A Facebook Friend asked me how I knew Mike Zint. He allowed me to write my requiem for Mike. I’ll share it with you.
Sarah Menefee dubbed me “the Peoples Journalist” of SF Occupy. ” I wrote for the San Francisco Bay Citizen newspaper about the strategists on the ground who started the movement in San Francisco after some New York activists imported Occupy to the Bay Area — artist and veterans’ advocate, Pirate Mike Clift along with a crackerjack street fighter named SKUD, and poets Sarah Page and Sarah Menefee, founder of Homes Not Jails, and a few others.
I met Mike later at Justin Herman Plaza after the movement was underway. He was a unique thinker with serious respiratory issues even then. He was rail thin. I liked him immediately. Great intelligence, practicality, and (as you pointed out), a sense of humor, very droll. He told me he had worked as an animal wrangler in Hollywood. He was a veteran; got off drugs; stopped smoking. He managed to stay housed in an RV near Golden Gate Park.
After Mayors across the US including Ed Lee, swept out the Occupy movement, Mike realized San Francisco had become hopeless in dealing with homelessness. He sold his RV to fund a homeless movement in Berkeley, and, with Sarah Menefee (friend to all homeless people and housed homeless poet), founded “First They Came For The Homeless, (Sarah created the name)” outside the Berkeley Post Office. He spoke of “taking” the post office as if they were fighting for ground in battle as only a veteran would.
If you want to know how seriously good he was as a historian and political strategist, watch the first two clips in this video playlist I shot of Mike where he speaks of post offices having been set up by Benjamin Franklin to be “The Commons,” and about the origin of the town cryer — Paul Revere was acting as a town cryer when he did his midnight ride announcing, “The British Are Coming!”
Mike was passing out cards with Richard Blum’s photo captioned, “Don’t Be A Dick Blum” which I spliced in at the end of the clip — attached below.
I had begun doing investigative reporting at Treasure Island at the time, and I knew Blum has a heavy financial interest in Treasure Island.
Mike lived outside the post office, “holding it down,” and was the force behind the movement with his growing troops for the next six years. He got sicker, got housed, far away from his homeless friends — and, I think he may have died of boredom and pneumonia, separated from his role as street fighter and his “family.” (Some folks think this was done purposely to get rid of him.)
You would have liked Mike for his brilliant thinking and knowledge of detail which you share. You and he have a lot in common — minds flashing around like crazy.
You gave me an opportunity to write my only requiem for Mike. Thanks.
President Donald Trump looks on as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) speaks during an event about judicial confirmations in the East Room of the White House on November 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump on Monday came right out and admitted his Republican Party would soon be defunct if voting in the United States was easier in a way that allowed more citizens to vote in elections, telling a national television audience it was a good thing that Democratic proposals for increased voting protections and ballot access were left out of last week’s coronavirus relief package.
The comment came during an interview with Fox & Friends, the president’s go-to show for positive coverage.
“The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said of the voter protection and expansion proposals in the bill. “They had things—levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
The remark—as many were quick to point out—is what’s called “saying the quiet part loud.”
“This morning on live television, the president of the United States admitted he is opposed to laws that would make it easier for Americans to vote because that would hurt Republicans,” said Ellen Kurz, founder and board president of iVote, which seeks to expand voting rights for Americans.
Trump didn’t expand on the thought. But he clearly linked high turnout to Republicans losing elections. The most generous reading of his comment is that he was referring to large-scale voter fraud resulting from the easier vote-by-mail options; Trump has in the past baselessly speculated about millions of fraudulent votes helping Democrats in the 2016 election. The more nefarious reading would be that allowing more people to participate in the process legally would hurt his party because there are more Democratic-leaning voters in the country.
That’s apparently true, but you typically don’t see Republicans expressing the sentiment so directly. Generally, they’ll connect tighter voting rules such as Voter ID to protecting the integrity of the process.
After progressive proposals to enhance voter protections and increased access were scrapped from the compromise bill that emerged from U.S. Senate—legislation that was ultimately signed by Trump on Friday—Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, called the shortcomings a major failing of the legislation.
