This week the newsletter highlights the voices of three other women.
Emily Amelia: The Wall
Yesterday I went to Al Wappia/Quitobaquito springs on Hia C’ed O’ooham land with some friends. In the lead up to this, we’d been driving through the desert putting out water on trails and my mind wandered between the delight with the plants and humans I was spending time with, and scenes of stories of migrating here. The stories aren’t mine. They were told to me by people I’ve met and loved, who’ve traveled this desert, and who don’t necessarily tell them publicly. They already bear the brunt of the pain plus the cost of telling their stories is total life-changing displacement and violence. They’re stories of drinking dirty water from abandoned cattle troughs, losing all supplies and companions in the rock splitting windstorm of a low-flying border patrol helicopter, thinking only of their life-threatening thirst [and] their beloveds, miles away….
Quitobaquito is a clear blue body of water in the Sonoran Desert. It is a ceremonial site of the Hia C’ed People and gives life to the whole [of] everything around it. Yesterday we saw a baby Sonoran desert tortoise get carried along the source stream current through pupfish territory towards green reeds and its deeper adult swimming hole. My friends and community members’ families lived here and took care of this everything before Quitobaquito Village was [purchased and erased by #organpipenationalmonument. When I visit now because I didn’t value it fully until it was under threat and because now I finally do, and because it will be irreparably damaged when the wall goes up.
And then, driving home along the bottom half of the long loop through western organ pipe, we came upon these 20 wall panels. I don’t know when they went up — it must have just happened. I stopped breathing. Honestly, it reminded me of times in my life we I’ve heard horrible true news that I knew would change me, but that I couldn’t possibly process at the rate of its unfolding, news about death and violence. We parked the trucks and watched. I had the thoughts, what does it mean if a heart breaking thing is happening and people’s hearts aren’t breaking?
Barbara Brust: It’s cold outside
Consider The Homeless does what it can to keep people alive.
Please consider making a tax-free contribution (see below).
We pay, out of our own pockets, about $300 a week in order to serve a hot homemade soup (stew) every Thursday & Sunday night, to over 100 people a night. this is for the ingredients only! It does not include the gasoline, insurance, registration, inspection, etc….for the vehicle and the myriad…other expenses that come up!
In close to 5 years of doing this there has been only 2 nights we
missed. It takes six people working for between 2–6 hours, as volunteers, to get the van out every time we do a soup run! That is 12 people a week! 48 people a month! just for the soup run!!!!
We also fill the van with survival supplies: blankets, socks, pants, jackets, etc….And for what? So their belongings can be confiscated by CalTrans? So the Berkeley Police Department can harass them, to have their tent [torn] down and all property in a 3’ X 3’ footprint [confiscated?] Even though they are not blocking anyone’s right of way they get cited if they do not comply and are forced to be sitting unsheltered in the elements until 10 pm when they are allowed to put their tents back up, people [who] are disabled, mentally challenged, medically in need of care and no one helps! people will die!!!
How can we call this a Sanctuary City? A sanctuary for who? Housed [people] only??? What about the poor??? It is winter now!!! Cold! I bet all of you have the heat on in your comfortable houses… I don’t. I cannot afford to pay PG&E. I am disabled and busy as hell in spite of that trying to help those in a far worse condition than mine!
Stop looking at homelessness as a problem. Cancel that study, How to solve the problem of “Homelessness.” Stop wasting funds the City of Berkley has on enforcing cruel and potentially illegal laws on persecuting the un-housed. Shift your paradigm to see it for what it is…a human crisis! Stop focusing on (allegedly) trying to solve the problem of homelessness! We all know what the real agenda is. It is not getting rid of Homelessness, but rather, it is getting rid of the Homeless! The sidewalk ordinance is torture! I will never forget when Jesse [Arreguin, Mayor of Berkeley] said, and I quote: “[the sidewalk ordinance..] is not about people, but about property” I still have a copy of the video from that meeting…. It is about abuse [that] targets the unhoused… It [represents] a waste of [money] and resources to enforce it.
We (at Consider the Homeless!) cannot supply all of our neighbors on the streets with a hot meal twice a week and supply all of them with warm jackets, tents & blankets! Forty pads on the floor of Old City Hall will not protect even 4% of the un-sheltered on our streets when the rains start… and how inhumane is it to just make them leave at 7 am with no place to go?
