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

Criminalizing Homelessness

Sep 28, 2015

The latest official homeless count found 44,000 people living on Los Angeles County streets in a three-day period in January, a 12 percent increase in two years, according to the Los Angeles Times. The survey also found a 37 percent rise in chronically homeless people.

Instead of addressing this social problem, the city officials passed ordinances to criminalize homelessness. One ordinance is to ban the homeless from camping in parks or leaving their possessions in them. Another is to prevent the homeless from putting up tents or tarpaulins on sidewalks, in alleys or in any other public place. A third one, if approved, is to ban the homeless from living in motor vehicles. One has a provision that bans “personal property” such as “luggage, backpacks, clothing, documents and medication and household items.”

The Los Angeles police cite the homeless for violating such ordinances. The police can jail a homeless person for repeated violations.

The main reason for such extremely cruel and irrational measures against people who are just trying to survive is to push the homeless out of sight so that property owners and businesses can thrive. These ordinances are products of barbaric people who cannot think of anything except getting rich.