In Richmond VA, homeless people sit up all night on torturous wooden seats in a dank basement courtroom, or freeze outside; this is what passes for ‘shelter’ there. Others simply die of exposure outside. This country has had almost four decades to solve homelessness, but every year it gets worse, growing by leaps and bounds while more people get pushed out of an automating economy.
Instead of making sure people are housed, as a fundamental social necessity and priority, towns and cities—from San Jose to Santa Ana in California, and all across the country—move to raze tent communities where people band together for shelter, privacy and mutual support. These at their best, like ones in the San Francisco Bay Area, that have also been raided recently, could be a model for how true community works. Instead they are smashed and people scattered to the streets and the elements. The rest of our class, working and no longer working, understand the immorality of this and are stepping forward to help and to protest.
An economic and political system that causes mass homelessness is bankrupt and needs to be replaced. This is the vision of an increasing number of people as they watch the sad spectacle of people being attacked simply for being the victims of this failing system. The demands of the homeless for housing and for all they need to survive and thrive are revolutionary: a demand for a transformed system based on cooperation and the fulfilling of human needs.