Becoming or being made homeless, for whatever the reason, is only the beginning of many a problem’ that will happen occur and possibly re-occur in a life experienced on the streets, and god only knows how many more people will be forced onto our streets this time next year due in part now, to the anti-squatting legislation passed in the commons yesterday, in fact Shelter says about 35,000 Britons – one every two minutes – face the loss of their home in the run-up to Christmas.
A demonstration that took place outside the Houses of Parliament in the early hours of Tuesday morning resulted in 12 arrests. The protesters gathered to object to the proposed bill outlawing and criminalising squatting and met with the brutality of the police which is becoming all too common now. Whilst I may wright more about the impact (anti- squatting legislation) and the repercussions this will have in the next day or so, I in the meanwhile have decided to cut and post this article from the latest addition of ‘the Pavement’ a magazine produced for homeless people which I have been reading for a number of years.
In the approach to Christmas I will be reporting more on this blog about the life of homeless people, their struggles and the general escalation of a problem that has never been eradicated or ever will under the current system of capitalism. The story below is typical of what many homeless people experience on a daily basis but we don’t read about it in our newspapers because it’s not newsworthy and not in the interests of the system which most newspapers support to report such crimes against homeless people, after all when all is said and done, they are only homeless.
Rough sleepers mugged
Two rough sleepers have been mugged while collecting their benefits at a post office in South London.
The two men, one known to his friends as Chisel, were at the Post Office in Tulse Hill on midnight of Monday 25 July, when the incident took place. Having withdrawn their fortnightly benefits they went to a nearby shop to get some drinks. When they stepped outside they were confronted by two men claiming to be police officers. Although the attackers were not wearing police uniform they were wearing stab vests and carrying fake police badges.
The two men, described as aged 25-35, one black, one mixed-race, shoved the two rough sleepers into an alley and rifled through their pockets, taking £90. They then jumped into a car nearby and sped off. Unfortunately, neither of the victims was able to identify the car number plates.
Both men were reluctant to go the police. According to Ian Ross, a former rough sleeper who knows Chisel, he and his friend have had too many bad experiences with the police to want to get involved with them. Ian told The Pavement: “They feel like it’s a waste of time. They’ve had bad experiences with the police. They used to live in Waterloo and the police would come and harass them.”
Stealing from rough sleepers is nothing new either, as Ian told The Pavement: “I had a similar thing ten years ago, in the West End with four people trying to get stuff off me, so it’s not a new thing. I think they target homeless people and drug users because they know they won’t go to the police.”