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  1. #1
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Lowest Of The US Poor That Need Their Bikes The Most...Lose Them To "Law Enforcers"

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/10/riverside-police-raid-homeless-camp-investigation-launched.html

    "....Police also slashed the tires of some of the campers' bicycles, said Ruth Record of the Come As You Are Ministry, who added that there was no reason to show "that kind of rage."

    Cities often confiscate and destroy property during cleanups of makeshift camps, but activists are urging the homeless to fight back....The ACLU and a group of Fresno attorneys sued that Central Valley city in 2006 after it confiscated clothes, medicine, bikes and documents from homeless encampments. "


    The group of people that need their bikes (and other valued possessions) the most are probably more prone to lose them as even law enforcement that sworn to "protect" them turns on them. Without the protection of a means to make a living, family or friends to fall back on as a safety net, or even basic human dignity & rights-without a address, you are a pariah lower than an undocumented illegal alien. Forget that the United States is really the "best" and "freeist" nation in the world. Even the third world houses it's poor better than this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    This is totally screwed up!
    Two Wheels One Love

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    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    I don't know about poorer nations housing their most needy better than us unless living in the same shanty town, like thousands of others is better - minus the death squads, etc.

    However, as it relates to the forum, it doesn't quite make sense to slash the bike tires. That is one way they can move out of the area, which is the intent of the harrassment.

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    I was sorry to read this in our local paper this morning. I am not sure the police did what they are being accused of but I am not sure they didn't do it either. The mixed emotions I have about this story is because my sister lives just above where this "camp" is located. She used to take walks down a dirt road close to where the camp is hidden by brush and bushes. Not that long ago a neighbor woman was attacked and raped and so most of the women in that area will not walk down that dirt road. I wouldn't put it passed some of the neighborhood men to have done some of the damage. Not saying they did but saying the battle has been going on for years in that area. I am still sorry to hear about what happened.

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    There was more information on the homeless camp in the paper today. Someone was shot in the camp and taken to the hospital. Two people that seem to have been living in the camp were seen leaving the crime scene. It also seems as if there is a drug problem with some of the members of this camp and residents in the surrounding area have been complaining for some time. There is still no real information as to what the police did or did not do but the credibility of the witnesses to the police action is now in question.

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyFlorida View Post
    I don't know about poorer nations housing their most needy better than us unless living in the same shanty town, like thousands of others is better - minus the death squads, etc.

    However, as it relates to the forum, it doesn't quite make sense to slash the bike tires. That is one way they can move out of the area, which is the intent of the harrassment.
    I live about 200 miles from the Mexican-US border (US side obviously). I am familiar with "third world" living conditions as my father used to take us to the, to put it nicely, non-tourist Mexico's side of the border towns to educate us on real poverty for ourselves. The poor were able to at least put up some sort of shelter to protect themselves from the elements. These hovels did not have floors (except dirt ones), heated by open fire, water carried from a nearby probably polluted river, and if they behaved themselves, were ignored by the police. I am not saying this is acceptable for any human to live in, but it is better than the treatment that our own lowest poor is being subjected to. Not just in Riverside, but most anywhere as even this article pointed out in Fresno in 2006. I was thinking about how money "protects" the person here rather than our constitutional rights supposed to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    I was sorry to read this in our local paper this morning. I am not sure the police did what they are being accused of but I am not sure they didn't do it either. The mixed emotions I have about this story is because my sister lives just above where this "camp" is located. She used to take walks down a dirt road close to where the camp is hidden by brush and bushes. Not that long ago a neighbor woman was attacked and raped and so most of the women in that area will not walk down that dirt road. I wouldn't put it passed some of the neighborhood men to have done some of the damage. Not saying they did but saying the battle has been going on for years in that area. I am still sorry to hear about what happened.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    There was more information on the homeless camp in the paper today. Someone was shot in the camp and taken to the hospital. Two people that seem to have been living in the camp were seen leaving the crime scene. It also seems as if there is a drug problem with some of the members of this camp and residents in the surrounding area have been complaining for some time. There is still no real information as to what the police did or did not do but the credibility of the witnesses to the police action is now in question.
    I am not saying that the homeless are angels either. Many of them (but not all) have drug problems, ex-cons, and/or have untreated mental problems, which in turn breeds crime (like bike theft). Some are just people (like you and me) who fell out of the favor of society and are doomed to wander aimlessly until money flows again and they could afford even basic housing. When you alienate people, and don't let them belong to a community, and treat them so harshly, what do you expect?

