Archive | June, 2015

Life at Ground Zero of the Nuclear Arms Race

Jim and Shelley Douglass moved right next door to the Trident submarine base — Ground Zero of the nuclear arms race — and organized a boat blockade that led to an epic confrontation with the Navy and Coast Guard on the waters of Puget Sound.

Read More Comments Off on Life at Ground Zero of the Nuclear Arms Race

Street Spirit Interview with James Douglass (Part 1)

One Trident submarine can destroy a country. A fleet of Trident submarines is capable of destroying the world. Jim Douglass explains how Ground Zero Center organized a visionary campaign of nonviolent resistance to confront “the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.”

Read More Comments Off on Street Spirit Interview with James Douglass (Part 1)

Street Spirit Interview with Jim Douglass (Part 2)

When Father Dave Becker came to dinner at the home of Jim and Shelley Douglass next to the Trident base, the first sentence he said after he sat down on the sofa was, “I want to understand from you what it means to be the chaplain of the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.”

Read More Comments Off on Street Spirit Interview with Jim Douglass (Part 2)

Stop the Anti-Poor Laws in Berkeley

The new anti-poor laws come to the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, June 30. It is vitally important to come to the meeting and speak out against these unjust laws. We can stop them now, just as we stopped them in the 2012 election when Berkeley voters defeated a ridiculous anti-sitting law.

Read More Comments Off on Stop the Anti-Poor Laws in Berkeley

It’s Time to Abolish Berkeley’s Ambassador Program

The ambassadors of the Downtown Berkeley Association are an absurd gang of civil rights violators. Homeless people are in the worst position to try to combat this institutionalized discrimination. The City Council has failed to provide responsible oversight, and city commissions have too little influence to truly protect the public.

Read More Comments Off on It’s Time to Abolish Berkeley’s Ambassador Program

Religious Leaders Say: “Do Not Criminalize Homeless People”

In an open letter to the Berkeley City Council, religious leaders say: “Do Not Criminalize Homeless People in Berkeley. We stand lovingly and firmly united in opposition to new proposed laws criminalizing homeless people. The new homeless laws violate our deep conviction to express compassion for all living beings.”

Read More Comments Off on Religious Leaders Say: “Do Not Criminalize Homeless People”

Instead of Positive Change, It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Positive Change boxes in Berkeley are merely repeating a failed model from the past. Cities that have adopted these programs as a model have all ended them for the same reason: They simply don’t work. Voucher programs get brassy press coverage until they fail, and then they fail in quiet obscurity.

Read More Comments Off on Instead of Positive Change, It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Housing First — But Not in Berkeley

Berkeley brags about its somewhat mythological tradition of compassion for the poor. Yet many services are designed to help people get off the street and find housing in some other town — not in Berkeley. Evicted with nowhere to go? Service providers will help you find scarce shelter space — in Richmond.

Read More Comments Off on Housing First — But Not in Berkeley

Vitally Needed Programs in South Berkeley Face Cuts

City officials intend to drastically cut funding for ten South Berkeley nonprofits serving homeless and other underserved people, including youth and people with mental health challenges. The City must either show respect and concern for its longtime residents, or else let the “market” drive out programs that serve our poorest citizens

Read More Comments Off on Vitally Needed Programs in South Berkeley Face Cuts

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.