Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The Attack of the Killer Panhandlers
As if we didn't have have enough things to worry about...like the Harperite Conspiracy or the war in Afghanistan...or all that Made in China stuff that baby likes to chew on...or the fact that the CNE begins on Friday..... and you know what that means?
Now we're quaking in our boots or shooting off our mouths about the Attack of the Killer Panhandlers.
Even though three of the four suspects are Americans.
And most of OUR panhandlers are harmless. The pussies of the panhandling world...or just typically Canadian...
The roar of the frightened mob has been deafening.
It's a disgrace. Something bad is going to happen in this neighbourhood if we don't start thinking about our rights as free-moving and safe citizens rather than the rights of the homeless...
Ban them, fine them, throw them in jail. Do ANYTHING just drive them off the streets. It all seems a bit crazy to me. Why can't they just pretend they can't see them or hear them?
Like they usually do.....
(click to enlarge)
But of course it's more complicated than that.
Many formerly homeless people find that landing permanent shelter doesn't mean they can give up a street life, German said.
"Welfare doesn't pay enough to cover both rent and food, so they are forced to panhandle to eat."
The frightened mob can scream for blood all it wants, but until we deal with the root causes of the problem it will only get worse.
And if you pretend that you can't SEE the problem or just WISH it would go away. And you don't build enough cheap housing, or rely on a rotten shelter system, and you don't have aggressive and smart ways to deal with things like poverty, drug addiction, or mental illness, and you do nothing while our big cities become jungles with poor and desperate people everywhere...
Then WTF are you so surprised about when something jumps up and bites you? Or stabs you in the ribs.
I'm just surprised it doesn't happen more often. I can't understand why poor Canadians are so passive...why they don't demand more from Canadians than just quarters.
Why they don't understand that unless you organize and fight for your rights nothing ever happens...especially when others don't see you or hear you...
But when you're poor, and hungry, and thirsty, or drug addicted or mentally ill...and you have to worry about where they'll allow you to take a shit, or where you're going to sleep tonight...I guess just surviving is exhausting enough.
Which means that if we are really Canadians we should be thinking of new ways to HELP them instead of punishing them.
And reminds me....I'm going to take a few days off to try to think of new ways to help Alvaro Orozco.
Who is hiding somewhere in this city.
Because it's the same thing with him as it is with the homeless .
Whether you are discriminated against because you're poor, or whether you are discriminated against because you are gay.
Unless you fight back...and others help those who can't help themselves... nothing ever changes...
Which is a great excuse to run this song...by my favourite Canadian band...again. To get me in the mood....
Works for me.
Please do what you can to help Alvaro. Tell those who would further victimize the poor to go stuff themselves.
Or ask them how THEY would live on $300 a month.
See you all soon...