bill O’Donnell, a priest who had joined with Spirit on many acts of resistance, warned the driver, “We are chained to this missile. If you use that machine, you will crush us.”

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Berkeley City Council Takes Action on Police Abuse—Finally

In response to beatings and the indiscriminate use of CS gas and projectiles shot directly into crowds by the Berkeley police during the December protests of police killings, the City Council votes for a moratorium on CS gas, wooden and rubber projectiles and over-the-shoulder baton strikes.

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Lawsuit Filed Over ‘Stay-Away’ Law in Santa Cruz

Homeless people in Santa Cruz have precious little voice at City Hall, and much less in the court system. They have been pushed around and forced out of public spaces. It’s time to push back. That is why advocates have filed a lawsuit to challenge the city’s “stay away order.”

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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.