Occupy Wall Street And Homelessness: Millions Spent To Evict Camps, While Cutting Shelter Funds
Occupy Wall Street And Homelessness: Millions Spent To Evict Camps, While Cutting Shelter Funds Tyler Kingkade, Hayley Miller, and Saki Knafo - HuffPo First Posted: 11/27/11 08:58 AM ET Updated: 11/27/11 09:01 AM ET
As cities around the country have swept Occupy Wall Street camps from their plazas and parks in recent weeks, a number of mayors and city officials have argued that by providing shelter to the homeless, the camps are endangering the public and even the homeless themselves. Yet in many of those cities, services for the homeless are severely underfunded. The cities have spent millions of dollars to police and evict the protesters, but they've been shutting down shelters and enacting laws to prohibit homeless from sleeping overnight in public.
In Oakland, Atlanta, Denver and Portland, Ore., there are at least two homeless people for every open bed in the shelter system, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chapel Hill, N.C. -- two other cities that have evicted protesters from their encampments -- things are better but far from ideal. In Chapel Hill, according to the HUD study, there are 121 beds for 135 homeless people, and in Salt Lake City, 1,627 for 1,968.
Heather Maria Johnson, a civil rights attorney at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, said most cities in the U.S. lack adequate affordable housing, emergency or transitional housing, or other social services for people who are either homeless or are in danger of losing their homes. "This was true before the current economic crisis and remains true today, particularly in areas that have cut social services due to budget concerns," Johnson said.
According to HUD, job losses and foreclosures helped push more than 170,000 families into homeless shelters in 2009, up nearly 30 percent from 2007. Of course, those are some of the same problems that have inspired people to protest.
7. when there were (news) helicopters over OWS NYC weeks ago, dunmb coworkers assumed it was police and
immediately cried about all the city money spent. First of all, they were mistaken, second- it would be the fault of the NYPD if it were true. They were news copters, FFS. what a bunch of knee jerk bullshit. same crew was clucking on about them closing subway stations when they were done leafleting (not closing anything) well before rush hour. it;s astounding how many people glom onto the propaganda and fear mongering.
8. Illegal camping, blocking traffic, harassing businesses, public urination and defecation and
vandalism are not the actions of peaceful people. Nor are they classified as "speech."
At one point a man stood and asked, "Why has there been no official position of non-violence?" The question fell like a drop of water, spreading in rings throughout the crowd.
"Why has there been no official position of non-violence?"
"Why has there been no official position of non-violence?"
Twice the question was repeated by the crowd before the man spoke again. "In the fight against tyranny, it's time to draw the line," he said, "To fight violence with non-violence." The crowd erupted in cheers, but immediately someone stood to offer a different position, "I think the debate about what constitutes violence and what constitutes non-violence will have to wait," the man said, "I myself will not tell people they are wrong or right for what I believe."
9. In order for OWS to be taken seriously, it must advocate for, and maintain peace.
Descent into violence would be an utter failure, and it would give the government the excuse it needs to end all Occupy protests.
That's why Occupy protesters must resist violence at every turn. They must resist bloodshed and even be willing to be bloodied themselves without striking back. The emotional power of such imagery would turn the entire nation against the government and would rally millions more to join the cause.
The reverse also applies: If protesters become violent, the imagery will turn the entire nation against the OWS movement.
10. There are many Occupy live sites you can see for yourself that
non violence is a inserted theme. You should also remember that in the 99% there are many individuals who when faced with almost impossible situations, that have pushed occupiers into streets, left them without latrines and have have threatened coerced and bullied them, have been remarkably restrained and very peaceful. Many of the occupiers have gathered the homeless and directed them to food and shelter while bringing attention to their condition.
I am so proud of those who have taken up the banner of the voice of democracy. Knowing their good intent for retaining our civil and constitutions rights the police should be supportive and should realize that their own violence has been the most harmful. The things that you have mentioned are the exception not the norm. The infractions of which you speak are no more than what happens in any large gathering.Concerts,sports games or even other authorized political rallies.
If this is revolution it is the most peaceful kind.
3. Here's what a scumsucker Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is. In his
Edited on Sun Nov-27-11 10:11 AM by coalition_unwilling
offer to Occupy Los Angeles to entice it to leave its camp at City Hall (an offer rescinded within 12 hours of being made and before OLA could even officially respond to it), Vilaaraigosa offered to open 100 new shelter beds for the homeless.
Imagine that. Villagraigosa had 100 shelter beds available that he was holding onto like some fucking ace-in-the-hole for use as a political bargaining chip.
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