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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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.