Do you remember voting to let an unelected group of wealthy property owners hire people to control our public spaces? Neither do I. Yet, the Block by Block program is expanding from coast to coast as a nonsensical response to poverty and the housing crisis. Public spaces should be for everyone.
The administration’s efforts to quash press freedom are in sync with its unrelenting persecution of whistleblowers. The purpose is to choke off the flow of crucial information to the public, making informed “consent of the governed” impossible while imposing massive surveillance and other violations of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
“The capacity of the government to engage in constant surreptitious monitoring of all civilians has been greatly enhanced by the commercialization of the Internet,” said media analyst Robert McChesney. “The commercialized Internet, far from producing competition, has generated the greatest wave of monopoly in the history of capitalism.”
Let’s demand a law that protects us from the rapacious investment schemes of the rich, and limits their investments in housing. The rich can go on speculating in the racehorse market, the art market, the market for big diamonds and fancy boats, but not our housing, which is a human necessity.
In this dark time when many nonprofit agencies are finding survival difficult, Youth Spirit Artworks is reporting for duty. Young artists are ready, willing and able to step up to the plate and roll up our sleeves, paint brushes in hand, in order to keep helping the youth of Berkeley.
Rich people won’t give you anything for free, unless something is in it for them, while poor people will help you when they can. Rich people can afford to buy the latest home security system to protect their valuables, while poor people are protected through having nothing worth stealing.
The government needs us to pay our taxes to cover the cost of soldiers, bombs, guns, planes and aircraft carriers. At what point do we the people refuse to cooperate with these immoral, illegal and senseless wars? The government cannot fight these wars without our tax dollars and moral support.
I would have no problem with building luxury apartments if we weren’t in a housing crisis. Build for the rich, I would say. Build crazy stuff with gold-plated toilets and let them buy it. But we are in a housing crisis. The Downtown Berkeley Association tried to outlaw sitting on the sidewalk.
In the effort to protect the public from secondhand smoke, the main obstacles are “social justice” representatives who worry about the imposition it might create for a smoker to use nicotine gum or step outside to avoid exposing the millions of low-income nonsmoking renters who can’t afford to move.
Mentally and physically disabled people have it hard. Our lot is worse than that of most people in the 99 percent who are upset about the top one percent hoarding the wealth. Maybe a movement is needed to seek justice for those at the bottom edge of the 99 percent.
Reporting from “the shelters, back alleys, soup kitchen lines and slum hotels where mainstream reporters rarely or never visit,” Street Spirit runs stories on economic inequality and the daily grind of human rights violations that poor people face. It also chronicles the movement that is dramatically working for human rights.
In my nice neighborhood, I see many destitute people standing by the side of the road with cardboard signs, begging so they can buy something to eat. When we understand our common humanity, we are obliged to be grateful for what we have, and to not scoff at those who have less.