The May 2006 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Oakland Tenants Face Eviction

UC Attacks the Berkeley Freebox

Berkeley Freebox Poetry Contest

Reform Profit-Making Nursing Homes

A Berkeley Fair for Street Youth

Ultimate Gift of a Homeless Veteran

Tax Cuts for Rich Harm U.S.

Many Children Left Behind

S.F. Bayview: History Lesson in Urban Removal

Let Their Chains Fall Off

Poor Leonard's Almanack: On Poets and Poetry

May Poetry of the Streets


April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005




Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.

Poor Tenants Deceived by Oakland Housing Official Now Face the Nightmare of Mass Eviction

by Lynda Carson

Due to an Oakland housing official's acts of fraud, 34 poor families face eviction from Lockwood Gardens, by order of the Oakland Housing Authority. Lydia Gans photo

Fear and panic have set in at some of East Oakland's public housing units, as police agents from the Oakland Housing Authority have been making late-night visits to tenants, and demanding that the families pack up and move within a five-day period.

After refusing to pack up and run, more than 30 families are facing mass eviction by the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) from their public housing units at Lockwood Gardens, a Hope VI Project on 65th Avenue in East Oakland.

The OHA is claiming that at least 34 families currently facing eviction from Lockwood Gardens are unlawful occupants (squatters) who have illegally gained possession of the housing units. OHA officials have served them 30-day, forcible-detainer eviction notices in an effort to remove them.

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University of California's Disgraceful Attacks on the Berkeley Free Box

by Terry Messman

In Berkeley, activists have worked tirelessly to rebuild the Free Box in People's Park, replacing it as often as UC officials destroy it. Lydia Gans photo

Imagine if the powers that be marched into every church, confiscated all the poor boxes, outlawed all the free clothing programs, and banned charitable meals. For many Berkeley residents, that is precisely what is at stake when University of California officials order UC police officers to swoop down on People's Park and demolish its free clothing program -- the free box.

The destruction of the free box in People's Park is an unconscionable act of vandalism by UC officials, who have destroyed it five times in the last four months. To add insult to injury, police seized and hauled away a newly built mobile free box on Monday, April 24, the morning after the People's Park's Anniversary was celebrated this year.

The University of California's immoral and disgraceful war on the free box is considered to be an act of desecration by many People's Park supporters, on a par with police marauding through a church to destroy the poor boxes that collect charitable contributions for the poor.

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Berkeley Holds an 'Awesome' Fair for Homeless Youth

by Lydia Gans

Doug Hamilton (center) takes meal orders from Jason Berger and Dexter in the elegant Cafe Connect at the Youth Connect Faire. Lydia Gans photo

"Many have foster care backgrounds. Many have experienced either violence on the streets or in the home... Most all of them have come out of a poverty situation. So it's a social issue; it's not their own personal pathology. It's the system that has not worked to support them."

-- Adrianne Bank, co-founder of YEAH

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