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February Homeless Sweeps

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

february 20th. downtown.

February Homeless Sw...
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It's difficult to make sense of what I saw last Thursday, February 20th, in downtown Los Angeles’ skid-row area. A sweeping was announced at Towne Avenue between 4th and 5th Street, where many homeless citizen put up their tents. I decided to go there to witness and document the affair. I got there early morning at 5:00 AM. It was still dark, but there was a lot of turmoil, more than usual. I saw women and men running around trying to get shopping carts to pack their -belongings. The ones who were lucky to secure a cart packed them as high as they could push them. Many of them seemed disoriented, unsure of which direction to run with their belongings. Lacking alternatives, many of these citizen had made Towne Avenue their temporary home. As the daylight started to set in, most of them had dispersed, leaving behind their dwellings, brand new tents, mattresses, blankets and personal belongings. The scene reminded me of a battlefield. Everything was in a big disorder, clear traces of confusion, as the abandoned items were rummaged through many times over. Around 7:30 AM, the street was raided by a proportionally oversized police force. The street sweepers began to collect while a few homeless people were still going through the abandoned waste. A women was pulling two shopping carts through a group of police officers, who were in her way to get out, they starred and watched her struggle. It was a scene of utter desperation and humiliation, and a clear reflection that our society regards poverty as shameful. Many of the abandoned belongings were donated things, discarded objects and remnants of a wasteful society. Some tents were in brand new conditions, probably saved up by a homeless couple. Some tents were neatly furnished with blankets, mirrors and make-up, stuffed animals a radio, bicycles and personal items. These somewhat cozy dwellings were first pushed down by the sweepers and then consumed by a bulldozer. The city sweepers basically threw away homes that were as permanent as they can get living on a street. WHO benefits from taking away a tent and a blanket from a homeless? What alternatives do they have? Besides the display of most inhumane actions against poverty, it was clearly just a sweep under the carpet, because those citizen chased away by police and bulldozers are still on the streets, but now without tents and blankets and without shelter and warmth.
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no more private space

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

no more private spac...
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throwing homes away

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

throwing homes away...
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picking through the remains

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

picking through the ...
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picking through the rubble

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

picking through the ...
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PART 1: home destruction

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

PART 1: home destruc...
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sighting it out.
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PART 2: home destruction

by downtown reporter Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:04 PM

PART 2: home destruc...
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picking it up.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 47 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
citizen david jenson Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:40 PM
what do we do about this? ogi Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:50 PM
Someone is trying... MadMaxim Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 8:56 PM
His Name... MadMaxim Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 9:06 PM
Illegal Immigrants realitycheck Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 9:15 PM
We were all immigrants once... MadMaxim Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 9:25 PM
shit.. oh well.. ID84 Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 9:27 PM
Left, Right...? MadMaxim Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 9:45 PM
Anarchists realitycheck Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 9:53 PM
food not bombs PHI8 Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 10:44 PM
I stand corrected MadMaxim Thursday, Mar. 13, 2003 at 10:47 PM
Enron Executives Need New Residence Este Friday, Mar. 14, 2003 at 2:30 PM
what? ernesto Saturday, Mar. 15, 2003 at 6:42 AM
there's no single answer johnk Saturday, Mar. 15, 2003 at 1:57 PM
Homeless People The Solution Saturday, Mar. 15, 2003 at 2:20 PM
People are not Food Anne-Marie Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 5:57 AM
People are not Food Anne-Marie Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 6:00 AM
to Anne Marie Sheepdog Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 7:26 AM
My God ! There is another Bush Admirer ! Abe Lincoln Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 5:33 PM
Please! jerryG Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 5:57 PM
And we should believe you? Sheepdog Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 6:10 PM
Homeless Scottie Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 7:16 PM
No need Bush Admirer Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 at 8:15 PM
or.... hhhhh Monday, Mar. 17, 2003 at 9:53 PM
The Right to Exist man mighter Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2003 at 10:46 AM
Mr. Jason Darr Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2003 at 1:53 PM
IGNORANCE Casandra Saturday, Mar. 22, 2003 at 1:32 PM
Pray To Gods For Fire To Purge Man From Earth Dark Angel Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 5:51 PM
formerdogladybixeland8 formerdoglady Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 at 3:51 PM
MR Healthier downtown Friday, Mar. 28, 2003 at 8:46 PM
how bout this smart idea mkj Friday, Apr. 25, 2003 at 11:24 AM
Programmer C. Bowman Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2003 at 1:33 PM
We must eliminate the "powerful". America is dead. Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2003 at 1:39 PM
Have a heart Drew Bird Thursday, Mar. 11, 2004 at 11:18 AM
"faith-based" help xavier Thursday, Mar. 11, 2004 at 12:26 PM
There is no free lunch. Walker, Texas Plumber Friday, Apr. 02, 2004 at 2:59 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Apr. 02, 2004 at 4:51 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Apr. 03, 2004 at 8:53 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Apr. 03, 2004 at 11:23 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Monday, Apr. 05, 2004 at 8:07 AM
Mr StLsam Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012 at 7:47 AM

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