    I don't know either if the Riverside police has actually did what they were accused of. That is what their internal investigations are supposed to find out.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-05-10 at 04:40 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    I live about 200 miles from the Mexican-US border (US side obviously). I am familiar with "third world" living conditions as my father used to take us to the, to put it nicely, non-tourist Mexico's side of the border towns to educate us on real poverty for ourselves. The poor were able to at least put up some sort of shelter to protect themselves from the elements. These hovels did not have floors (except dirt ones), heated by open fire, water carried from a nearby probably polluted river, and if they behaved themselves, were ignored by the police. I am not saying this is acceptable for any human to live in, but it is better than the treatment that our own lowest poor is being subjected to. Not just in Riverside, but most anywhere as even this article pointed out in Fresno in 2006. I was thinking about how money "protects" the person here rather than our constitutional rights supposed to do.





    I am not saying that the homeless are angels either. Many of them (but not all) have drug problems, ex-cons, and/or have untreated mental problems, which in turn breeds crime (like bike theft). Some are just people (like you and me) who fell out of the favor of society and are doomed to wander aimlessly until money flows again and they could afford even basic housing. When you alienate people, and don't let them belong to a community, and treat them so harshly, what do you expect?

    I don't know either if the Riverside police has actually did what they were accused of. That is what their internal investigations are supposed to find out.
    Understand I am not excusing any misdeeds the police may have done. I am saying the witness statements come into question when you discover that many of the homeless are "shelter resistant". I won’t attempt to define the concept but there seems to be a bigger problem than the first article indicated.
    Allow me to speculate knowing the area pretty well. There are some rather angry home owners not far from where this camp is located. Some of the wives and girl friends of these home owners have been attacked by people that “seem” to be living in the camp. Vigilantism isn’t dead in the US.
    I used to live in that same area many years ago and would walk my dogs along that same dirt road. People were just starting to live in the brush and bamboo growing in the river edges. Two men once stepped out and asked me if I wouldn’t mind handing over my wallet and I was ready to comply till my two 70 pound shepherds negotiated a compromise for me. It is possible my small 9mm helped with the negotiations but that is a different story. The problem has been going on for years and it is coming to a head.
    Still to see how some countries treat homeless look up Kibera, I have been there and it is bad.

  8. #8
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    Yep. My experience as a homeless person, yes, sleeping outside, on the streets for eight months, is not surprised by any of this news. I was harassed by cops more times than I could count. I had personal effects stolen by police all the time. Oh, but it's a crime for me to steal from them. I was homeless for eight months, I solely lived by bicycle. I parked it up, tied it up a walk away from my camp and moved my camp regularly to avoid this. Some "collegues" of mine were not so lucky. There were frequent arrests and local people would often go vigilante, find a homeless person sleeping and beat them up. Now, I'm couchsurfing with friends, or living on a farm as I move around, though I still spend many a night camping in the woods, but always move on after two nights and leave no trace.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about homeless people. Namely that we're all mentally ill, drunks, drugaddicted thieves who can't cope with society. Not true. Most "homeless" people are not on the streets or hidden away in camps down by the river. They live in hotels, they stay with family "until they get on their feet", they camp in RVs or live in their cars. They're hidden. The people you see on the street are only about 10-15% of the actual homeless. These are the people that have exhausted their other options. By that point, they've already been "hidden homeless" for years. Don't forget that a high proportion of these homeless are veterans as well. Mostly from Vietnam. Support our troops, right?

    Living on the street ages you very fast and exposes you to a soul-sucking bitterness that most people don't want to accept in their happy little bubble of the American dream ("Because you have to be asleep to believe it." -Carlin). "THey can all just get jobs," the happy cager says. "Work hard like the rest of us. Then they can get houses. If they don't, they're just lazy." It's not that these people can't cope with society, society has already told them they were trash and given them their pinkslip. "If I am trash, I might as well act like it."

    Been there, done that, got the bitter pill.

