By Resumen Latinoamericano, North American Bureau on February 3, 2017
The first two weeks of the Trump Regime has seen a flurry of reactionary Executive Orders attacking just about everything from the environment to immigrants. One thing that is far from his agenda is the forgotten dark side of homelessness in this country. On any given night over a half million people are living on the streets, a quarter of them are children and another 19 million are just a step away living in housing insecurity.
How could it be, that despite the hardships created by a 55 year old blockade, a country like of Cuba leaves no one to live in the streets? Trump, or those preceding him, could at anytime have declared a national emergency on this growing crisis and issue an executive order that would immediately provide housing assurance for all and social services to accompany it. The reason is clear. Here homelessness and poverty are considered a crime of personal choice.
In many cases around the U.S. homeless people and their allies have come together in make shift encampments to collectively come up with some sort of temporary solution. Oddly these formations of necessity and solidarity are met with resistance from authorities and are unsupported and squashed by the State and local governments.
Consider the case of The Village in Oakland California as an example of this national disgrace.
After establishing a safe homeless encampment for a rainy 12 days in Marcus Garvey Park in West Oakland the police have come and cleared out those living there on the orders of the city and its pro gentrifier Mayor Libby Schaaf. At 8am this past Wednesday well over 50 cops and a fleet of public works vehicles descended on the park and by 4pm it was empty and returned to being a dog run. The Village, as the encampment was called, was a space that brought an improvement to conditions that homeless people face by providing a place with a make shift hot shower, portable toilets, a communal kitchen, security, a tent used as a health and healing clinic and most especially The Village provided some dignity. Oakland has over 3,000 homeless people and growing thanks to a scarcity of affordable housing. Under virtually every freeway overpass in the rich San Francisco Bay Area one can find a homeless encampment that are periodically cleared out only to reappear because there is nothing else they can do. There is no plan, will or resources for the most marginalized members of society other than their own will to survive.
For more photographs of the dismantling of The Village go to: http://elfurgon.com.ar/2017/02/04/los-desalojados-por-el-capitalismo-en-oakland/
Source: International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity