Tag Archives: Terry Messman

Blood on the Tracks: Brian Willson Dances in Resistance to the Weapons of Mass Murder

On September 1, 2012, Brian Willson returned to the railroad tracks where a weapons train once ran him down in a nearly lethal assault, fractured his skull, cut off both his legs — and he began dancing. He was forced to dance on two prosthetic limbs— but amazingly, he was dancing.

Read More Comments Off on Blood on the Tracks: Brian Willson Dances in Resistance to the Weapons of Mass Murder

The Human Rights of the Poor Are Under Attack in Berkeley

It would be a monumental betrayal of human rights to stand by while a few affluent business organizations attack a vulnerable minority. Can it ever be right to see a brother or sister in need — hungry, ill-clad, destitute and homeless — and then unleash the police on them, merely for existing?

Read More Comments Off on The Human Rights of the Poor Are Under Attack in Berkeley

Who Are These Children Dressed in Red? Nonviolent Resistance and the Cost of Conscience

Narayan Desai taught us about nonviolent resistance in Birmingham, a city notoriously known as “Bombingham” because so many churches and homes were bombed by the forces of racism. We saw the parallels between Gandhi’s embrace of the risks of prison and police attacks, and the courage of Birmingham’s civil rights activists.

Read More Comments Off on Who Are These Children Dressed in Red? Nonviolent Resistance and the Cost of Conscience

WRAP Occupies Abandoned Building in San Francisco

Housing activists entered the vacant, two-story building owned by the San Francisco Archdiocese. They planned to occupy it so it could serve as housing for homeless people. Occupy SF member Emma Gerould said, “There is no reason why any building should be vacant when people have no housing.”

Read More Comments Off on WRAP Occupies Abandoned Building in San Francisco

Discovering the Unexpected Power of Nonviolence: Street Spirit Interview with Erica Chenoweth

“We found that during the period of 1900 to 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns are about twice as effective as violent ones in achieving their goals. We also found that these trends hold even where most people expect nonviolent resistance to be ineffective — for instance, against dictatorships and highly repressive regimes.” — Erica Chenoweth

Read More Comments Off on Discovering the Unexpected Power of Nonviolence: Street Spirit Interview with Erica Chenoweth

The Occupy Movement Stands at the Crossroads: Street Spirit Interview with George Lakey

“If we do stuff that justifies — in the eyes of the uncommitted — the repression of the state, we will certainly lose. And the uncommitted are most of the 99 percent. We need a lot more of those people. But the only way to win them over is through strict adherence to nonviolent struggle.” — George Lakey

Read More Comments Off on The Occupy Movement Stands at the Crossroads: Street Spirit Interview with George Lakey

A Bell Tolls for Countless Deaths on Nameless Streets

The bell tolled for 91 individuals who died on the streets last year in San Francisco, and it tolled for the uncounted thousands of homeless deaths around the nation. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty reported that homeless Americans die, on average, 30 years earlier than those with housing.

Read More Comments Off on A Bell Tolls for Countless Deaths on Nameless Streets

Occupy Oakland Shuts Down the Banks and the Port

Occupy Oakland galvanized thousands of people to march through the city and shut down its major banks. These determined activists then marched several miles to shut down the Port of Oakland, an amazing feat that showed this movement was so bold as to challenge the global reach of transnational corporations.

Read More Comments Off on Occupy Oakland Shuts Down the Banks and the Port

Glimpses of the Spirit – Defending People’s Park and the Spirit of Peace and Justice

The Telegraph Business Improvement District wants to drive homeless people and meal programs out of People’s Park. Compassion for the poor was a foundational ideal of the peace movement that created the Park. Tearing out that legacy of compassion for the poor would tear the heart out of People’s Park.

Read More Comments Off on Glimpses of the Spirit – Defending People’s Park and the Spirit of Peace and Justice

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.