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.

Read More Comments Off on Orwell Foresaw the Rise of Surveillance and Loss of Freedom

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.

Read More Comments Off on House Keys Not Handcuffs: Homeless Organizing, Art and Politics

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.

Read More Comments Off on Artist’s Portraits Reveal the Human Faces in Our Midst

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.

Read More Comments Off on DBA Ambassadors Sweep People Away ‘Like Trash’

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.

Read More Comments Off on The Homeless Reservation

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.

Read More Comments Off on Unethical Medical Experiments on U.S. Citizens

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

Read More Comments Off on August Poetry of the Streets

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/

Read More Comments Off on Right to Rest Advocates Converge on San Francisco

Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

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.