Archive | August, 2015

Orwell Foresaw the Rise of Surveillance and Loss of Freedom

Orwell’s chilling prediction of omnipresent surveillance has already come true in many ways. With modern technology, it has become feasible to conduct round-the-clock surveillance of far greater numbers of people on a more massive scale — and with far less effort — compared to what Orwell described in 1984.

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House Keys Not Handcuffs: Homeless Organizing, Art and Politics

Police use laws against trespassing, panhandling, loitering, vagrancy and disorderly conduct to punish poor people and exacerbate their misery. They also confiscate their meager possessions, bringing additional despair. Homeless people are an irritant to public officials and a fruitful source of arrest statistics for police departments throughout the nation.

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Artist’s Portraits Reveal the Human Faces in Our Midst

I realized that bringing them to life in drawings was quite unique, seeming to have more joy in it than I’d ever experienced before. Walter was delighted. Nate always greets me now with a thankful smile. Donald, the very gentle one, spoke proudly and warmly when pondering his portrait.

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DBA Ambassadors Sweep People Away ‘Like Trash’

Block by Block “ambassadors” utilize a strange sweeping technique to harass people on the streets. I hope the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission will request that Block by Block employees refrain from this kind of “beautification” activity. It demeans us as a community to have people treated like trash.

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The Homeless Reservation

I surmised grimly that I was to be put into the Homeless Reservation. I had never heard of anyone leaving there, alive or dead. People disappeared, never to be heard from again. Politicians had arrived at what they believed to be a final solution to the “problem” of homeless people.

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Unethical Medical Experiments on U.S. Citizens

The United States has an epidemic of ill health due to excessive drugging. The American people are considered a giant pool of experimental subjects for massively wealthy drug companies. Many persons diagnosed with mental illness are experimented upon, often without their consent and against their own best interests.

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August Poetry of the Streets

She closes the door/ of her studio/ by Dolores Park/ hands the landlady/ (who jacked up her rent/ damn near double)/ the key/ “If anyone should ask/ tell them I won’t be back/ to Cable Car land”/ and begins her long/ wandering inside/ America’s abandoned/ homes

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Right to Rest Advocates Converge on San Francisco

Right to Rest Protest against Business Improvement Districts on July 31,2015 @2015 Janny Castillo/ www.boonachepresents.com/

Advocates for the Right to Rest converged on San Francisco on July 31, 2015 to organize for the passage of a homeless bill of rights in California, Oregon and Colorado. The Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) convened the actions and meetings with representation from San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Denver, Fort Collins, Portland, Eugene and other west coast cities. More photos and videos at: www.boonachepresents.com/

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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.