“The coronavirus pandemic is a health and economic crisis,” Waldman said. “The $2 trillion dollar stimulus will help soften its effects on the American people. However, Congress failed to include sufficient, urgently needed funds in the stimulus to help states run elections in a time of pandemic. This could wreak havoc in November.”
“States simply will not have the resources so people can vote safely,” he warned. “Congress must do better when it composes the next stimulus package.”
While state election officials from both parties have made it clear they will need federal assistance in order to “hold a safe, fair, and secure November election under pandemic conditions,” Waldman said failure to provide that support could prove disastrous.
“By our estimate, state and local officials need at least $2 billion to prepare, an amount that would cover the equipment, supplies, staffing, training, and the other costs of adapting our voting processes to withstand the coronavirus,” he said. “That funding is not partisan and it is not a luxury. Time remains of the essence.”
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Thank you to all who are – See Indybay for other events.
Please hold♥Clark Sullivan ♥ in your thoughts. No visitors are allowed at the facility at this time Info below if you would like to send him a note. He is getting stronger each day and the trach was removed and he can now eat!
Clark remains hospitalized at:
Kindred Hospital San Francisco Bay Area 2800 Benedict Dr., Room 415-2 San Leandro, CA 94577
H. Civil Rights Icon, Dr. Joseph Lowery Has passed – March 27, 2020
Rev. Lowery on elections … “I think that before the election that the American people are going to come to themselves like the prodigal son came to himself. I think the American people are going to realize that we must not listen to the people who care more about their own agenda than they do the welfare of this country. They care more about their personal good than they do the common good.”
Rev. Lowery on human rights … “We’ve got to recognize number one that the struggle is not over. We’ve won some great victories. We’ve won some great battles, but we’ve never won the war. The war is still raging and we have to continue to fight. I think we have to form alliances, coalitions with other groups – White, Hispanic and otherwise. We have to form coalitions to fight on common ground for common goals,” said Lowery
I. Rhode Island Police to Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge – March 27, 2020
“…National Guard members will be stationed at the T.F. Green airport, Amtrak train stations and at bus stops. The citizen-soldiers will be following up with people at local residences. The maximum penalty for not complying: a fine of $500 and 90 days in prison.
Raimondo signed an executive order Thursday that applies to anyone who has been in New York during the past two weeks and through at least April 25. It doesn’t apply to public health, public safety, or health-care workers.
Right in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, the Supreme Court is scheduled to issue a ruling that could put 800,000 immigrant youth in danger of being deported and put their jobs at risk.
Trump has tried to end the DACA program that protects immigrant youth and so far we’ve been able to slow him down.
Now it’s up to the Supreme Court but their decision could not come at a worse time.
Amidst this public health crisis, DACA recipients need to stay protected from deportation and continue working, driving, and providing financial and emotional stability to themselves and their loved ones.
5. Tell Congress: Demand COVID-19 sanctions on Iran be suspended NOW!
We hope everyone is well. Thanks to the new signers of the 2020 Refuse Fascism Statement of Conscience/Call to Act. We urge you to discuss and debate it, take it out where possible, and overall develop creative means, especially through social media, to make the statement a pole around which millions stand and act.
We recognize that the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist program now poses an even greater danger to humanity. We believe that the Refuse Fascism Statement of Conscience is the best expression of what the people of the world face and what is needed; it remains both timely and true. While not calling for millions to take to the street at this moment, we recognize the need to put this forward now as ultimately the only way that this fascist regime can be driven from power.
BE PART OF REMOVING THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME
The movement to drive out the dangerous and illegitimate Trump/Pence regime depends on ordinary people like you getting involved and doing things that perhaps you didn’t think you were capable of. It’s up to us to develop plans for mass, nonviolent protest at the earliest possible time.
We’ll be joined by the Executive Director of MPower Change, Linda Sarsour; the Executive Director of Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, Salem Barahmeh; the Executive Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Ben Jamal; Jehad Abusalim of the American Friends Service Committee; and Jewish Voice for Peace, Executive Director, Stefanie Fox.
Gaza is home to nearly 2 million people, yet has access to only 60 respirators and 2,800 hospital beds. After 13 years of embargo, war, and bombings by Israel, Palestinians in Gaza face a severe shortage of resources and medical personnel.
