The priorities of San Francisco city government are being put on stark display as homeless people, and those supporting them in protest, are being cleared out to make way for Super Bowl festivities. The spectacle of American football, and the millions of dollars that come with it, are far more important than the well-being of the city’s less fortunate.
On Wednesday, a few hundred protesters showed up at Super Bowl City to bring attention to the homeless population that is being increasingly shoved aside while San Francisco subsidizes the wealthy. Under the name “Tackle Homelessness,” protesters set up tents and carried signs such as “house keys not homelessness” and “Hey Mayor Lee, no penalty for poverty.”
As this video shows, protesters were met by a swarm of about 100 police officers dressed in riot gear, issuing orders over a loudspeaker to pack up their tents and clear the area within one minute.
“You have one minute to disassemble those tents and put them away. If they’re not disassembled, we will confiscate them and we will book them as evidence and keep them as safekeeping.”
they want to fuck us up sooo bad !!!this is what a police state looks like!!! #stopmakinghomelessnessacrime #evictedlee #endpoliceterror #endpolicebrutality #jailallkillercops #righttorest #boycottsuperbowl50 #justiceformariowoods #justiceforalexnieto
Posted by Rudy Ruiz on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The heavy hand of the police state demonstrated here is a reflection of what goes on every day in San Francisco. Instead of taking measures to aid the homeless, the city is increasingly penalizing them. According to the organizers of Tackle Homelessness, citations are on the rise for those sleeping in the streets, and there is only one shelter bed for every six homeless people.
“The major freeway arteries, the encampments surrounding them, have been displaced. People have been getting ticketed, getting arrested, having their property confiscated,” said Jennifer Friedenbach with the Coalition on Homelessness.”
Mayor Ed Lee let everyone know where he stands on the matter, when he said in reference to the homeless in advance of the Super Bowl, “They are going to have to leave.”
The mayor apparently has no answer as to where they would go. It seems if they could just disappear that would be fine for him, as long as homeless people are not in the view of wealthy residents being subsidized by the city, or Super Bowl fans spending money in San Francisco.
Mayor Lee is investing $5 million to host the Super Bowl, but the only thing increasing for the homeless is the boot and truncheon of the police state.
Protest organizers are calling for Mayor Lee to also invest $5 million in housing for the homeless and “the creation of programs to support secure sleep, hygiene as well as access to transition and health services.”
For now, San Francisco will focus on indulging the spectacle of the Super Bowl. The U.S. government will get in on the game, too, taking the opportunity as it always does to promote the warfare state. This year, F-15 fighter jets will fly the skies above the Bay Area, sure to please the “patriots” in the stadium.
Justin Gardner writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com