Archive | April, 2015

Right to Rest Act Gets Hearing in Sacramento

Activists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and across the state of California trekked to Sacramento on April 7, 2015 to lobby for the “Right to Rest. They are part of the growing movement aimed at ending the criminalization of homeless people and stopping police profiling and harassment of all people in public places.

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Democracy Under Attack on the Streets of Berkeley

It took the savage beating of a homeless man to reveal the terrible cost of allowing business owners to create their own private patrols on the streets of Berkeley.

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The Wrong Men Were Sent to Jail in Berkeley

The video clearly shows that the violence was initiated by the ambassadors. The wrong men had gone to jail. The report given to Berkeley police by the DBA ambassadors was dishonest — itself a fairly serious crime.

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Why Criminalizing Poverty Sells in Berkeley

The DBA’s board is dominated by large property owners who were the primary funders of the failed anti-sitting law campaign in 2012. It takes courage to say no to the merchant association’s short-sighted effort to make homelessness and poverty invisible. Courage is in short supply in the Berkeley City Council.

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Berkeley’s Sweeping Anti-Homeless Legislation

The Downtown Berkeley Association and the City Council pushed the anti-homeless laws without even consulting any of the city’s commissions. The DBA requested these measures in a wholehearted attempt to transform Berkeley into one of the most repressive cities in California in targeting poor and homeless citizens.

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Phone Videos Document Police Assaults on Homeless People

He is not cowed, and will keep protesting the criminalization of homelessness. “What am I supposed to do? If the shelters are full and I got to sleep here, I got to sleep here. It can’t be illegal for me to sleep. It’s highly inhumane. I will fight it.”

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Nationwide Epidemic of Anti-Homeless Hate Laws

More and more cities turn to curfews, prohibitions on begging, sleeping, or “camping” in response to the visible poverty in their public spaces, despite the fact that criminalization is “the most expensive and least effective” method of addressing homelessness. Jail costs two to three times the cost of supportive housing.

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A Long Search to Find a True Home

My sons have helped bring gifts to the poor on Christmas and meals to the homeless in the cold winter. They’ve hugged strangers and told them that not only God loves them, but that they love them, after offering prayer and a warm meal and blanket to sustain them at night.

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KAFKA in Santa Cruz: A City Where Sleep Is A Crime

Gary Johnson was one of thousands of people experiencing homelessness when the sheriffs came to roust him. Now he is sentenced to jail for the crime of being caught asleep in Santa Cruz at night. This “criminal” has been smacked down repeatedly by The Law precisely because he was homeless.

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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.