In connection with our first ever benefit concert
, I got to meet and know more about the people of Venice Beach, CA. Specifically, I met some of the people without homes and their supporters.
from the Free Venice Beachhead
clearly illustrates the persecution and oppression of people without
homes. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is happening all over the U.S. We don't need to look overseas for the oppressed, the hungry and the dispossessed. They are here, right at home.
What we often
hear as "justification" for these types of "sweeps" is that the police are responding to property owners' complaints. Does owning property give you the right to abuse others? I guess it does in our consumer
society where money is power. Property owners are not bad people, they are just conditioned as we all to believe that who we are is defined by what we have. Inside that concept, we feel threatened when we feel our property or possessions are threatened.
What is the solution? I
don't know, but I think it starts with a new willingness to live with what we need, and distinguish that from what we want. If we could live with what we really need - food, adequate shelter and clothing - a tremendous amount of resources would be available for others. Can we do this? Are we willing to live with less so others can live as human beings? Do you need a Mercedes, or is a late-model Toyota good enough to get us to and from our destination? Do you need another handbag to match that new outfit, or are the clothes you have good enough for now? Can we change our definition of what we need from the "latest" fashion to what covers our skin and shields us from the elements?
we are willing to consider living with less so that others can have more, nothing will change. A voluntary redistribution of resources based on love and compassion is the only answer I see.