The demands of the homeless are for a new society

Tents and signs at the homeless-run Poor Tour tent community, Berkeley CA.
PHOTO/SARAH MENEFEE

 

As a tsunami of dispossession breaks across society, the powers that be are moving to further criminalize what homeless people must do to survive: sitting, sleeping, eating, trying to find a place to relieve and clean themselves. Tent encampments that are springing up everywhere are being raided and destroyed.  In Spokane, WA, large rocks were dumped under a highway overpass to keep people from seeking shelter there. This is an epic and criminal fail on the part of a system that creates mass homelessness as it automates millions of job out of existence. The demands of the homeless for the right to survive and for shelter and protection, whether they can pay for them or not, shame a government that not only fails to provide these basic things but attacks its failure’s victims. If people had basic economic rights, housing would be a social priority and all would be decently housed. The demands of the homeless are part of the larger social demand for a true democracy and a government that represents us all.

 

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