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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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”