The defense of homeless rights is not only the defense of our whole class against the brutal rule of the billionaire capitalist class and its fascist agenda, it is a fight for a new society.
An overwhelming majority of the American people want to see the problem of homelessness solved. They consider it insane that people continue to die in the streets when millions of houses stand empty. Under this capitalist system, the billionaire ruling class can’t house people who can’t afford to pay, which means they can’t guarantee housing as a right without undermining the system itself. Indeed, homelessness is the worst expression of a dying system. To cover this up, the rulers attack the homeless with criminalizing laws, scapegoating in the media, police harassment and brutality, and outright murders of homeless people.
Because the capitalists cannot solve the problem of joblessness that is throwing so many down into poverty and homelessness, the enforcers of corporate power – the police and the laws – are moving to target and blame those who are suffering the worst effects of this economic crisis. As people are thrown into the streets, cities and towns create more laws that criminalize homeless people’s every move. Tent cities across the nation are torn down and people scattered or arrested, their few meager possessions confiscated and destroyed, even as winter approaches. Notorious ‘sit/lie’ laws make it illegal to sit or lie in public places. These mean-hearted laws, which do nothing to solve this human crisis, are designed to get homeless people to ‘move along’ and out of sight. At the same time the crumbling capitalist system creates millions more homeless.
Vast automated labor-replacing production is throwing millions of workers into insecurity, and many out of work forever. At the leading edge of this are the swelling ranks of the homeless, in advance of a growing number of dispossessed. Human beings whose labor is no longer needed must still survive, outside the wage or money economy. Their demands for the right to the necessities of life, whether they can pay or not, are revolutionary demands. Their fight to survive, for dignity and autonomy, is a revolutionary one, and can’t be answered within capitalism or under any system where what we need is held by an owning class as private property.
The defense of homeless rights is not only the defense of our whole class against the brutal rule of the billionaire capitalist class and its fascist agenda, it is a fight for a new society. From sit-down resistance to the so-called ‘sit/lie’ laws, to organized squatting and housing takeovers, to defying these injustices on every level, the battle for the program of the homeless for rights, dignity, homes and all we humanly need is a fight for all of us. All homeless people could and must be housed now. The only thing standing in our way is the rule of corporate private property. The government may grant concessions from time to time but this is not enough. We as a class, homeless and housed, must demand that the government provide housing as a right for everyone. This is a step toward organizing ourselves to fight for a new society where everything we need is distributed according to need. That is the remedy for homelessness.
Originally posted on The People’s Tribune. Reprinted with permission.
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