Homelessness and the Occupy Wall Street Movement

The logistics involved in maintaining the Occupy Wall Street protests turn out to be some of the very activities that homeless people have been banned from doing in most cities for years.

Barbara Ehrenreich argues that there is common cause between OWS and the homeless; that the financial elites that have destroyed the middle class have also criminalized homelessness, and that, as a result, most of what constitutes survival in public spaces has become illegal.

"What the Occupy Wall Streeters are beginning to discover, and homeless people have known all along, is that most ordinary, biologically necessary activities are illegal when performed in American streets - not just peeing, but sitting, lying down, and sleeping. It is illegal, in other words, to be homeless or live outdoors for any other reason. It should be noted, though, that there are no laws requiring cities to provide food, shelter or restrooms for their indigent citizens...What occupiers from all walks of life are discovering, at least every time they contemplate taking a leak, is that to be homeless in America is to live like a fugitive."

Full Story: Homelessness becomes an OWS issue

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 7 different cities.
$22.00