Moaning, crying, shouting, begging./ A man with rags;/ Children with scratchy, thin, worn-out/ blankets, infested with mold and lice./ A baby, with nobody to hold her,/ comfort her,/ or even feed her./ We can help.
I was sitting at a cafe watching the world go by when the world came to me and taught me about answered prayers and belonging. A homeless person who had been sitting near us said, “I believe in miracles.” I turned to him and said, “Oh yeah?”
The tree we created is a fascinating reminder of what can be accomplished by a full spectrum of people working together toward a worthwhile cause. When it storms, this tree will hold fast to its roots. Raindrops can resemble tears. And like tears, they will one by one dry.
The Oakland Public Works Department is faulted for ignoring the dangerous conditions that resulted in an Oakland resident in his 80s falling and being badly injured and hospitalized. The ruptured, crumbling sidewalk has caused the injuries of several people, yet is still ignored by city officials.
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.
“Rasheed wants to evict me, and he is making life very hard for me,” Smith said. “This is the second time that he is trying to evict me, and now I am so worried that I can barely sleep at night any more. Now that I am 92, Rasheed knows that I need help to survive, and he keeps trying to make life very hard on me,” said the frightened, elderly woman.
While Occupy Oakland protesters were marching in the streets, another wing of the anti-poverty movement gathered to take a stand against injustice. Instead of marching, they were drumming. Despite the harsh reality of poverty, people at St. Mary’s manage to find hope amidst the struggle to survive.
Under the brutal economic Darwinism of Reaganomics, the nation was subjected to class warfare between haves and have-nots. Since the Reagan era, the top one percent of U.S. earners has enjoyed a six-fold increase in income. Now, this nation’s economic elites are in for the fight of their lives.
As one young man told me, the war for Middle-Earth has begun. The occupiers, mostly youth, had been camped near San Diego City Hall to proclaim solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests nationwide. They were challenging privilege, wealth and the ugly specter of militarism on the streets of San Diego.
The president has bailed out Wall Street but left millions of Americans unable to pay their mortgages. Greed is trashing the global economy and desecrating the natural world. October 2011 will mark a time in our history when the people of the United States rose up to demand economic justice
The occupation in Washington, D.C., was a massive outcry against Wall Street, the Pentagon, and a government run by corporations. The Occupy Wall Street movement is a beacon of hope. We are not alone. We are the 99%, and with courage and a commitment to nonviolence, we shall overcome.
Occupy Oakland is at the forefront of a grass-roots movement against injustice that is sweeping the country. Oakland’s massive marches and encampments have gained national significance. This chronology of the first month of demonstrations is a record of the amazing accomplishments of this people’s movement for social justice.