… a creeping and insidious campaign by this and many other American cities to drive the homeless out of their midst by a combination of police harassment and increasingly draconian new ordinances that make being homeless a criminal offence.Oh, really? Gosh! No, not really. Just more hyperbole:
It is a charge the city vehemently denies. But so far this year, it has passed two such laws, one making it illegal to urinate in public…Those inhuman monsters! Isn’t it everyone’s human right to crap on the pavement whenever they feel like it?
… and another serving notice that any belongings left unattended on public property can be confiscated.And, presumably, fumigated. Or incinerated.
More are pending, including one that would make it hard for charities to serve meals to the homeless in public spaces.Why is it that the National Parks Service can set up these signs, while we are supposed to pretend that this concept doesn’t also apply to humans?
The town is far from alone in drawing the ire of civil rights groups. A new study by the National Law Centre on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) tracks similar attempts to criminalise street living in 187 cities in the US. “Many cities have chosen to criminally punish people living on the street for doing what any human being must do to survive,” it states.We, as a society, would rather they didn’t live on the streets. It’s dirty and dangerous for them, and for those who live and work around them. And so we provide services to ensure that they don’t have to live on the streets.
Some are unable or unwilling to take up those opportunities.
What else are we supposed to do with them?
“More cities are choosing to turn the necessary conduct of homeless people into criminal activity,” said Maria Foscarinis, director of the NLCHP. “Such laws threaten the human and constitutional rights of homeless people, impose unnecessary costs on cities, and do nothing to solve the problems they purport to address.”It is not ‘necessary’ for people to urinate & defecate on the street. It’s a health hazard. It’s not a constitutional right to do so!
“The suggestion that the city is criminalising homelessness is without merit. Fort Lauderdale has a distinguished history of compassion toward those in need,” a city spokesman Matt Little told The Independent. But he also alluded to the pressure that comes from business owners to remove the homeless. “Protecting our quality of life and business environment ensures continued funding for humanitarian needs.”The activists and progressives seem concerned only with ensuring their own quality of life, at the expense of everyone elses’. Which is pretty typical of the sort of people that would demand no laws against public defecation.