Homelessness now a crime in San Francisco

Sarah’s probably going to post something about the Hubba Bubba nightmare that is the US midterms elections (which I’m still ticking over), but I wanted to note a comparatively minor law passed: San Francisco Proposition L law.  The San Francisco Gate summarises the bill as:

Proposition L, known as the Sit/Lie Law, passed with 53% of the vote. It will now be illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalk in San Francisco between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Proponents say this law will give the police an additional tool in addressing public safety concerns, especially in the Upper Haight neighborhood. Homeless advocates say this law will criminalize homelessness. There are some exceptions where sitting is allowed, such as a public event like the Giants celebration parade later today.
Yeah, this is just straight criminalising homelessness in SF, which in the context of the “jobless recovery” has and will continue to balloon, especially among already vulnerable populations. In the context of other moves like the effective criminalisation of debt in some parts of the country, it’s hard not to see this as part of a general trend towards criminalising whole populations of people for simply being unlucky enough to be poor in the midst of a recession.
Disgusting, pure and simple, San Francisco.
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3 Responses to Homelessness now a crime in San Francisco

  1. Sarah Mac says:

    So the majority voting to oppress a minority. Is this a trend in CA now? 😦

  2. Ms. Hep says:

    Seriously? I first heard about this on the radio last week (I live in Chicago), and was pretty grossed out. Very disappointed to hear that San Francisco has decided to further punish the poor for being poor.

    On another note, I almost peed when I saw your Mighty Boosh reference. 🙂

  3. GallingGalla says:

    @Ms Hep: Very disappointed to hear that San Francisco has decided to further punish the poor for being poor.

    [sarcasm]
    That’s right, the hipster crowd can’t be forced to look poor people in the face.
    [/sarcasm]

    Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, we’ve elected a right wing retrofuck for governer, and another for senator. I’m really looking forward (not!) to further service cuts and fare increases for SEPTA – it already costs $1.55 for a bus ride if you use tokens, or $2 for cash fare; if you need to take more than one bus, then the transfer costs $1. Round trip involving two buses (pretty typical situation for a working parent in Philadelphia) costs $5.10. That’s pretty freakin’ steep when you’re working a minimum wage job (or two or three) with no benefits.

    In addition, the sales tax rate in the city is 8%, compared to 6% in the white-bread upper-class suburbs where most of the voters who voted in these retrofucks live.

    I fear for Philadelphia over these next two years. If a Rethug is elected in 2012, the damage will be incalculable.

    (Shall I tell you about the wealthy white hipster guy who showed up at my social-justice oriented church and went on about how going after homeless people with baseball bats is social justice? Cos anything that protects property values in his gentrified neighborhood is “social justice” to him.)

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