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Posts Tagged ‘candlelight vigil’

Days Of Action Against Police Brutality, Oct 22-23 2013 EUREKA

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Below is a reportback from Skye, a participant this year.  Verbena, of Redwood Curtain CopWatch, wrote the following 3 paragraphs only to fill in what Skye was not present for.

Sending love & comfort & solidarity to young Andy Lopez‘ spirit and his family & community.  13 year old Andy was killed by Santa Rosa deputies on Oct 22.Image

from Verbena
On the night of Oct 22, 2013, while some protestors slept at Cesar Chavez park, a couple of us went, from midnight to 3am, to the Humboldt County Jail for “Welcome Out”!  ImageWe sat in a car right near where people exit the jail, with a bin of warm socks and clothes, tobacco, and a sign on the windshield to welcome people out on the cold, blustery night.  It is such a worthwhile and necessary activity; should be a regular thing. We encountered about 7 people who needed something warm, the use of a phone, maybe a cigarette, a friendly face and listening ears.

The next morning, October 23rd, people gathered for breakfast at Clarke Plaza, open to everyone who was hungry or wanting coffee or tea.  One of Chris Burgess’ brother’s came by; this being the 7th anniversary of his brother’s death.  Even those of us who never met Christopher during his short life, will always remember him.

After some music, some tears, and gathering up our signs, we marched and biked to Eureka Police Department where murder and cruelty are common practice.  And where violent creeps, like Terence Liles, Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez, Murl Harpham, and Justin Winkle, reside.  We are not afraid to call that out. Then we moved on (happily) to the neighborhoods of Eureka, where we talked with folks, and people remember Christopher and show spirited agreement- from their cars, houses, and yards- with the messages in our chants and banners: STOP POLICE BRUTALITY, LILES IS A KILLER, BEING A YOUTH IS NOT A CRIME, R.I.P. ZACHARY COOK (DEC 23 1989-JAN 4 2007) KILLED BY EPD’S LILES, CHANGE IS POSSIBLE,  WE REMEMBER CHRIS BURGESS. With dignity and strength, and care for each other, we decry and defy the intimidation of the police state.  ~Verbena

from Skye 10-25-13
For the past eighteen years, cities across the United States have rallied on October 22nd to show solidarity against police brutality. I am learning that occurrences of police brutality are much more numerous and severe in the United States than they are back home in Canada. A sad truth that is only deepened through the discovery that such violence often leads to death. This sharp reality felt all too often in the communities of the most northern part of California where police brutality ranges from daily intimidation to outright murder, tasering to decades of confined isolation.

Typically a one day event, the March is extended to two days in Eureka to honour the memory of Christopher Burgess, a 16 year old who was shot by a Eureka police officer on October 23rd, 2006. The supporters met at noon on the 22nd to share in discussion, food, and sign making. Despite the cloudy skies and serious purpose, spirits were high with the anticipation to flex our vocal cords and work our legs during the march. The call went out to begin and we each picked up a sign and gathered outside the park on the street.

Marching along an unplanned route, the group walked past the high school as the students were being released for the day. ImageMany showed their support to the idea of removing police from schools. An understandable reaction from students who are finding their schools resembling prisons more and more – security check points, undercover police, random locker searches, metal detectors. I hope we realize soon that treating people like criminals does not help in any way, especially when they are not. After a quick break the group continued to march through the city, waving signs, yelling chants, and throwing up peace signs to passing traffic.

Much to the group’s gratitude, the police encounters passed by without incident. Many people showed their support for our protest with honks from their vehicles as they drove by. The drivers who found themselves in a hurry were not too pleased with our presence on the street, even though we always left room for them to pass around. An understandable reaction to the injustice of having one’s life run by a clock – we wished them free time in response to their show of frustration. As the time to march came to a close, we stopped at another park to set up for the evening’s events.

An abundant feast was gifted to the sore footed group to nourish their bodies and hearts after the day’s walk. And while we ate, entertainment of the highest calibre was shared for our pure enjoyment. As night fell the community came a little closer together through the sharing of gifts and the exciting of our taste buds and ear drums. The live music provided reflection and introspection, as well as laughter and participation. Deeper connections were made as we were given space to share stories, jokes, and hugs. Through the coming together over a common surface problem, we are given practice to dive deeper into a shared community experience.Image

 After dark fell, a humid, foggy candlelight vigil took the remaining group back to the day’s starting point for an overnight park camp out. This is where my path diverged – to return the next day in the late afternoon with one of my gifts – fresh cucumber mango guacamole and baked yam fries. Posted on a busy street corner with signs and free food for whomever was hungry, the group honored the fallen victims by sharing their stories with passerby’s. Another year to gather and remember those whose lives continue to be afflicted by the brutality of violence from those we give our trust to be protectors.