Health officials warn that containment and treatment under the Israeli blockade will be nearly impossible. There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza – Israel’s blockade MUST end immediately
Host: Jewish Voice for Peace
3. Monday, 10:00am – 11:30am, Organizing Against Toxic Imprisonment in the Face of COVID-19
Join by Phone: (646) 558 8656 Meeting ID: 706-313-003#
Join us for a webinar sharing campaign updates, strategies and tools from organizers across the country. Our panel of speakers will discuss efforts organizing for decarceration. We hope they can help inform and inspire local organizing and a strong national movement.
4. Tuesday, 11:30am, Honk For Justice: Covid-safe Car Rally
50 Broadway SF
This is a COVID-safe, car-only rally! We will be driving to the ICE office and Civic Center Plaza to call on public officials to protect immigrants from this virus, for their own safety and for public health.
Note: We are fighting to slow the spread of this disease and save lives, so please only drive with people you are already living with, and/or wear masks!
EMERGENCY: There are 52,000 undocumented immigrants in detention right now across the country. 52,000 people trapped in deadly close quarters without access to medical care. 52,000 people in the exact conditions that allow COVID-19 to spread.
Right now in California, well over 6,000 immigrants are being held in ICE detention centers without adequate health and sanitation measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In partnership with a broad coalition of groups in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, we are calling on Governor Newsom to use his emergency powers to release all immigrants from these detention centers before COVID-19 turns them into death camps.
Former vice president Joe Biden, who was scrutinized for his handling of sexual harassment allegations made in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s 1991 Senate confirmation hearings, said Monday night that any woman’s public claims of assault should be presumed to be true.
Asked for his thoughts on the allegations of sexual assault made Sunday against federal judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Biden said the episode “brings back all of the complicated issues that were there” nearly three decades ago.
The UK government has urged all local authorities in England to house all rough sleepers, those in hostels and night shelters by the weekend – leading many to ask why it takes a worldwide Covid-19 crisis to end homelessness.
According to Crisis – a charity for homeless people – a letter was sent to councils in England on Thursday night saying due to the “public health emergency,” the government was redoubling efforts to ensure “everybody is inside and safe by this weekend.”
The government has yet to confirm the announcement, but Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham confirmed the existence of such a letter via social media on Friday morning.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, welcomed the “unprecedented” move, insisting that it proves ending homelessness can be achieved by 2020, if PM Boris Johnson’s administration prioritise the issue. However, Sparkes revealed that it was not clear at present what funds the government would be funnelling to councils – if any – to carry out such an undertaking.
The seismic intervention by the British state to effectively end all homelessness in the country has led many to ask why it hasn’t happened until now – perfectly crystalised by one person who angrily tweeted: “It’s an utter disgrace that we needed a global pandemic to do it.”
There were countless people suggesting that homelessness has been a political choice, if as it would appear it really is that easy to solve.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed on social media that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms. The 55-year-old will self-isolate in Downing Street, but will remain in charge of the government.
The latest official figures show that the UK has over 11,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus which has, so far, resulted in the deaths of 578 people.
March 25, 2020 at 1:25 p.m. PDT (WashingtonPost.com)
HILLSBORO, Ohio — Pundits are speculating on what impact the novel coronavirus pandemic will have on the presidential race, but we know the answer. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), or at least his philosophy, has won.
Our march toward socialism began incrementally decades ago. But our response to the coronavirus will lead to its permanent implementation after elected officials of both parties shuttered businesses, ordered citizens not to go to work and made clear that there would be more draconian measures to come. The delicate balance between freedom and risk was less than an afterthought as our economy was gutted in a matter of days.
Right now the Senate is fighting over a stimulus package that could help ease the economic crisis brought to us by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Republicans add sweetheart deals for giant corporations they aim to strip away benefits for some of our most vulnerable workers. Not on Bernie’s watch they won’t.
Bernie is standing up to the Republicans as the fiercest opposition. That’s because Bernie will fight for someone he doesn’t know and why we need to continue fighting for Bernie.
