Fire Danger? Protect The Unhoused By Crushing Their Small Lives

A bulldozer plows down a winter homeless encampment
This scene was created by and is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

What the headline proposes seems a little harsh, doesn’t it? And yet we can find articles about authorities that would seem to be moving tentatively down that road. Here are three.

First to California, where authorities are faced by rulings of the U.S. 9th Judicial Circuit. What do you do when the judges tell you the unhoused cannot be moved from public land unless there is sufficient housing (emergency or permanent).

How about making access to your accommodation intolerably difficult? Then, once there, making it difficult to leave? Try: Can’t Legally Attack The Homeless? California Explores Benefits of Illegality

Second, to Guelph, Ontario, Canada, where the court has also ruled that people who are homeless have a right to be on public land when there is no indoor shelter available.

Guelph City Council is brainstorming solutions. Allow the unhoused to share city land with ‘regular’ folks. This will allow the unhoused to spend the night in their tents. But in the morning they must strike their tents, collect all their belongings and wander about the city rain, shine or snow, until nightfall when they can pitch their camp again.

Little wonder at the headline from the following article in GUELPHTODAY: ICYMI: Unhoused community feels proposed new bylaw ‘setting us up for failure’

Are these and other proposals setting people up for death? A little histrionic perhaps, until you visit Guelph in midwinter.

Finally, for a slightly stronger whiff of murder in the air, a visit to the Kentucky legislature. There, a new bill aims to protect the rights of upstanding citizens (e.g. the housed). The bill includes the right to ‘stand your ground’ . . . with a gun, thus making it legal to shoot and kill any unhoused person who might stray upon your land. Read more in truthout: Kentucky GOP’s New Bill Decriminalizes Use of Deadly Force Against the Unhoused