How Do You Love Your Neighbors When They're 'Bad' People?

Woman in urban environment, Jose AS Reyes / Shutterstock.com

Woman in urban environment, Jose AS Reyes / Shutterstock.com

How do you love your neighbor when your neighbors sell drugs and exploit young women? I’m serious — this is a legitimate question that I am asking myself a lot lately and I am not sure I have the answer.

Nine years ago my wife and I moved into East Oakland to become a part of a small church community called New Hope and to direct InterVarsity’s Urban Project in the Bay Area. We’ve weathered some challenging experiences: stolen cars, physical assault, hearing a lot of shootings, witnessing a shooting, breaking up domestic violence, seeing a friend’s family torn apart by domestic violence, and endless amounts of trash on the streets. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to love about our neighborhood and community, but in recent months I think I’ve reached my limit.

The family that recently moved in across the street is friendly. The folks hanging out on the porch and the kids playing tetherball off the street sign honestly do contribute to the vibrant life of the block. But when I saw a total of 12 drug deals go down in broad daylight in the span of three days, loving my neighbor became a lot harder.

Showdowns, Deadlines and Escalating Violence: Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Oakland protester is arrested 1/28/12. Image via Getty Images.

A protester from Occupy Oakland is arrested in Oakland on January 28, 2012. Photo via Getty Images.

It’s deadline day for Occupy DC:

From MSNBC - Occupy protesters in the nation's capital were preparing for a noon Monday deadline set by federal park authorities to end camping at some of the movement's last remaining large encampments, with some "surprises" in store, one of the activists said.

From The Huffington Post - U.S. Park Police say an officer used an electronic stun gun on an Occupy DC participant who was tearing down fliers warning protesters about the ban on camping in McPherson Square.

Violence escalates at Occupy Oakland – tear gas used, hundreds arrested

From The Associated Press - The demonstrations in downtown Oakland broke a lull that had seen just a smattering of people taking to Oakland's streets in recent weeks for occasional marches that bore little resemblance to the headline-grabbing Occupy demonstrations of last fall.

The Latest News on Occupy Wall Street: Wednesday November 16, 2011

Sign from the post office at the Hooverville (squatters settlement) in Seattle,

Sign from the post office at the Hooverville (squatters settlement) in Seattle, circa 1930.

The latest news on the Occupy Wall Street movement this morning includes: Occupy Wall Street camps are today's Hoovervilles. At Zuccotti Park, police protect the 1 percent. The New OWS: Reset button or game over? Harsh NYPD action against OWS might energize the movement. Alec Baldwin on "What Occupy Wall Street Has Taught Me." Olbermann condemns Bloomberg. President Obama says each city must decide for itself how to handle OWS protests. Occupy Wall Street and the return of law and order politics. The Straw Man cometh to Zuccotti Park. Militarizing police forces from Oakland to NYC. And more.

Seattle's 'Disastrous' Response to the '99 WTO Protests Is A Cautionary Tale for NYPD

WTO protests in Seattle, November 30, 1999. Pepper spray is applied to the crowd.

Writing in the Nov. 29, 2011 issue of The Nation, Norm Stamper, who served as Seattle's police chief during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests, says his "disastrous response" a dozen years ago should have been a cautionary tale. "Yet our police forces have only become more militarized."

"My support for a militaristic solution caused all hell to break loose," Stamper writes. "Rocks, bottles and newspaper racks went flying. Windows were smashed, stores were looted, fires lighted; and more gas filled the streets, with some cops clearly overreacting, escalating and prolonging the conflict. The 'Battle in Seattle,' as the WTO protests and their aftermath came to be known, was a huge setback—for the protesters, my cops, the community."



#OccupyWallStreet News: The Latest Headlines from the Weekend and Monday Morning

Protest sign from an Occupy march in New York City on Oct. 30. Image via Wylio.

Protest sign from an Occupy march in New York City on Oct. 30. Image via Wylio.

Police surround Occupy protest in Oakland Monday morning. Hackers threaten to "remove" Vancouver from the Internet if Occupy demonstrators are moved. Violent fringe is a challenge to Occupy movement. Are sexual assaults being under-reported at Occupy encampments? Popular Hawaiian musician occupies Obama event with a song. Occupy protesters set up camp outside a second UK cathedral. Are Occupiers the new Progressives? And much more news from the Occupy Movement worldwide inside.

#OccupySunday: Michael Moore says, "We've killed despair."

michael moore oakland
Filmmaker Michael Moore told anti-Wall Street protesters in Oakland that the Occupy movement -- which has spread to cities across America and overseas -- in inspiring millions who are angry about corporate excess, income inequality and the failure of politicians to address issues facing the majority of Americans.

"We've killed despair across the country and we've killed apathy," he said.

Watch the video of Moore's speech inside...