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    I am always skeptical of what I see in the newspapers. They react to anything that is sensational. Perhaps the police did all this but it also may be just unfounded accusations from the people the police moved out.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  10. #10
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboopiper View Post
    Yep. My experience as a homeless person, yes, sleeping outside, on the streets for eight months, is not surprised by any of this news. I was harassed by cops more times than I could count. I had personal effects stolen by police all the time. Oh, but it's a crime for me to steal from them. I was homeless for eight months, I solely lived by bicycle. I parked it up, tied it up a walk away from my camp and moved my camp regularly to avoid this. Some "collegues" of mine were not so lucky. There were frequent arrests and local people would often go vigilante, find a homeless person sleeping and beat them up. Now, I'm couchsurfing with friends, or living on a farm as I move around, though I still spend many a night camping in the woods, but always move on after two nights and leave no trace.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about homeless people. Namely that we're all mentally ill, drunks, drugaddicted thieves who can't cope with society. Not true. Most "homeless" people are not on the streets or hidden away in camps down by the river. They live in hotels, they stay with family "until they get on their feet", they camp in RVs or live in their cars. They're hidden. The people you see on the street are only about 10-15% of the actual homeless. These are the people that have exhausted their other options. By that point, they've already been "hidden homeless" for years. Don't forget that a high proportion of these homeless are veterans as well. Mostly from Vietnam. Support our troops, right?

    Living on the street ages you very fast and exposes you to a soul-sucking bitterness that most people don't want to accept in their happy little bubble of the American dream ("Because you have to be asleep to believe it." -Carlin). "THey can all just get jobs," the happy cager says. "Work hard like the rest of us. Then they can get houses. If they don't, they're just lazy." It's not that these people can't cope with society, society has already told them they were trash and given them their pinkslip. "If I am trash, I might as well act like it."

    Been there, done that, got the bitter pill.
    Thanks for your post.
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  11. #11
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    I am always skeptical of what I see in the newspapers. They react to anything that is sensational. Perhaps the police did all this but it also may be just unfounded accusations from the people the police moved out.
    Perhaps, perhaps not. In any case, the Great Recession is becoming more like (or even worse) than the Great Depression of the 1930s. My father was homeless then (called a "hobo" during that period of time). I do remember him describing his experiences the same way-now with new faces and names + the same ol' problem: no money=no protection from the law enforcement of that era. He was really frighten for his children to experience far worse than he ever did during the 1930s when he died as people are not so supported of others like they were then.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-05-10 at 06:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboopiper View Post
    Yep. My experience as a homeless person, yes, sleeping outside, on the streets for eight months, is not surprised by any of this news. I was harassed by cops more times than I could count. I had personal effects stolen by police all the time. Oh, but it's a crime for me to steal from them. I was homeless for eight months, I solely lived by bicycle. I parked it up, tied it up a walk away from my camp and moved my camp regularly to avoid this. Some "collegues" of mine were not so lucky. There were frequent arrests and local people would often go vigilante, find a homeless person sleeping and beat them up. Now, I'm couchsurfing with friends, or living on a farm as I move around, though I still spend many a night camping in the woods, but always move on after two nights and leave no trace.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about homeless people. Namely that we're all mentally ill, drunks, drugaddicted thieves who can't cope with society. Not true. Most "homeless" people are not on the streets or hidden away in camps down by the river. They live in hotels, they stay with family "until they get on their feet", they camp in RVs or live in their cars. They're hidden. The people you see on the street are only about 10-15% of the actual homeless. These are the people that have exhausted their other options. By that point, they've already been "hidden homeless" for years. Don't forget that a high proportion of these homeless are veterans as well. Mostly from Vietnam. Support our troops, right?

    Living on the street ages you very fast and exposes you to a soul-sucking bitterness that most people don't want to accept in their happy little bubble of the American dream ("Because you have to be asleep to believe it." -Carlin). "THey can all just get jobs," the happy cager says. "Work hard like the rest of us. Then they can get houses. If they don't, they're just lazy." It's not that these people can't cope with society, society has already told them they were trash and given them their pinkslip. "If I am trash, I might as well act like it."

    Been there, done that, got the bitter pill.
    Yes there are misconceptions about homeless people, as there seems to be about people living in a bubble of the American dream. There are reasons that the assumptions are made by both groups and while bad things happen to homeless people sometimes the homeless take from people holding onto what they have with their fingertips. In the case of shelter resistant homeless how many are into drugs? How many got to be homeless because of drugs? Or how did they become shelter resistant in the first place?
    I am not saying I have the answer but I do know there is a problem and the home owners and the police are not the whole problem.

