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City's Sweep of Two Downtown Homeless Encampments

July 02, 1988

I felt anger and shame when I read that the city had raided and cleared of possessions two encampments of the homeless. The homeless have little enough: should the city take and trash what few items they do possess? Does the City believe that the problem of the homeless can be made to vanish with their belongings? Why was there no explanation given for this inhumane action other than that those who cleared the area were only following orders? This argument is gross. We all know only too well where such mindless obedience can lead.

We should thank the homeless for making us appreciate all the more the roofs over our heads, the clothes on our backs, the food in our bellies; for affording us opportunities for charity and for showing us where the system fails. I sincerely hope that soon some long-term solution can be found to redress this imbalance in our society, and that we can feel pride and not shame at the actions of our city.

BARBARA RAPOPORT

Los Angeles

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