I am grateful for the opportunity to show support to a community bringing awareness to an important shadow of our culture – the disconnection that allows one person to take another’s life and to perpetuate violence of the most disgraceful sort. The pervasive and obvious favoritism, elitism, and corruption infecting the enforcement agencies of this area have left me stunned and humbled. I honor and acknowledge the challenges faced by a population of people who are dealing with such a horrible treatment on a regular basis. No being deserves oppression at any level – be it physical, psychological, or spiritual. To commit such acts of violence require a disconnection from one’s heart so vast that the whisper of consciousness seems to have disappeared entirely.

Somewhere inside, buried deeper in some, the spark of light resides and awaits its chance to be heard and felt. This light exists in all of us. A hell inside creates the horrors of our lives. The love inside creates heaven on Earth. In this dawning age of truth, justice, and integrity we are each asked to step into our highest expression and to take responsibility for the actions we take and words we speak. Are you looking at a badge, uniform, or costume – or are you looking into someone’s eyes and seeing them standing there – as scared as you are – as full of beautiful creative potential as you are? The resolution and healing processes being born through the new consciousness of humanity will seek not the false, demeaning, and inadequate deterrence and ‘punishment’ oriented solutions, but ones focusing on root causes, emotional healing, and collective community restoration. Sickness and health in a community is shared by all.

photos from Rogue Planet News and radmul.blogspot.com

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By Christopher Cadelago

Monday, November 8, 2010

The interfaith vigil from the San Diego Rescue Mission to the San Diego County Administration Center was designed to raise awareness of the men, women and children whose lives didn’t have to end on the streets.

Peggy Peattie

The interfaith vigil from the San Diego Rescue Mission to the San Diego County Administration Center was designed to raise awareness of the men, women and children whose lives didn’t have to end on the streets.

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO — Nearly 300 people marched Sunday in a candlelight vigil to remember the homeless who have died on the streets of San Diego the past year.

Fifty of the marchers carried pairs of shoes meant to represent each of the homeless who died from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30. Participants stopped to pray on their way from the San Diego Rescue Mission to the San Diego County Administration Center.

More than 8,500 people in San Diego County were homeless at the beginning of this year, according to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. That represented a roughly 8 percent increase from the 2009 count of 7,892, said Herb Johnson, president and chief executive of the Rescue Mission.

The interfaith event was designed to raise awareness of the men, women and children whose lives didn’t have to end on the streets. That so many homeless died last year in America’s Finest City “is absolutely unforgivable,” said Johnson.

He then turned his attention to the many homeless people who had gathered along Harbor Drive.

“There’s the shared meaning and understanding that could have been them,” he said. “These efforts give a voice to those who are not heard and those who will never be heard from again.”

The common refrain is that people choose to be homeless because they are unmotivated to work. But many of those living in shelters are employed and can’t afford housing. Others might suffer from mental illnesses, substance abuse or medical issues, said Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project.

Kami Peterson, 45, lost her three-bedroom El Cajon town home before sliding deeper into addiction. Peterson’s drug of choice was meth, she said, but it could have been any number of vices that brought down many of her peers now living at the Rescue Mission.

After leaving treatment last month she was reunited with her 6-year-old daughter, Angel. Each of Peterson’s six children, three of them under the age of 18, has served as motivation for her recovery. “It’s about learning or relearning responsibilities.”

Through she didn’t know Nancy Vega-Wright, 54, who died on the streets, it was impossible not to feel a connection while carrying shoes bearing her name, Peterson said.

The same went for Joseph Christie. The 53-year-old entered the Rescue Mission program after his Bonita home burned down in March. Since, he’s embraced religion, offering a series of prayers as he carried shoes meant to represent the death of 44-year-old Kevin Kline.

“Everyone has their own reasons to be here,” Christie said. “My plan to stay out of trouble … is to tell people about the Lord.”

The interfaith candlelight vigil offered prayers and readings from Zen centers, synagogues and churches. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders proclaimed Sunday as “Homeless Persons Remembrance Day” and the county Board of Supervisors offered a similar proclamation.

Organizers then read the names of the dead. Marcos Rodriguez, a homeless man who declined to give his age, said the ceremony came on the same weekend that an acquaintance had passed away. The man, who was missing an arm and a leg, will be among the first names added to next year’s list. Rodriguez said. “You might not know his name, but he’s in our blessings tonight.”

Since 2001, 668 homeless people have died on the streets, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/nov/08/san-diego-march-remembers-homeless-who-have-died-s/

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