    Have I ever personally tried to help the homeless? Yes, and the next question would be did it work? The answer is in my case no it didn't.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    I was sorry to read this in our local paper this morning. I am not sure the police did what they are being accused of but I am not sure they didn't do it either. The mixed emotions I have about this story is because my sister lives just above where this "camp" is located. She used to take walks down a dirt road close to where the camp is hidden by brush and bushes. Not that long ago a neighbor woman was attacked and raped and so most of the women in that area will not walk down that dirt road. I wouldn't put it passed some of the neighborhood men to have done some of the damage. Not saying they did but saying the battle has been going on for years in that area. I am still sorry to hear about what happened.
    Yes, like the rest of us, the homeless can be good or evil. We've had about 3 murders here in Lansing in which both the victim and the alleged perpetrator were homeless. Our weekly paper recently had an article about a friendly homeless woman who is fearful because her own camp is near a camp of people who are rowdy alcohol/drug users.

    I have stumbled across their riverside camps many times in my explorations of the city, but most people aren't at all aware of them. I admit I feel uneasy when I realize a camp is nearby, and I try to sidle away because there is a small fear that they would be angry about my "trespass" near their camps.



    From:
    "Can-dogging," alcohol and family: Life among Lansing’s homeless camps


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Yes there are misconceptions about homeless people, as there seems to be about people living in a bubble of the American dream. There are reasons that the assumptions are made by both groups and while bad things happen to homeless people sometimes the homeless take from people holding onto what they have with their fingertips. In the case of shelter resistant homeless how many are into drugs? How many got to be homeless because of drugs? Or how did they become shelter resistant in the first place?
    I am not saying I have the answer but I do know there is a problem and the home owners and the police are not the whole problem.

    Have I ever personally tried to help the homeless? Yes, and the next question would be did it work? The answer is in my case no it didn't.
    I think most people who are not homeless forget about one important-or the most important-fact if all....the homeless are not from another planet. They are simply just like everyone else, bad & good faults and all. The only difference is like I pointed out previously, 99% of them have no money to get a roof over their heads, end of point. This is where our Constitution kicks in to protect everyone within the borders differentiated only because the lowest poor ones are not living in a building. I am sure the founding fathers simply assumed that people always would have a roof over their heads when this document was written (Ha!).

    As for this "help" that people that are better off like to offer, is it really help? Does anyone like to be treated like a little child and told when to shower and go to bed-like many of those "shelters" offer? Does anyone like to be made an example and pointed out to others as a charity reciplicant-especially in the United States? No. Most people will and desire an honest paid job with benefits, living wages, & the ability to pay taxes to make their way in the world. Not temporary fixes or handouts.

    And most of all be their own person!

    Riding a bike as a utility form of transport offer this true freedom from other's whims for everyone, anywhere, not just in the United States.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-06-10 at 03:43 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    I think most people who are not homeless forget about one important-or the most important-fact if all....the homeless are not from another planet. They are simply just like everyone else, bad & good faults and all. The only difference is like I pointed out previously, 99% of them have no money to get a roof over their heads, end of point. This is where our Constitution kicks in to protect everyone within the borders differentiated only because the lowest poor ones are not living in a building. I am sure the founding fathers simply assumed that people always would have a roof over their heads when this document was written (Ha!).

    As for this "help" that people that are better off like to offer, is it really help? Does anyone like to be treated like a little child and told when to shower and go to bed-like many of those "shelters" offer? Does anyone like to be made an example and pointed out to others as a charity reciplicant-especially in the United States? No. Most people will and desire an honest paid job with benefits, living wages, & the ability to pay taxes to make their way in the world. Not temporary fixes or handouts.

    And most of all be their own person!

    Riding a bike as a utility form of transport offer this true freedom from other's whims for everyone, anywhere, not just in the United States.
    Yes, but I am not talking about a temporary fix I am talking about offering a job. After a few weeks and two or three checks the person decided to travel on leaving a full time 4o hour a week job. Sure it was painting houses but it beat minimum wages and it made it possible to live inside without the restrictions of a camp. Yes we expected at least weekly showers.

