Tag Archives: Berkeley Anti Poor Laws

A Futile and Brutal Act: Berkeley’s Anti-Homeless Laws

“Berkeley continues to outlaw homeless people in the face of overwhelming statements from the federal government and from nearly every university school of health and law school that says that criminalizing the poor is a futile and brutal act.” — Max Anderson, Berkeley City Council

Read More Comments Off on A Futile and Brutal Act: Berkeley’s Anti-Homeless Laws

Suitcase Clinic’s Solidarity with People on the Street

“At the City Council meeting, I think we played a role in empowering our clients who spoke out against the criminalization of homelessness. More importantly, we stood in solidarity with them.”

Read More Comments Off on Suitcase Clinic’s Solidarity with People on the Street

Two Square Feet of Space — Unless You Own a Business

This is how democracy works in Berkeley: The City Council majority represents the Downtown Berkeley Association. One guy — John Caner, the CEO of DBA, who wrote the initial law (with Maio and Arreguin) in a back room — felt represented in all the madness. And he didn’t have to say a word.

Read More Comments Off on Two Square Feet of Space — Unless You Own a Business

As Rents Skyrocket, Berkeley Attacks A Familiar Scapegoat

The second vote on the anti-homeless laws came on December 1, 2015, exactly 60 years to the day that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that Montgomery Bus. On the 60th anniversary of Rosa Park’s historic action, the City Council is rolling back those civil rights in Berkeley.

Read More Comments Off on As Rents Skyrocket, Berkeley Attacks A Familiar Scapegoat

Nothing Works Quite As Well As Housing

Our lack of affordable housing is a real public health crisis — the result of 30 years of complete neglect of homeless people by Mayor Tom Bates and, before that, his wife, former Mayor Loni Hancock. Their housing policy has been to ignore the people sleeping in parks, under overpasses and in alleys.

Read More Comments Off on Nothing Works Quite As Well As Housing

Defending Freedom of Speech in Berkeley

It is absurd that the Downtown Berkeley Association, representing the wealthiest property owners in town, is taking public money to pay a private patrol to tear down the posters of poor artists, activists and community groups. We’re paying them to tear down our posters — and rip up the First Amendment.

Read More Comments Off on Defending Freedom of Speech in Berkeley

More Anti-Homeless Laws on the Way on November 17

Art by Mike “Moby” Theobald

Just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the City of Berkeley is turning its back on the Department of Justice and HUD guidelines and embracing more anti-homeless laws. This new slate of anti-homeless laws will be considered at the City Council meeting on the evening of Tuesday, November 17.

Read More Comments Off on More Anti-Homeless Laws on the Way on November 17

Berkeley City Council Delays Vote on Anti-Poor Laws

“These new laws are actually worse than I anticipated, particularly the one about obstructing the sidewalk,” said Osha Neumann. “You won’t be able to have any possessions larger than two feet square any time of the day or night. We should ask the councilmembers how big their beds are.”

Read More Comments Off on Berkeley City Council Delays Vote on Anti-Poor Laws

Y-M-C-A: How Do You Spell Anti-Homeless Hypocrisy?

The Berkeley City Council was given the strong impression that not only the YMCA leadership, but the YMCA membership as well, supports new anti-homeless laws. Yet these laws are opposed by the ACLU, scores of religious leaders and civil rights groups as likely to be used in a discriminatory fashion.

Read More Comments Off on Y-M-C-A: How Do You Spell Anti-Homeless Hypocrisy?

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.