The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
Officials Destroy Homes for the Homeless

Mar 28, 2016

The City of Los Angeles has been confiscating and destroying small houses donated to homeless people. These houses were provided by volunteers who raised money for the materials, and built them, themselves. The volunteers say the houses are a temporary relief, until the homeless have a permanent roof over their heads.

Permanent housing–that’s what city officials have promised to the homeless ... in 10 years! The officials say they would need 2 billion dollars for the project, but they also say they don’t have it. It’s a long shot, in other words–coming from a city government that has a long history of doing NOTHING for the homeless.

In the meantime, 30,000 people sleep on the streets in L.A. County any given day, because existing shelters don’t have a place for them. And L.A. city and police officials have been aggressively attacking the homeless, confiscating and destroying their property, including medications and documents; roughing them up; ticketing them; and arresting them.

Homelessness is a big and growing social problem, created by the workings of capitalism. Homelessness has been increasing not only because of high unemployment, but also because of the skyrocketing rents and the fact that existing working-class jobs pay very little. Among the homeless there are many families with children, many even who have a job.

Why can’t this problem be solved? Elvis Summers, one of the volunteers, explained it: “When I can make a house for $1,200, people are going to question why you need $2 billion. ... Homelessness is not complicated. Making money off the homeless is complicated.”

Yes, under capitalism, NOTHING will be done until some capitalist sees a profit in it. And public officials under this system see it as their job to provide the profits for the capitalist class.