Wednesday, December 13, 2006

War on the Homeless?

When Calgary passed a new bylaw against spiting, urinating and other not so polite public acts, activists called it a war on the homeless. I thought they may have been overstating it. I'm not so sure anymore: Homeless man fined $115 for spitting.

- Peace


kris said...

I heard this was going to focus on drunks coming out of bars and urinating in the alleyways, and stuff like that, but you're right this sure makes it look like the activists were right.

Steve Jolliffe said...

I think the whole thing is lame.

Calvin said...

I spit all the time when I ride my bike. Ideally, laws should be enforced as much as possible and we shouldn't have any uneccesary laws. In reality, many laws are tools for police to make it easier to do their policing by giving them an easy law for when they need it. I've always thought the "no opened liquor in a car" law fit into that description, and seemed an apt tool.

Michael said...

I spit my gum out into trash cans quite a bit.
I guess I better not do that in Calgary.
'Swallow it man, that thing about it taking 100 years to digest is just a myth'

Just bring back the 'vagrant' laws and imprison the homeless. Such an easy solution.

``Are there no prisons?'' asked Scrooge.
``Plenty of prisons,'' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
``And the Union workhouses?'' demanded Scrooge. ``Are they still in operation?''
``They are. Still,'' returned the gentleman, `` I wish I could say they were not.''
``The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?'' said Scrooge.
``Both very busy, sir.''
``Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,'' said Scrooge. ``I'm very glad to hear it.''

How quickly we forget lessons of the past. Jesus was homeless too.
Mt 8:20 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Kevin Saff said...

Sometimes it seems the laws should be broad enough so that a cop, in his or her judgment, can easily take control of a bad situation. But we know that the judgment of police officers can never be perfect, and even if people are ultimately acquitted, this kind of thing can exact a heavy social toll on groups affected by prejudice. Note that much of the reality of racism for instance is totally unconscious. It is real and felt by victoms even though the actor strongly believes they are being just. This is reason enough to keep the laws about crime and not the judgment of the cops.

I have both spat and urinated on/near the city pathways.