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Film Premiere of “Dogtown Redemption” in Oakland

“Dogtown Redemption,” a new documentary film, humanizes and celebrates those who live in the America that many of us do not see. The film is not only the intimate story of recyclers in West Oakland, but a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty.

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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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A Nonviolent Path to Peace in the Holy Land

by Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta Ithaca Press Hardback, 528 pages

Increasing numbers of Palestinians and thousands of Israelis see nonviolent action as an effective way to challenge the Israeli military occupation. This excellent book encourages all of us to get beyond the all-too-common division of the world between “us” and “them,” and the need to resort to war and killing as a way of solving problems and achieving security.

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When Even the Sky Hurts

Berkeley poet Julia Vinograd.

Review by Mary Meriam “The writing of a poem is also the act of taking a stand against the sadness.” y homeless sister once dreamily said that she would like a wardrobe, a closet full of nice clothes. Clothes are a home for our bodies. Clothes broadcast to others where we stand in the world. […]

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The Artistic Vision of Charles Curtis Blackwell

His eyesight was severely damaged in an accident when he was young, yet Blackwell’s love for jazz and the blues shines through in his colorful paintings of musicians. To overcome the obstacle of his near-blindness, he stands extremely close to the canvas, his eyes only inches away from his brush strokes.

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Activists Stage Jack London’s Radical Anti-Capitalist Novel “Iron Heel”

“The Iron Heel” is the strongest articulation of Jack London’s emerging anti-capitalism and may have been the first dystopian science fiction novel. The Iron Heel Theater Collective, a group of artists, activists and organizers, have brought it to life using puppetry, painted picture-story cantastoria banners, readers theater and live music.

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Mad In America: An Indictment of Psychiatric Abuse and Brain Damage

One lone author bears moral witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people abused, tortured and damaged by the psychiatric establishment.

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Our Daily Bread: A Film of Social Conscience

The movie poster for King Vidor’s cinematic indictment of the economic injustice of the Great Depression, “Our Daily Bread.”

King Vidor’s Depression-era film, “Our Daily Bread,” offered a utopian vision of social justice that championed the rights of workers. The vultures of the controlled press condemned it as anti-American. “Our Daily Bread” exposed economic injustice years before John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath put Tom Joad on the road.

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Gandhi’s Closest Disciple Shares Insights and Joy

Narayan Desai’s life has been a message of nonviolence to the world. He has worked side by side with Gandhi’s successors, Vinoba Bhave in the land-gift movement and Jayaprakash Narayan in the Shanti Sena (peace brigade). He was chairperson of War Resisters International, and founding director of the World Peace Brigade.

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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.