I remember, / I remember a moment./ When we refused to compromise./ When we decided not to change the rules,/
but the game./ When we made heads spin./ When love became power./ Yes, there was a moment./ We called it occupy.
The struggles of labor are over, lessons from the past are not important, and we’re all together in this crisis, right? Yet the middle class is sinking, the lower class remains stuck at the bottom, with 46.2 million people living in poverty, an historic high. And the one percent are off-shoring everything.
A group of artists sketched a large chalk representation of “The Last Supper,” a painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Jesus eating at a table with his disciples. Across the top was the statement, “Let Us Sit Together and Break Bread.” It was a colorful protest against Berkeley’s proposed anti-sitting law.
The connection between homelessness and animals arose for me when I found my dog Clair on the street in downtown Berkeley’s business district after she’d been dumped out of a car. We found a home together. Clair was home to me for 17 years, and I was home to her.
It is remarkable to see the reciprocal acts of kindness and love shared between unsheltered people and unwanted animals. Many homeless persons refuse to go into emergency shelters if their pets cannot go with them — sacrificing their own well-being and safety for the animal they have come to love.
Whether you’re in prison in New York/ or a detention camp in the fields of Nebraska/ I am you/ Whether you’re sleeping on a square
of cardboard in Oakland/ or under a grid in Philadelphia/ I am you/ I am in every living pulsating cell/ that hungers for justice
Kriss Worthington denounced Measure S as immoral and a diversion from the issues of homelessness and poverty. Sales taxes have declined the most in places with a smaller concentration of homelessness. This gives the lie to the repeated efforts by some business owners to blame homeless people for declining profits.
The streets where I lived were ruthless and frequently violent. I often suffered from hunger, and would go days without something to eat. There was violence almost every night — from shootings to robberies and rape. This caused me extreme fear. Every little noise, you wake up.
This man with the weatherworn face made me realize that people living in extreme poverty have to make a strong effort to dispel the darkness, especially now that our rights are being systematically stripped away. There’s an urgent need for us to speak up whenever and wherever we can.
“What an honor it was to accompany J. Fernandez to the United Nations and listen to him read his poem on a really big screen, and to see in front of the General Assembly the pictures of St. Mary’s Center and all of you. It was really inspiring and tear-provoking,” Carol Johnson said.
“I really think it’s a stupid measure and it’s not going to do anything to help people on the street,” said Jesse Arreguin of the Berkeley City Council. “It’s not going to solve homelessness, it’s not going to do anything to improve the plight of small businesses in our city.”