Archive | July, 2015

Blockading the ‘White Train of Death’

A reporter warned Jim Douglass that he had observed a train north of Seattle that looked like it was “carrying big-time weapons.” The reporter added that the heavily armored, all-white train looked like “the train out of hell.”

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Berkeley City Council Delays Vote on Anti-Poor Laws

“These new laws are actually worse than I anticipated, particularly the one about obstructing the sidewalk,” said Osha Neumann. “You won’t be able to have any possessions larger than two feet square any time of the day or night. We should ask the councilmembers how big their beds are.”

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The Acts of Resistance and the Works of Mercy (Part 3)

The Street Spirit interview with Jim Douglass, Part 3: Strangely enough, acts of resistance to the White Train’s deadly cargo of terribly destructive nuclear weapons created a community dedicated to peace all along the route of a Holocaust train.

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Gandhi’s Vision of Nonviolence: Holding Firm to Truth

The Street Spirit Interview with Jim Douglass, Part 4: “We chose to be in the sights of the weapons of our own troops. For a few days, we were just as vulnerable as the Iraqi people. Explosions were occurring all over the city from missile attacks by our fleet in the Gulf.”

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Berkeley Report Justifies Police Attacks on Black Lives Matter

More weapons, more gadgets, more surveillance, and even helicopters are requested in the police report, “Response to Civil Unrest.” The police wish to continue militarizing police departments, as well as defending the violent response to the Black Lives Matter movement — as though legitimate protest in our society does not exist.

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Anti-Homeless Laws Push People Further into Poverty

San Francisco is notorious for its heavy reliance on police in responding to homelessness. It has taken the lead among California cities by enacting 23 laws that restrict where people can sit, lie or rest outdoors. From 2006 to 2014, San Francisco police issued 51,757 tickets for so-called “quality of life” offenses

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“No Pets Allowed” Can Mean Death for Tenants’ Pets

Ending “No Pets Allowed” policies would greatly reduce the number of pets killed in shelters or abandoned on the street. Many tenants are unable to find a place where pets are allowed, and are coerced to surrender pets to a “shelter” which puts the animal to sleep if no home is found.

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New Hope for Homeless Vehicle Dwellers in California

The last Homeless Census reported that people living in vehicles was one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless community. “Our research has shown a dramatic increase in the number of people whose primary residence is a motor home or RV,” said Peter Connery of Applied Survey Research.

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Tenants at Berkeley’s Redwood Gardens Demand Respect

“I heard the word ‘respect’ used so many times at this conference I still get goosebumps, because that has been one of the things that hurt me most that happened in this building,” said Eleanor Walden, a tenant at Redwood Gardens. “We were treated with distance, lack of respect.

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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.