I have sat here writing this letter while both crying and feeling my blood pressure rise. If this touched you at all, please send a check, made out to Consider The Homeless to PO Box #2771, Berkeley, CA. 94702. I am even willing to write a receipt for tax purposes for those of you with incomes high enough to use the deduction. If you write BLANKETS in the space at bottom, I can assure you that that is what it will be used for….
YES, I am angry, I am sure you can see that. I challenge all officials of the City of Berkeley (both elected and assigned) to read this all the way through, all the way! I also ask that you acknowledge receipt of this email and show me the respect of replying.
Val Eisman: Pictures Shout Louder Than Words
Demand Congress pass The Green New Deal at
Hold ICE accountable for deaths in detention at
Rodney Reed is Innocent. No Death Penalty, not in Texas, no where. Sign at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/rodney-reed-is-innocent-free-him-now?clear_id=true&source=email-rodney-reed-update-all-eyes-on-the-us-supreme-court
Keep an innocent man alive. Attend a day of action for Rodney Reed Saturday at
https://www.mobilize.us/actionpac/?page=2&per_page=25&utm_source=frrwebsite / Search website by location proximity, and date.
Donate to Consider the Homeless at PO Box #2771, Berkeley, CA. 94702. Your check is tax-deductible.
European Investment Bank, the world’s largest public bank ditches oil and coal citing ‘Beginning of the end of climate-wrecking fossil-fuel finance.’
Sierra Club takes a brave new turn on population, climate change, and inequality.
‘No More Fossil Lovers!’ Beyond Extreme Energy disrupts hearing for new FERC commissioner.
City and County of Honolulu votes unanimously to support UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Back from the Brink Framework to reduce possibility of nuclear war.
Oakland Representative Barbara Lee signs on to HR-2419, the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Coversion Act of 2019.
In Detroit a new type of agricultural neighborhood emerges.
Equal Citizens wins landmark case against super PACs in Alaska.
Code Pink disrupts Jamie Dimon’s UCLA-sponsored conversation.
China announces vision for future: ‘Give Peace a Chance.’
In Brazil, Lula da Silva freed from prison in victory for movement resisting racist Bolsonaro.
Brazilians march against Bolsonaro and his ties to murder of activist.
‘We don’t want any dictators,’ waving indigenous flag, Bolivians flood La Paz streets to protest right-wing, anti-indigenous group lead by Jeanine Añez who referred to them as ‘satanic.’.
Millions of people take to Santiago’s streets demanding Piñera’s resignation.
Chilean activists sue Piñera over crimes against humanity during protests.
Resisting U.S. pressure, Thailand bans Monsanto.
Students walk out all over the U.S. to demand Supreme Court Defend DACA.
UPS workers elect progressives to lead Philadelphia local.
One thousand take NYC streets and trains in outrage over police attacks on teens.
Alliance to Mobilize our Resistance and allies protest companies invested in Wyatt prison .
South Carolina prisoners appeal to UN for relief from torturous conditions.
Inmates create a Japanese garden inside the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Progressive prosecutor Chesa Boudin, the son of two incarcerated parents, scores major victory in San Francisco DA race.
Democrats win control of major suburban Philadelphia county first time since Civil War.
Democrats flip GOP seat in St. Louis suburbs.
Democrats win full control of Virginia government, laving way for voting rights expansion.
Citing deep commitment to Medicare for All and Green New Deal, nation’s largest nurses union endorses Bernie Sanders for president.
In ground breaking ruling, U.S. must provide mental health services to separated families.
Julián Castro accompanies refugee to one routine ICE check=ins that can now result in deportation.
Bernie Sanders releases detailed immigration plan, including vow to break up ICE and Customs and Border Patrol.
Judge blocks administration’s onerous health care mandate for immigrants.
Asylum seekers get attorney access before return to Mexico.
Sanders and AOC unveil “Green New Deal for Public Housing.’
US Judge rules suspicionless searches of travelers electronic devices unconstitutional.
Local Mayors back movement for customer-owned PG&E.
Mother Nature does a ‘mic drop’ as Venice City Council Chamber floods minutes after members vote down climate crisis.