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Nonviolent Direct Action: The Best Map for the Movement

Nonviolent direct action clearly dramatizes the difference between the corrupt values of the system and the values we stand for. Their institutions silence dissent while we value every voice. They employ violence to maintain their system while we counter it with the sheer courage of our presence.

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Stop the Attacks on OccupySF

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee admits that “economic disparity and joblessness” are major problems, so why does he condone the police raids on OccupySF? Squelching legitimate protest is not going to make these problems go away. Only the creation of jobs and better housing will begin to end these ills.

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From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy the Neighborhoods

It is a victory that the occupations have led the media to even briefly question America’s economic divisions. Now we need to find creative ways to take the issues of the Occupy movement to every neighborhood, workplace and campus, even those that don’t seem natural hotbeds of change.

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The Disservice of Treating Disabled Persons as Children

The belief that disabled people are incapable of surviving in real-life situations is belittling and harmful. Many persons who are mentally disabled can meet the challenges of surviving in society. Treating adults like children only prepares them for a lifetime of dependence and being institutionalized.

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A Modest Proposal to Drive Away the Poor for the Sake of the Tourists

Virtually everything about capitalism says that only the top one percent of upper-income people really count, while the 99% who struggle for everything don’t deserve to even survive. The Occupy movement is trying to point out this flaw in a very concrete way by camping out and protesting.

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Preserve Affordable Housing in Berkeley

Any proposed development at the vacant lot on the corner of Haste and Telegraph Avenue that precludes the replacement of the 77 lost units of SRO housing is a theft of irreplaceable housing. Berkeley has systematically destroyed its SRO housing, replacing it with high-end condos and rental units.

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Spare Change Leads to Spiritual Change

Surely, homeless people are entitled to our daily deeds of justice and compassion. Surely, they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. When we respond to that holy call to kindness, we bring blessing into our lives and into the lives of all we touch.

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Democrats Cave in to Right-Wing Ideologues

Democrats are joining Republicans in Congress to shred the safety net for the benefit of the financial interests of huge corporations. Their rhetoric about “shared sacrifice” rings hollow when the vast majority of us are being sacrificed to the financial benefit of big banks and large corporations.

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Aging in America

Has aging become a crime in the U.S., punishable by a shot of Botox or various and sundry tucks, snips and pulls? Simone de Beauvoir, the French existentialist philosopher, in her book, The Second Sex, called our treatment of the aged “scandalous.”

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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.