    All I was responding to was the concept that we the public do not understand the trials and tribulations of the Homeless. Piffel, many understand it quite well. What some don’t seem to understand that in our society no matter what your station in life there are some rules you must follow. If someone doesn’t want to accept the kind of help society provides because they have rules they don’t approve of then the consequences passes from society to the person rejecting the assistance. Living outside of the rules of society and in the freedom of camp living there is a whole set of rules the rest of society are not responsible for.
    Still I am not for breaking the law to manage these problems nor do I condone police or vigilante misdeeds as a solution. I just know this particular camp has been a neighborhood problem for a number of years and the camp shares as much responsibility for the tension and the homeowners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Yes, but I am not talking about a temporary fix I am talking about offering a job. After a few weeks and two or three checks the person decided to travel on leaving a full time 4o hour a week job. Sure it was painting houses but it beat minimum wages and it made it possible to live inside without the restrictions of a camp. Yes we expected at least weekly showers.
    That is the choice of a free society-to come and go as your whim dictates. You or I might not like it much, but that is the price of a capitalistic society which is what the American one is. You might actually hired a "transient" (from the word transit like public mass transit-to get around) rather than someone down on his luck. In my father's time a "hobo." My father told me about the difference between between a hobo (a wandering person who either likes to travel cheaply or is simply looking for a place they like to call home-or likes to visit. Or simply on the road to find some employment either temporary or even permanent as they travel. In proper middle class thought or level, this person would be something like a long term tourist. A "bum" is more of a beggar or freeloader, who simply wants to mooch or live parasitically off people-even resort to criminal activity if the opportunity is there. Even today, if I hire people to work around my home, I remember what my father taught me and look for the former, rather than the latter.

    I take no advantage of anyone, but do not allow anyone to take advantage of me! Plus their personal hygiene practices are simply put....none of my business. I think people butt too much in other people's life nowadays on matters that have nothing to do with the employment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    All I was responding to was the concept that we the public do not understand the trials and tribulations of the Homeless. Piffel, many understand it quite well. What some don’t seem to understand that in our society no matter what your station in life there are some rules you must follow. If someone doesn’t want to accept the kind of help society provides because they have rules they don’t approve of then the consequences passes from society to the person rejecting the assistance. Living outside of the rules of society and in the freedom of camp living there is a whole set of rules the rest of society are not responsible for.
    Still I am not for breaking the law to manage these problems nor do I condone police or vigilante misdeeds as a solution. I just know this particular camp has been a neighborhood problem for a number of years and the camp shares as much responsibility for the tension and the homeowners.
    Look at it this way. Before those McMansions tract homes and the resulting people were there, there was the river and most likely a camp-if there was a railroad tracks around in the past or even now-transients! And there were cows & horses which attract large amounts of flies, Which was done away by the newly arrived middle class who wanted a sanitized "rural" area free of varmints. So..their will was done in many former farms, ranches, and rural areas of Los Angeles. Now the basin is filled up with....aging tract homes, & illegals running around. Everything is a trade-off around here. I rather have the horses & cows myself.

    As far as getting rid of your homeless camp, there is a simple solution. Kill off the railroad tracks, and the jobs in your area, and voila-they will disappear. But so will you as you need the employment & business all people bring.

    Then you will be hitting the road looking for employment.....
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-06-10 at 05:56 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    That is the choice of a free society-to come and go as your whim dictates. You or I might not like it much, but that is the price of a capitalistic society which is what the American one is. You might actually hired a "transient" (from the word transit like public mass transit-to get around) rather than someone down on his luck. In my father's time a "hobo." My father told me about the difference between between a hobo (a wandering person who either likes to travel cheaply or is simply looking for a place they like to call home-or likes to visit. Or simply on the road to find some employment either temporary or even permanent as they travel. In proper middle class thought or level, this person would be something like a long term tourist. A "bum" is more of a beggar or freeloader, who simply wants to mooch or live parasitically off people-even resort to criminal activity if the opportunity is there. Even today, if I hire people to work around my home, I remember what my father taught me and look for the former, rather than the latter.

    I take no advantage of anyone, but do not allow anyone to take advantage of me! Plus their personal hygiene practices are simply put....none of my business. I think people butt too much in other people's life nowadays on matters that have nothing to do with the employment.



