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Homelessness and Occupy

I have a lot of emotions about homelessness, and just as many feelings about the occupy movement. I’ve been very involved in Occupy Louisville for my own reasons, but I stay involved for reasons important to the people I have befriended there. 

My mom was homeless for a few days with me when I was a little kid. We slept in a car. If my mom wasn’t living in Kentucky, I would have been homeless in January of this year, after I lost my job. 

We all want to talk about stereotypes drenched in ignorance, and our language around gender, people of color and sexuality. Nobody talks much about the stereotype we all seem to have about people that don’t have a place to live. American culture has done a bang up job of painting homelessness as this nasty thing that only happens to alcoholics and drug addicts.

Women, men, children and entire families don’t have homes to sleep in at night. They don’t have a secure place to keep their precious items safe, or the ability to look at their favorite painting on the wall every night. Using electricity to charge their phones is a daily adventure.

It’s hard not having a place to live, and many Americans deal with this, daily.

The number of Americans for whom this is a daily experience is rising exponentially as rent prices increase while average wages decrease, and jobs evaporate.

In many states, people who don’t have an address to call their own are unable to register to vote! If you don’t have an address, you can’t fill out a job application. If you don’t have an address, you can’t get a bank account.

In a conversation with a man the other day, he explained that he lost his SSI direct deposit when he had to spend one night in jail, for sleeping outside. The state will not pay for you to be in jail AND pay you your SSI benefits. The worst part about it, is this guy worked full time for years, and that SSI money is money he earned. Then when he went to go and get his check renewed, the government told him that in order to get his checks back, he’d have to show a lease in his name.

How’s homeboy supposed to get a lease in his name, if 1. he didn’t have a place before and 2. he has no income without the damn ssi check???

You feel me?

So, I get a little pissed off when occupations are like, “We have this homelessness problem.” Well fucking a, the entire country has a problem in that there are so many people without homes. The reason we fucking occupy is to give ourselves a massive voice that says in unison, “THiS SHIT IS FUCKED UP AND WE’RE NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE.” The problem is that these people. These American CITIZENS are the very bottom rung of exactly what the 1% wants.

They want us to look down on these people, who are just as fucking bad off as everyone else. It’s like children on a playground laughing at the kid who has knock-off brand sneakers. Who gives a fuck? She’s a kid just like you are.

That’s the biggest reason why the communities created by the occupy movement are imperative to the advancement of our society as a whole. 

Municipal governments are breaking up these tiny occupy communities. Just like the banks, slave owners and ruling class have always conspired to separate people and keep us from talking together about what we all have in common, rather than the institutionalized concepts that keep us from making friends and fighting together against those who oppress us.

At an occupation, you will brush shoulders, make friends and fight alongside the TRUE 99%. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic. Male, Female, Transgender. With or without homes. Middle class, lower class, upper class. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer. You are forced to join together with everyone from every walk of life who is currently oppressed by this outrageously corrupt system that benefits only a few people.

If we divide ourselves for them, it’s only helping the 1% do their job easier.

occupylouisville:

According to the Philadelphia Police Department & the Mayor’s office, Occupy Philly is being evicted from Dillworth Plaza (City Hall) today at 5pm.

A lot of this is bullshit.

I lived in Philly for most of my life, and although I haven’t lived there under the misguided rule of Mayor Michael Nutter, I think he’s a tool.

So, according to people I’ve talked to from Occupy Philadelphia, the eviction is happening because the city is renovating City Hall. At first I was down for them to stay, because, well… Fuck city hall.

But this isn’t about washing some gargoyles. This is about creating 1,000 permanent jobs and a new, indoor farmer’s market. Uh, I think that’s reason enough to move.

The other side to this is that the city doesn’t want them camping overnight anymore. Not at Dillworth, and not at the other park across the street at the park with the chess pieces & dominoes in it. Philly, you’re fucked up there. 

If philadelphia knows ANYTHING about its residents is that they’re gonna do what they want.

What I think Occupy Philly should do is to move to the new location to make way for the farmer’s market & stuff. But when they get there, take their tents and all that shit and make camp ANYWAY. Fuck ‘em. They let you camp all this time, and set a precedent that folks can make an encampment in center city— keep it going. Too little too late. You shoulda squashed it months ago. 

An old saying from Philadelphia: “Don’t start none. Won’t be none.”

And this is most definitely the police starting some. I anticipate some of the worst police/protester violence this country has seen to come out of Occupy Philadelphia this evening. Honestly.

re: The Occupy Philly Press Conference shown on their Livestream.

re: The Occupy Philly Press Conference shown on their Livestream.

Occupy Philly

Indyam says: “Called police commissioner’s office. They also gave no reason for the increase in uniformed police officers at the protest.”

Call Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and ask him to please not evict or harm the protesters who are exercising their first amendment rights:

215-686-3367

One Franklin Square

Room 314

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Police at Occupy Philly

When she asked an officer why there were so many police, officer said he didn’t know.

Officer said, “Might be ending soon. Not today. But I’m not sure.”

Updates from the ground at Occupy Philly via Indyam

Philly Info Booth says major increase in uniformed cops.

No arrests yet.

Preparing for post eviction.

From the article:

"THINGS are heating up at Dilworth Plaza, and we don’t mean with kerosene. Sunday, Mayor Nutter announced that his patience for Occupy Philly was growing thin, and yesterday many protesters answered back with the equivalent of "hell no, we won’t go."

But it’s time to Un-occupy Philly.”

*****Urgent Message Please Spread*****

occupyphilly:

I have just been informed that a decision was made by the city council to evict OccupyPhilly from City Hall/Dilworth Plaza. Police presence has been increased and they plan on blocking access to subway stations. I’m being told we are to not resist and cooperate and to spread the word. Please reblog this and get the word out.

THEY ARE ABOUT TO EVICT PHILLY TOO, YOU GUYS.

arraytherocks:

proud to be bryn mawr; proud to be tri-co. anassa kata!

Bryn Mawr is another one of those southeastern PA places that outsiders normally have a rough ttime pronounce.

"Brin Mar"

(Source: hardfemmebuckybarnes)