Monday, October 31, 2011

It's illegal to be homeless in America...

...so don't lose your job, or if you do, hope there's room for you at the local homeless shelter.

Starting with Mayor Rudy Giuliani in New York, city after city has passed "broken windows" or "quality of life" ordinances making it dangerous for the homeless to loiter or even look "indigent" in public spaces.

All over the country police have moved in on the tent cities of the homeless, from Seattle to Providence, in raids that often leave the former occupants without even their minimal possessions.

What occupiers from all walks of life are discovering is that to be homeless in America is to live like a fugitive. (Full Article).

The Census Bureau recently determined that Atlanta has the most income inequality. The day before the new census data was released, Atlanta city officials cleared out an Occupy Atlanta encampment and arrested dozens of occupiers.

An aide: A recent study found that those who sit on "boards of directors" average just 4.3 hours a week on board work, and the nation’s top 1 percent took home more income than America’s entire bottom 40 percent. The Social Security Administration researchers reported earlier this month that half of America’s workers (the 99%) earned less than $26,364 last year.

By comparison: Larry Ellison (the 1%), the CEO at Oracle, has just listed a 6.9-acre home and horse farm he owns in Northern California for $19 million. He has a $33 billion net worth. The Oracle kingpin owns at least 15 homes, including two in Southern California’s Malibu. Says Malibu mayor John Sibert: “One or the other of his yachts shows up here about four times a year, right off shore. Other than that, we don't see him around town very much.”

But Americans aren't even allowed to live in a tent if we lose our jobs and are evicted from our homes. We have to live as homeless roamers.

Right now the occupiers on Wall Street have been reduced to using bicycles to produced electricity.

Police in Austin, Texas made 39 arrests early Sunday as they moved to enforce a new rule banning food tables in the City Hall plaza where protesters have camped out.. "On a night where there are hundreds of drunks driving around town, they have all these resources here to take down three food tables," protester Dave Cortez told the newspaper.

But how can the Occupy Wall Street Moment ever expect to make real change when sporting events, concerts, royal weddings, and presidential inaugurations draw much bigger crowds.

More than 3 million people marched through Rome in opposition to the U.S.- led invasion of Iraq in 2003 (as Americans had also been protesting all along), but 8 years later as of October 2011 we're still in Iraq - - and the corporations have been profiting the entire time.

And I also noticed that much smaller countries have gathered much larger crowds. Will things have to get much more worse in the U.S. before there can really be mass protests...enough so as to influence political and corporate behavior?

On January 20, 1980 the Super Bowl was attended by a record 103,985 spectators, which remains a record through today. How many people are in Zuccotti Park trying to end political corruption and corporate greed?

It looked discouraging when I looked at past U.S. protests and compare them to what the people in Europe and the Middle East have done.

It would help if all the colleges got involved the way they did during the Vietnam Era. While although they have no fear of being drafted into war these days, they still have unemployment and college debt to fear.

So now it's almost illegal to be jobless and homeless through no fault of your own. Only in America.

2 comments:

  1. My First Night Homeless

    https://medium.com/@hardlynormal/my-first-night-homeless-ba7a6090a809

    ReplyDelete
  2. UPDATE: Dec. 27, 2015

    For years, many homeless people have spent the night in airports between when the last evening flight lands and the first morning flight departs. But in a number of cities across the country, officials are now cracking down on that unspoken arrangement. As the number of homeless people has climbed in major metropolitan areas like Washington DC and New York City, there’s anecdotal evidence that the ranks of people sleeping in airports has similarly grown. One individual, according to Bloomberg, has even lived in LaGuardia for 20 years.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/27/airports-homeless-people-crackdown-new-rules

    (* MY NOTE: If someone bought an open round-trip ticket to Anywhere, USA -- could they still be kicked out of an airport?)

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