    Look at it this way. Before those McMansions tract homes and the resulting people were there, there was the river and most likely a camp-if there was a railroad tracks around in the past or even now-transients! And there were cows & horses which attract large amounts of flies, Which was done away by the newly arrived middle class who wanted a sanitized "rural" area free of varmints. So..their will was done in many former farms, ranches, and rural areas of Los Angeles. Now the basin is filled up with....aging tract homes, & illegals running around. Everything is a trade-off around here. I rather have the horses & cows myself.

    As far as getting rid of your homeless camp, there is a simple solution. Kill off the railroad tracks, and the jobs in your area, and voila-they will disappear. But so will you as you need the employment & business all people bring.

    Then you will be hitting the road looking for employment.....
    It sounds a bit like you are saying this is some kind of class warfare thing? Is there an assumption being made that there is no drug problem in this particular camp? Wouldn't that be jumping to the same conclusion some people have had the police are guilty before the investigation? I am too personally close to the situation to be able to judge the merit of the charges made by either side. I couldn’t sit on a trial and be fair I guess I am saying.
    I do know the camp that is there now has pretty much driven out the Vietnamese families that used to try and collect crawdads in that river bed.

    But if it is tribal try reading about the Lakota and the Ponka, it has been going on for hundreds of years.

  18. #18
    Lost on the road of life
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    As for this "help" that people that are better off like to offer, is it really help? Does anyone like to be treated like a little child and told when to shower and go to bed-like many of those "shelters" offer? Does anyone like to be made an example and pointed out to others as a charity reciplicant-especially in the United States? No. Most people will and desire an honest paid job with benefits, living wages, & the ability to pay taxes to make their way in the world. Not temporary fixes or handouts.

    And most of all be their own person!.
    You covered exactly why I never spent a night in a shelter, nor did many of my colleagues. It's restrictive, there's no freedom, no choice, and many times it's very poorly run, it's crowded and it's not a safe place to be. Many women are terrified to sleep in shelters due to ****. Theft is rampant. At the local shelter where I used to live in Northern Cali, it was only 30 beds a night, you have to show up at 7pm and be in that bed, sleeping at 8pm, or it was given to someone else. Imagine, a fully grown adult with an 8pm bedtime. In the summer, it's still light out! If you stayed a week, 7 nights in a row, in that shelter, you couldn't come back for 30 more days. That was the rule. You also had to vacate at 6am in the morning, and you were on your own. If you didn't come back by 7pm the next night, no bed.

    No thanks. I'm better off camping down by the river where I can come and go as I please and no one will take my things. In eight months, I only experienced one theft and that was when someone stole my bike light after I left it locked up behind kmart. At that point, I had nothing to steal other than my clothes.

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    Social problems that are not addressed in a timely matter, can develop further into a riot or civil disturbance as it is more formally called. Camps were always around-even in 1960s central Los Angeles. Back then, there were men-and perhaps women although I never remember seeing any-camped hidden from view near the main railroad tracks that cut through my former area. They were a small group that kept mostly to themselves. There were plenty of all types of jobs then. They worked for a while at the temporary ones and then moved on. I never heard of anyone being robbed or raped because of this mobile group. As times grew hard in the 1970s, very much like now, and jobs grew scarce, that is when trouble started brewing. Not only at that camp (which disbanded when the railroad trains no longer used the tracks and those same tracks were removed), but most anywhere as rents & mortgages skyrocketed. There was not enough goodwill or money to go around. Then the flood of undocumented illegals really started streaming over the border, taking whatever space or jobs that were left and once used to tide people over hard times. The 1992 Los Angeles riot spotlighted this problem. There was much chest thumping and howling by our leaders. But nothing much was done to curb the rapidly increasing social problems.

    I am not thinking along the lines of a "class warfare" as there are no classes in the US anymore. The middle class for the most part no longer exists, the poor is growing, and the upper 1-2 percent is not based in reality-look at Meg Whitman- http://www.megwhitman.com/
    She thinks that making vague promises of "jobs" & "fixing things" automatically will make her Governor if she throws enough money at the campaign. Perhaps it will work, perhaps not-(especially if her "member of the family" undocumented Nic has any say about this).

