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

Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.