In cold and stormy weather, J.C. Orton opens an emergency shelter at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. “I think it’s a fantastic situation where we’re able to shelter these people,” Orton said. “The satisfaction of being able to give that depth of service, to my mind, is overwhelming.”
The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) documented 113 acts of violence against unhoused people in 2010. California has consistently been a leading state in hate crimes. Since the NCH started gathering data in 1999, the state has recorded 225 assaults of homeless people, and 48 resulted in death.
Join the struggle on our day of action to uphold the human rights of homeless people on April 1, 2012. Tens of thousands of people are being persecuted simply for being poor and destitute. Cities all across the United States and Canada are trampling on the rights of the poorest citizens.
Violent action will not panic the power-holders, but it will push away the general populace. Power-holders, in fact, love it, because it gives them an excuse to destroy movements. Social change depends not on creating chaos and social disorder, but on mobilizing the power of the people for change.
Both Sweden and Norway suffered horrendous poverty when the 1 percent was in charge. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a right, and created a system of full employment.
The Occupy movement joined with prison reform groups to uphold the rights of prisoners whose suffering is concealed behind the concrete walls of California’s vast prison system. The demonstration was held to expose prison abuses and to bear witness on behalf of the multitudes behind bars excluded from our democracy.
“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
"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