    In any case, I am not waiting around for the government to "save" me anymore. I will continue to ride my bikes, live very much as I have done for the past 20 or so years, and follow my elder's advice to when (not if) the riots do happen again, stay off the mean streets, & then when the dirt settles, go through another boring program and coast through until I retire.

    It will take many years for this country to clean up this mess. I figure that either I will be so senile that I would not care or dead.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-07-10 at 07:39 PM.

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    I do go through Riverside from time to time to visit a cemetery. Even though I traveled close to 100 miles to get there, I am amazed how much it resembles Los Angeles. The same type of people, the same type of problems....I certainly don't feel homesick (except that the weather is too much like a desert for my tastes).

    I do like the old town section of Riverside though. It does have a certain charm.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-07-10 at 07:47 PM.

  21. #21
    Bluegrass Atheist silverwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboopiper View Post
    Yep. My experience as a homeless person, yes, sleeping outside, on the streets for eight months, is not surprised by any of this news. I was harassed by cops more times than I could count. I had personal effects stolen by police all the time. Oh, but it's a crime for me to steal from them. I was homeless for eight months, I solely lived by bicycle. I parked it up, tied it up a walk away from my camp and moved my camp regularly to avoid this. Some "collegues" of mine were not so lucky. There were frequent arrests and local people would often go vigilante, find a homeless person sleeping and beat them up. Now, I'm couchsurfing with friends, or living on a farm as I move around, though I still spend many a night camping in the woods, but always move on after two nights and leave no trace.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about homeless people. Namely that we're all mentally ill, drunks, drugaddicted thieves who can't cope with society. Not true. Most "homeless" people are not on the streets or hidden away in camps down by the river. They live in hotels, they stay with family "until they get on their feet", they camp in RVs or live in their cars. They're hidden. The people you see on the street are only about 10-15% of the actual homeless. These are the people that have exhausted their other options. By that point, they've already been "hidden homeless" for years. Don't forget that a high proportion of these homeless are veterans as well. Mostly from Vietnam. Support our troops, right?

    Living on the street ages you very fast and exposes you to a soul-sucking bitterness that most people don't want to accept in their happy little bubble of the American dream ("Because you have to be asleep to believe it." -Carlin). "THey can all just get jobs," the happy cager says. "Work hard like the rest of us. Then they can get houses. If they don't, they're just lazy." It's not that these people can't cope with society, society has already told them they were trash and given them their pinkslip. "If I am trash, I might as well act like it."

    Been there, done that, got the bitter pill.
    Thanks for your post (like the carlin quote as well). While I can't compare my experience to yours, on my previous bike tours I wore jeans, shirts and a jacket, carried a light inexpensive backpack, and rode a good-quality but old-looking bike. Because I have a full beard as well, people often mistook me for being homeless and the way I was treated until I proved otherwise somehow was abhorrent. People looked at me like I was a second-class citizen when I walked into stores, and a cop almost started harassing me until he saw my recent ID and cash in my wallet. Rich yuppies were the worst, some of them literally sneered at me as I would walk or ride past them (although an old rich woman was shocked one time when I purchased new tires from a Walmart with a fresh clean $100 bill ).
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  22. #22
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    I'm practically surrounded by hidden homeless camps. Am I scared? No. Am I cautious. Yes.

    I work in a charitable center and 1/3rd of the guys who help us with the physical stuff are homeless. In return for their help, we make sure they get breakfast/lunch, they can wash up in the bathroom, they have a place where they can fix their bikes - their lifeline. They get clothing and blankets and we make sure they have a bag of groceries/water for the days we're closed to take to their camp.

    Most are men, some are veterans, some are even college students but we're seeing more and more families now. Another face of the homeless no one really wants to talk about really.

    Very few shelters will or can take in a family. In order to stay together, some families (especially those with young kids/babies) would rather live in their car or in a tent in a park or back lot. For a variety of reasons, all the usual safety nets are not there for them.

    Another disturbing trend we're seeing, folks who use to donate two years ago (no matter how small the amount) are finding themselves in dire need. The principle breadwinner(s) have lost their jobs and haven't been able to acquire new ones or are mainly under employed.

    Most were able to weather the worst of the recession hoping things would turn around until the principal breadwinner(s) could find another comparable job. However, things are not turning around fast enough and most are or have faced foreclosure or eviction, their savings gone.

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