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Photographed Occupy the Farms Garden at Justin Herman plaza in SF

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After an GMO/MONSANTO protest in San Francisco a group called Occupy the Farm tore up grass and began their own garden in Justin Herman Plaza. The group collectively removed the sod, grated/tilled the dirt and planted dozens of new Kale plants. SF Police and the Park Rangers looked on and monitored their action. The next day the garden is still there.

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My humanitarian-like coverage of the Same Sex Marriage Debacle in San Francisco

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Back in 2008, I took notice when then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made public his intention of allowing gay couples to be legally married in the City. But so did all the people, institutions, churches, and other various miscellaneous entities who chose to oppose.
First I would like to make it clear, I don’t care about marriage, I didn’t like being married when I was, and I am in no way ever getting married again. But living in San Francisco you have a tendency to live next door and are friends with people, who have been affected either negatively or positively by same-sex marriage.

In the same year then Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex marriage, a ban on same-sex marriage  was elected by the people and placed on the California Constitution.  I immediately noticed the inequality and started doing my thing, which was to show the actions that took place in San Francisco over the ban on same-sex marriage, and create videos and take pictures of those effected by that ban.
I must now make this clear: I don’t think that gay or lesbian people should be denied their rights. My picture stories, videos, article and news posts have gotten thousands of hits. I will post the links of the coverage I created and produced for gay or lesbian folks who want to be able to marry legally in the United States and namely California.

Links here, http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-555488
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-743653

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-479135

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-447741

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/02/07/18706839.php

Photographed the human banner at Ocean Beach in San Francisco

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I photographed the human banner on October 13, 2012 at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The human banner said DUMP CITIZENS UNITED.

While photographing the banner, I did not understand what they meant or who Citizens United was, but now I know. I was asked by many people at the scene what the term meant, and I shrugged my shoulders and said I don’t know. On their website Citizens United it says they are an organization that “dedicated to restoring our government to citizens’ control. Through a combination of education, advocacy, and grass roots organization, Citizens United seeks to reassert the traditional American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security. Citizens United’s goal is to restore the founding fathers’ vision of a free nation, guided by the honesty, common sense, and good will of its citizens.”
This event was organized by a Brad Newsham, Andrew Boyd and John Sellers. They have a website humanbannersf. This event was a “a collaboration between Brad and The Other 98%, with support from CREDO Mobile, Code Pink, Common Cause, Courage Campaign, Democrats.com, Move to Amend, Public Citizen, Roots Action, Ruckus Society, and unPAC.org.
The people who formed the banner lined up and joined hands at the edge of the surf.

For video and additional pics please go to my post at Indybay.org http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/10/13/18723678.php

A viewer of my blog suggested I state this: Benjamin Grant states Citizens United is “the supreme court decision in a case brought by CU (a right-wing front group) that legalized unlimited campaign contributions through super-pacs.”

A website to check out is http://www.americaletstakeherback.com

Definition of super PAC: “A political action committee (PAC) is any organization in the United States that campaigns for or against political candidates, ballot initiatives or legislation.” More information can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_action_committee

Covered the group “Homes Not Jails.” World Homeless Day Event

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Homes Not Jails World Homeless Day, protest, march and building take-over ends in arrests.

Disclaimer: This piece is biased, only because I have recently been evicted from a home where I paid over $84,000 in to, and the home was only worth $32,000. It was a manufactured home. Upon being evicted I was forced to give up my two pet cats whom I lived with for 14 years, and had to put my blind dog down. I was suddenly thrust into the abusive, degrading and dangerous world of homelessness.

On Wednesday October 10, 2012 people who are “homeless, have recently been evicted, and foreclosed-on, the dispossessed, and their allies took to the streets in San Francisco protesting and marching to express their frustration with the current homeless situation and numbers both here in San Francisco and in the whole United States. Here in San Francisco it is believed that at least 10,000 people are homeless, and there are at least 35,000 vacant “housing units,” city wide. It is also believed that there at least “3.5 million homeless people in the United States, and that at least 1 million are children, but only 112,000 nationwide are chronically homeless.”
The group Homes Not Jails organized this protest because a building at 531 Castro Street who is owned by landlord, and business owner Les Natali has sat vacant for 5 years and allegedly he used the Ellis Act to evict the tenants who had been living there. It is common knowledge that the Castro neighborhood is home to at least 5,000 LGBTQ youth and is where they seek refuge from families, society norms(like discrimination and hate), and people who just don’t accept them for who they are. And because of the so-called tech bubble San Francisco has become one of the most expensive places in the US to live. This so-called tech bubble does not help the City in any manner because recently Twitter was allowed to move into this City and they are not required to take local taxes out of their employee’s paychecks.
And the current conditions of the local homeless shelters are unacceptable, unsafe and just sleeping in them can cause mental illness so many homeless people still sleep on the streets. I tried contacting the San Francisco homeless czar Bevan Dufty, about the conditions of the homeless shelters in SF, but he has not returned my call, nor email. But I can say first hand that through my experience I have dealt with hate, sleep deprivation, lice infestations, just to make sure I am not sleeping on the streets or my car. This article by the local newspaper the Bay Area Reporter highlights the problem. I was merely evicted because I could not get a livable wage job offer, and what I was thrown into because I am homeless gave me health problems so severe I became unable to work.
In San Francisco it is illegal to sit-and-lie on a sidewalk, sleep in a car, inhabit vacant buildings, so the group Homes Not Jails organized themselves and because most of the members need housing they will continue “to take to the streets to and take direct action” by taking-over vacant buildings until their needs are met.
World Homeless Day was started 3 years ago because of those staggering numbers and the current economic climate.

In this post on Indybay.org I used stills, including a panorama, and video to tell the story.

http://www.homesnotjailssf.org/wb/pages/home.php
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=67927

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