Concerning the “Homeless Issue”
The following was written Tuesday afternoon in response to a police officer interrupting Tuesday morning’s General Assembly. Before leaving the officer said that “There’s one last thing we need to talk about and that’s the homeless issue.” The officer then went on to say that he’d been working with the homeless for the last ten years (I guess that’s one way of putting it), and that we could ask of any of them, and they’d tell us what a great guy he was. He then went on to say, one of the reasons the police department was hesitant to let us stay without being sited or arrested was that it sent too strong of a double standard to the homeless. (The implication being that everyday they do to homeless people what is happening to the occupation.) He even had the nerve to say this and to refer to homeless people in the third person to an assembly and an occupation with homeless participants in it.
The police officer’s logic seemed largely unquestioned by the interrupted assembly, but Thursday night the first proposal put forward for an actual demand (though as far as we know not decided on) was for the permanent overturning of the curfew law in city parks. While we may want much more than that, it’s amazing to see a body of people in two days time going from agreeing with the officer to saying the law shouldn’t exist at all.
The police have said that allowing us to stay without harassment makes it look bad when they harass the homeless – something they do daily. The situation OCCUPYSTL finds itself in – where to go, how to avoid police and other kinds of harassment, where to shit and piss, where to sleep, etc. – is a situation thousands of st. louisans find themselves in daily, without end in sight.
Instead of telling police, the public and worst of all our homeless comrades that we understand what a difficult position the police find themselves in, we should send a message that such a policy of legalized harassment of the poor and homeless shouldn’t exist in the first place, nor should any jobs which by definition enforce such fucked-up laws.
Solidarity with st. louisans on the receiving end of police repression.
Solidarity with anyone struggling for automous space, especially the residents of Hopeville – keep ya heads up!
For a movement of all of Capitalism’s Dispossessed.