The New Priorities Campaign protests military spending as a direct cause of increasing poverty and homelessness. National security needs to be defined by more than our missiles, ships, planes and drones. Our country has been turned into “fortress America” to protect the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee admits that “economic disparity and joblessness” are major problems, so why does he condone the police raids on OccupySF? Squelching legitimate protest is not going to make these problems go away. Only the creation of jobs and better housing will begin to end these ills.
The 99 Percent came to San Francisco’s financial district to call a halt to bank theft and corporate corruption perpetrated by the One Percent – the big bankers hoarding our nation’s wealth and corporate CEOs receiving enormous bonuses while the poor, unemployed, and homeless suffer in the midst of affluence.
The marchers joined hands on the Golden Gate Bridge, their upraised arms connected by pink ribbons. They faced the ocean, and stood silently mourning victims of U.S. wars. Then each person in the human chain proclaimed, one after another: “These are not our wars. The people demand peace!”
The message of the demonstrators is populist and passionate: “We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.”
Several hundred people attended the first Bay Area Care Congress in San Francisco. In the face of massive federal and state budget cuts, the Care Congress was held to launch a bold new campaign for quality care and support and a dignified quality of life for all Americans, across generations.
On a high-flying journey from the streets to the rooftops, activists in San Francisco carried out their latest direct action campaign by taking over the vacant Sierra Hotel, demanding it be used to house homeless people.
Same-day protests were held in San Francisco, Berkeley and Portland to challenge laws banning sitting or lying by homeless people. These “copy-cat laws” travel from city to city, as municipal officials copy each other’s efforts to erode human rights by making it illegal for poor people to exist in public.