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Monday, March 1, 2010

San Francisco Considers Law To Target Homeless And Poor

The City of San Francisco is considering a "sit-lie" law which would make criminals out of anyone who sits or lies on the sidewalks. This is inhumane legislation targeting homeless and poverty stricken people who have nowhere else to go. Of course police groups are in favor of the proposed law, because it will give them another excuse to search people for drugs and/or go on "fishing expeditions" to see if they can find some other reason to arrest them.

This really upsets me. It is the same wherever you go--new laws designed to restrict the freedom of the individual and secure the power of a police state are being drawn up in small rooms with little natural light. Where is a homeless person supposed to go if they can’t even sleep on the sidewalk? Will this new law effect other citizens who maybe just need a rest or are experiencing a medical emergency? Will the police profile and target only people who "appear" to be homeless and poor, or people who just dress a certain way?

It is already miserable to be homeless—it shouldn't be illegal too. Contrary to popular belief, most homeless did not become so out of choice and not because they are lazy, stupid, or immoral. I invite you to my pages devoted to raising awareness on homelessness: http://sites.google.com/site/homelessactionnetwork/. There you will find more information and pictures I have taken of homeless people:  I am often surprised by their cheerfulness and sense of pride. I usually give them a dollar or two for the privilege of photographing them. 

Please, help me raise awareness about this assault on our civil liberties by sharing this post with as many people as you can. Together maybe we can prevent this clearly oppressive law.

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