Just arrest them for it. Oh, and sweep them under the rug before the Republican debate, because that might look bad.
So I’m posting from a protest, using Starbuck’s wireless. How punk rock is that?*
Here’s the gist. My city has had a growing homeless problem ever since developers came in and started tearing down affordable homes and apartments to make way for condos and retail plazas. Now the bottom’s fallen out of the market, and you have situations like I have next door- affordable apartments for nearly 200 people were razed, to make way for townhomes. Of course, when the market crashed, they ditched the plans. So what once was affordable housing for hundreds is now a vacant lot.
More and more building have converted into condos (I think the number was somewhere around 4,000 units in 2005) so the working poor have been edged out of their homes.
The homeless population burgeoned dramatically. In an effort to provide a sense of community, stability, and to provide for practical needs like shleter St. Vincent de Paul (a Catholic charity dedicated to helping the homeless) allowed the homeless to camp out near their soup kitchen (using tents provided by a charitable soul). The city kicked the homeless off the public streets, so they moved to a lot owned by St. Vincent de Paul. Well, then the city decides it’s illegal to sleep in a tent on private property, and the SPPD attacked the tents (private property!) with boxcutters.
The city has done virtually nothing about the homelessness epidemic. We have very few shelters as it is, and many shelters have time limits on how long you are allowed to stay or don’t accept families. After political pressure due to the boxcutter incident, the city has decided to allow an outdoor shelter with tents. Oh, like the tent city. But no- on the other end of town, actually in unincorporated Pinellas County, a good 2 busrides from downtown where most of the homeless are.
And this new tent city? It won’t accept families- so homeless children are SOL. Not to mention it will only provide shelter for 250 people, a fraction of the thousands of homeless in the city.
But it’s worse than that. The city recently passed an ordinance that the homeless can be arrested for sleeping on the street if there’s shelter space available. Yes, that will surely fix the problem. :rolleyes: Of course, having to beg for money, searching through trash cans for food or the odd can that you can sell for 50 cents a pound, not being able to shower, and living in constant fear of violence, that couldn’t possibly be enough of a deterrant. And what are the homeless supposed to do, take a cab across town to get to the shelter on the off-chance there’s a bed available?
So activists organized a protest outside the upcoming Republican debate, to “shame” the city into action. It started on Sunday, and includes a hunger strike (for the activists- the homeless are being fed). My boyfriend, the aspiring photojournalist, hasn’t slept or eaten in nearly 48 hours, and has been interviewing and photographing the homeless and activists. Some of their stories would break your heart.
Anyhow, onto the pitting.
A hearty “fuck you” to
[li] CNN, whose crew spent the morning harassing the homeless and activists with idiotic shouts from across the street.[/li][li] the City of St. Petersburg, for caring more about the money than showing compassion to other human beings.[/li][li] The St. Petersburg Police Department, for laughing about the 60-odd people they ROR’ed from jail to make room for the homeless they’ll be arresting starting on December 1st. Oh, and for harrassing me for parking in a loading zone for 5 minutes while handing out bottles of water to the homeless. Fuckbitches.[/li][li] Mayor Rick Baker, for being an ignorant, uncaring douchebag.[/li][/ul]
However, (I know this is out of place for a pitting) a humble thanks for the fine folks at Starbucks and the Hilton, who have been gracious hosts to their new sidewalk tenants, and provided coffee and donuts this morning.
- I bought a drink, so I’m not stealing their wireless.