As the primary continues alongside this outbreak the glaring flaws of our economy and healthcare system are brought to the forefront of the American life.
Legacy Zero It’s up to us. Bernie Sanders needs US to push forward in the fight for a better world. A better America. These brutes, these copies, these pretenders will never bring us, the people what they promise or what they need. Only Bernie 2020 will do that.
Voice Over: Charlie Chaplin from “The Great Dictator” Music: The Real Hero from Avengers Endgame. Editing: Myself Footage from around the Youtubes.
How are you? Are you staying healthy? Are you staying sane? I can’t believe how much has happened since the last time I wrote this column. Two weeks ago, I was talking about how important it was to be a big tipper when you went out to eat and how to dine out responsibly in the age of coronavirus. I wrote about ways the virus was threatening to disrupt our lives, and I worried about all the GoFundMe campaigns we were likely to see.
Since then, California, along with 15 other states, has been ordered to shelter-in-place. We’ve seen all bars close, most restaurants shutter or just offer take/out delivery, and witnessed the wholesale destruction of the livelihoods of artists, performers, service industry folks, hourly wage earners and anyone else not getting paid to work from home. Personally, my income has been eviscerated.
BrokeAssStuart.com makes almost all of its revenue by getting people out to do things, which is hard to do when no one can go out. Last week I wept as I had to inform my team that I could no longer pay them. The little money coming in from the Broke-Ass Stuart Patreon is just enough to barely pay rent and bills for my business partner and myself.
What seemed like a potentially dangerous storm on the horizon two weeks ago has proven to be a thoroughly devastating disaster today. Things that we thought were so solid and secure instantly crumbled beneath us, showing the fragility of the system we live in. The only thing holding us together has been the community taking care of each other.
Yeats keeps echoing in every update I read: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”
If the federal government’s job is to protect us, it’s failed miserably. It has spent the past 50 years giving tax breaks to corporations while making it harder for working people to survive. It has allowed the systematic destruction of the unions, while chipping away at worker protections. It has given a blessing to the privatization of health care, prisons and education.
And the last time we faced a major emergency like this, it bailed out the banks instead of the people. The saddest part is that those in power have used our fear and trepidation to fool half the country into thinking this is the way it’s supposed to be.
But there may be a silver lining to all of this. People might just be waking up to the fact that everything they’ve been fed is bullshit.
People we’ve been told don’t deserve to make a $15 minimum wage — like grocery store workers, delivery people and janitors — are literal lifelines right now. The immigrants we’ve been told are coming to rape and kill us, and somehow also take our jobs, are making sure that the food supply chain runs as if things were normal.
The people who say Medicare for All couldn’t work are hoping and praying that coronavirus testing becomes free and accessible for all Americans. These same people are noticing that even though we’re repeatedly told the U.S. can’t afford Medicare for All, the Fed is dumping a trillion dollars a day into the economy.
Progressive ideas of people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang are suddenly becoming a necessity, and Americans are clamoring for them. When we start receiving our stimulus checks, we’ll realize the government could’ve been doing Universal Basic Income all along. Now that we’re seeing so many of our friends and families losing their livelihoods, we’re wondering why the government hasn’t provided a system of paid sick leave for everyone, regardless of job type. Since we’re stuck at home with our kids indefinitely, we’re starting to see the importance of Universal Child Care.
The longer the quarantine lasts, the more it’s going to fundamentally change the way things are done in the United States. I mean, with all these people working from home, just think about what’s gonna happen when CEOs realize that they don’t need to rent office space. These greedy commercial landlords are about to get their comeuppance.
This is a crazy, terrifying, inspiring and heart-wrenching time. It’s probably the most important moment any of us have ever lived through. But I’m optimistic. If it takes a global pandemic to show us how broken our system is, so be it. If this level of destruction is necessary to make people realize that our culture is a failure, I welcome it. If the economy must be ruined to get the government to step up and protect all of us from here on out, I say bring it on.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of fighting against other working people just for the privilege of rich people allowing us to survive. When we come out of this, we must remember the lessons we learned and demand our government starts putting the welfare of its people before the profits of corporations.
