Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Mayor prepares police action against Houston homeless *updates*

With no re-election worries until 2019, and as I predicted five weeks ago ... here comes Sylvester Turner and Art Acevedo with their crackdown on the poorest among us.  (See updates below.)

Here's a short report from KHOU from last night (with video).  Here's the response from the homeless activists: a face-off with the authorities tomorrow morning.  If you want to see how far our local public media has fallen, Al Ortiz: presente.  This fool's 'combat homelessness' phrasing follows on his repetitive use of the word 'panhandling', and quoting the city's advocates against the homeless, as in this piece from May.  Avoid.

I would expect some tense moments prior to the city's attempts to enforce this order, potentially more than just your run-of-the-mill staredown.  Perhaps some corporate media can be on hand with video cameras; certainly the social justice warriors will be.

Sidebar follows.

It's interesting to me how that phrase above, acronymed, has transmogrified into a pejorative.  Some history about that can be found here.  I use it above in context of respect and admiration for those who will be on the point tomorrow morning, and wish I could be standing with them in more than just spirit.  Lousy health precludes my participation.

I've long questioned Mayor Turner's bonafides as a progressive, even a liberal now.  He's a neoliberal, and acts more like a Republican -- even the worst of Republicans -- with each passing day.  Further, it's accurate to describe today's Democrats as Eisenhower Republicans; that goes for every elected one from Turner to Pelosi and Schumer and all of them in-between.  There simply is no such thing any longer as a Democrat who meets the definition of the word 'progressive'.  They don't support the working class, much less the poverty class; they don't support universal single-payer.  Hillary Clinton's espousing of a $12 minimum wage was the clearest demonstration of the half-measures Democrats are comfortable with.  The things they do support are more in line with corporate interests than those of the 99%.  Democrats are just co-opting 'progressive' to replace 'liberal', which they allowed to be sullied by Republicans and conservatives to the extent it is now considered to be an insult by everyone.  That shit started with Reagan.

Turner has no excuse save the craven desire for power to be this way.  He grew up in Houston's poorest neighborhood, Acres Homes.  He represented the area in Austin for decades but did little to ameliorate his neighbors' suffering; he coveted the mayorship, and finally succeeded in his third try two years ago, squeaking in by the skin of his teeth over an allegedly moderate Republican in a runoff.  He bows and scrapes to Houston's white 1% while extending the back of his hand -- a gloved fist -- across the face of those at the very bottom.

I recently heard a young man say that 'empathy is a character flaw'.  Exercising some of my empathy, I overcame my shock and awe of this remark by considering his life experience: probably under 30 years old, a Navy SEAL.  Elite soldiers must be inculcated with a certain amount of ruthlessness in order to be considered successful, after all.  There are few people beyond this profile to which I would be willing to extend much understanding for making such a statement, certainly none for those whose actions exceed their words or their silence in this regard.  As for Sylvester Turner, maybe he hasn't just sold the fuck out.  Maybe he is not a garden-variety sociopath.  Maybe he has simply taken too much acetaminophen over the course of his lifetime.

That's all the slack I can cut for him.

If you can be at the intersection of La Branch and Eagle, or thereabouts, tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., in some capacity of assistance to the least among us, I encourage you to bring your smartphone and/or camera to document any potential atrocities.  Update I: Be advised that HPD has long used Stingray technology to capture cellphone metadata, helping them identify their "foes".  One way to avoid this is to turn off your mobile network connection and upload photos/video later ... at least a mile away from where the action is.

You probably shouldn't drive and park down there, because if you get arrested -- even if you aren't, of course -- you don't want to find that the city has towed your car away.  I would recommend taking the Metro light rail and disembarking at Wheeler station, walking the four or so blocks east alongside or under the elevated portion of US 59.  Look for the large gathering of cops, some on horseback, and others.  Shouldn't be too hard to find.

The more witnesses, the better.  If you consider yourself a Christian, you should easily understand that it's what Jesus would be doing.

Update II: This is NOT the answer.

Update III (8/10, 11 a.m.): "Filth-covered homeless camp near Minute Maid park evacuated" reads the teaser on the Chronic's home page, not the headline of the article itself.  Someone at the paper of record envisions a bright future for themselves as a PR flack in the Turner administration.

Note in the link above where the reporter claims the city will be 'digging up contaminated dirt' at the homeless encampment.  Simply preposterous. Turner and CM Dwight Boykins planned, earlier this year, to build a community center next to an old landfill -- also in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, Sunnyside -- with methane leaking out of it, assuring the community all the while that it was safe.  And had another whitewashed environmental study conducted that declared such.

No digging up of contaminated dirt at that site has been reported.

Update IV: Meagan Flynn at the Houston Press offers a more comprehensive and unbiased account of yesterday's action (time and date stamp notwithstanding).  Channel 39 has video of one of the residents supporting the action, but their account leads with the usual city officials declaring they're "only here to help", and the usual business owners complaining about shit.


Unknown said...

Yah letting them stay there is such a great solution. Open your home

Harry Hamid said...

This might be the best, most on-point post I've ever read on Brains and Eggs.

PDiddie said...

I will if you will, Unk. You first (since you're offering solutions, after all).


What?! I thought I'd written much better posts than this.

HCDwife said...

Is anyone really surprised? Turner is a snake in the grass, look at the way he is giving the HFD the shaft.

I do not like when all the homeless are made out to be harmless because they aren't. Yes, some have gotten there over job loss, etc but not all of them are helpless victims.

HCDwife said...

We cannot continue to treat all the homeless as helpless victims. Yes, some of them are & got there by job less, etc. But some of them are not helpless victims but criminals that choose to live that way.
Do I think that what the City is doing is right? No. Do I think something needs to be done, yes. Do I think Turner is a snake in the grass? Yes & I can't believe that people are so surprised. He is a snake in the grass.