Business organizations in Berkeley have adopted the Block by Block approach to erode the human rights of the poor. The Measure S initiative was the most expensive campaign in Berkeley’s history. It was funded almost entirely by large property-holding companies which play an influential role in the Downtown Berkeley Association.
“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.
This timely exhibit features the work of 30 artists working over the last 75 years to document homelessness and the government's role in the crisis. Depression-era and contemporary artists offer glimpses of life on the street and show the human face of poverty, injustice and economic hardships in both eras.
Housing activists entered the vacant, two-story building owned by the San Francisco Archdiocese. They planned to occupy it so it could serve as housing for homeless people. Occupy SF member Emma Gerould said, “There is no reason why any building should be vacant when people have no housing.”
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.
The sit/lie law that Seattle passed in 1993 is nearly verbatim the same sit/lie law that San Francisco passed in 2010. The sit/lie law that San Francisco passed to use against homeless people is the same law that San Francisco police now use to harass Occupy protesters.
From the Great Depression to the present day, many artists have expressed solidarity with the 99% against the monopolized wealth of the ruling elites. Art has been a powerful catalyst for building solidarity with workers and poor people because the artists saw themselves as workers and poor people.
The cruelty and medical neglect suffered by poor and homeless people who are incarcerated for being mentally ill is a national disgrace. It is unacceptable that the prison system has displaced the mental health system as the main institution for dealing with poor people with psychiatric disabilities.
People from community organizing and immigrant right communities, from union, homeless, health, and housing groups, are getting together and laying the groundwork so this movement can grow. We will all be marching, dancing, and dropping in to say hello to our “friends” in the financial district.
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.
Contrary to everything our society teaches, the Masters of War and the Wall Street bankers are in a rat race for last place. Instead, the meek will inherit the earth. As Bob Dylan warned, “The order is rapidly fading, and the first one now will later be last.”