Stay well. Stay healthy. Stay sane. And wash your damn hands.
P.S. Shout out to all of the health care workers out there saving lives. You all are the real heroes.
Stuart Schuffman is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com and join his mailing list at http://bit.ly/BrokeAssList. His column appears every other Thursday. He is a guest columnist and his point of view is not necessarily that of the Examine
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January 25th: Take Action to Stop the War in Yemen With the war approaching its sixth year, we must hold Biden to his pledge to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Their blockade and bombing campaign have devastated the country, leaving over 200,000 dead and over 85,000 children starved due to famine. The Saudis, with US support, are committing war crimes, including the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. US corporations like Lockheed and Raytheon have made billions from the slaughter. Join us in demanding that the new administration Stop foreign aggression on Yemen End weapons… Continue reading →
Tuesday J26 Capitol Calling Party: Peace with Iran! On Tuesday, January 26, Medea Benjamin, Marcy Winograd, and Hanieh Jodat-Barnes will be joined by Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and prominent Iranian-American journalist Negar Mortazavi for a conversation on peace with Iran! Please RSVP to receive the Zoom link! WHEN January 26, 2021 at 5:00pm – 6:00pm (PST) WHERE Zoom CONTACT Marcy Winograd · email@example.com First Name Last Name Email Mobile Phone How many other people are you bringing? Don’t publish my RSVP on the website
Next Tuesday, Our Revolution/New York Progressive Action Network will hold their 2021 kickoff meeting that will include several candidates for New York City Council, as well as Jumaane Williams, who is running for NYC public advocate. RSVP HERE
Public Bank of the East Bay Posted by LaborSolidarityCommittee WHEN: January 5, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Repeats WHERE: ONLINE, VIA ‘ZOOM’ CONTACT: Event website MEETING We are now meeting every two weeks As of Jan 1, 2021 we are meeting every week on Tuesday at 7:00 pm. We meet over Zoom. If you’d like to join us, and aren’t on our organizers’ list, drop us an email and we’ll send you an invitation. If you would like to join the meeting early and get an introduction to the concepts of public banking, or more locally to who we are and what we do,… Continue reading →
OH – Phone Banks, Our Revolution Ohio for Nina Virtual Phone Bank Time Sundays and Wednesdays6:30 – 8:30pm EST Location Virtual event Join from anywhere About this event Join us as we make calls to Congressional District 11 to help send Senator Nina Turner to Washington! Available times Sun, Jan 24, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Jan 27, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Jan 31, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 3, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb 7, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 10, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb 14, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 17, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb 21, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Wed, Feb 24, 6:30pm–8:30pm EST Sun, Feb… Continue reading →
Moderated by award-winning journalist, April Ryan, I’ll be joined by the following panelists: Ambassador Susan Rice, Director, Domestic Policy Council Secretary Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban Development Representative Joyce Beatty, Chair, Congressional Black Caucus Representative Karen Bass, California’s 37th Congressional District We are excited that these leaders will be sharing their vision with the NAACP, and I know this will be an informative session you won’t want to miss. I hope to hear from you then.
Join Our Revolution Oregon as they put on a special briefing with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley to discuss reforming our democracy and Senate Bill 1 – For the People Act, the first bill introduced in the Senate this Congress. RSVP HERE Time Wednesdays7 – 8pm PST Location Virtual event Join from anywhere Hosted in Portland, OR 97201 About this event Hop on the call, fellow progressives! You don’t have to be from Oregon or be a part of Our Revolution to be a part of our night of organizing, elect amazing candidates who can transform our state, and be a part of a powerful progressive… Continue reading →
The Institute for the Critical Study of Society at the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library OUR CURRENT SCHEDULE (NOTE: These are all tentative and may be changed. Please check back the week before, or sign up for our weekly reminders/updates at firstname.lastname@example.org) Sun, Dec 27, 2020: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm CONFIRMED: The Three Concepts of Freedom Synopsis: In this session we will compare and contrast the Liberal, Democratic, and the communist concepts of freedom. We will discuss that the Liberal freedom consists of the legal guarantees against outside intrusions. Democratic freedom emphasizes the right to participate in the… Continue reading →