Skip to main content

Brought to you by the party apparatchniks of Columbia, South Carolina.

Banished.

Police officers will now be assigned to patrol the city center and keep homeless people out. They will also be instructed to strictly enforce the city's "quality of life" laws, including bans on loitering, public urination, and other violations. And just to ensure that no one slips through, the city will set up a hotline so local businesses and residents can report the presence of a homeless person to police.
Officer. There's a, a, a HOMLESS PERSON a hundred yards away. I'm looking right at her.  She's, she's, she's STANDING THERE HOMELESS. Help, I'm so afraid.

Banned.
In order to accommodate all the homeless people who will now be banned... a local charity ((will maintain an)) emergency shelter on the outskirts of town open 24 hours a day... it's unlikely the shelter, which can handle 240 guests, will be enough to handle the local homeless population, which numbers more than six times ((that)).

Homeless people can stay at the shelter, but they're not permitted to walk off the premises. In fact, Columbia will even post a police officer on the road leading to the shelter to ensure that homeless people don’t walk towards downtown. If they want to leave, they need to set up an appointment and be shuttled by a van.


 photo columbia-sc-seal_zps4743dfaf.jpg
But you aren't. Go away.

And Tagged?

How, you might wonder, is one identified homeless? The ACLU wonders the same thing.

Dunn, of the ACLU, goes further. "The police are being invited to profile by how somebody looks," she said. "If you appear to be a homeless person, you have no right to be in an area because you're interfering with business?"
Obviously, if you are dressed in a business suit, you are not interfering with business. This suggests that a good tactic for the the ACLU in this case would be to invest in business suits for all the homeless.

What do Columbia officials think about this obvious discrimination?

Runyan, who has been working on the homelessness issue almost since his term in office began last year, said he does not understand the pushback.

"We don't think there is any (constitutional) violation," he said.

Busted?

Interestingly, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled otherwise in a similar case.

The state of Michigan may no longer toss homeless men and women in jail for the crime of asking for a few coins so that they can eat. According to decision handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week, a decades-old state law prohibiting "begging in a public place" violates the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. In Grand Rapids, Michigan alone, the law was enforced 409 times against people asking for money. People arrested under this law faced up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. One person was jailed for holding a sign reading "Cold and Hungry, God Bless."
Maybe the ACLU could squeeze in a lawsuit along with the cost of the business suits.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 07:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Policy Zone.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site