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Cops clear ‘The Jungle,’ one of the largest homeless encampments in America | RT News

Authorities in San Jose have cleared out “The Jungle,” considered one of the largest homeless encampments in the nation, as high rents and tough economic times have hit many in California’s Silicon Valley, a region where the tech industry dominates.

Municipal workers, including police and social services, as well as animal control and construction contractors moved into the camp on Thursday, according to reports, to help clear out the creek-side camp where as many as 300 people lived in tents and other makeshift shelters.

Residents of The Jungle were told Monday that they had to vacate the area by Thursday or face arrest for trespassing, the Associated Press reported. Officials said many residents left the camp, just minutes from downtown San Jose, upon the initial notice. How many were left after Monday was yet undetermined.

"It’s like a big family," Yolanda Gutierrez, a former Jungle resident, told AFP. "We all looked out for each other, especially the females that are single. We all had our own little group that we would check up on each other.”

"But unfortunately what they just did to us today it’s like they split the family apart,” she added.

Another former Jungle resident, Andrew Costa, said homelessness could happen to anyone who can’t catch a break.

"They are part of the society that are discarded. They’re your son who doesn’t get a job, they’re your daughter that takes too much drugs and is not understood, they’re the ones that didn’t want to go to school," he told AFP.

"They’re run-away people."

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The “welfare queen” stereotype comes from one famous case: Linda Taylor, a dedicated con artist who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the US government by being a dedicated con artist. Fun fact: she also kidnapped children and probably murdered people. But she was only ever charged for the welfare fraud, because the prosecutors were worried that a murder case would distract from the far weightier issue of stealing from the taxpayers. That’s right: people are so enraged by the idea of welfare fraud that they literally treat it like it’s more offensive than murder.

5 Surprising Insider Facts About Welfare

For many of us, The Hunger Games is personal, not only because we love the writing or the heroine, but because we live under Capitol-like policies ourselves. We live in a culture defined by class divisions, and by an unwillingness to talk honestly, let alone remedy, those divisions. For us, The Hunger Games are not about box office takes or marketing tie-ins with Doritos and Subway (two particularly perverse corporate choices on the part of Lionsgate, who are already making millions on a movie about hunger).

The marketing for The Hunger Games isn’t personal, but this has the power to be a very personal franchise — and a very communal one. We can fill in the gaps — the hundreds of millions of dollars surrounding the Hunger Games franchise does not have to be the prevailing narrative. We can make it our narrative. We can use our voices. We can tell our stories. We can let the world know that this is real. Tell your story — use social media, talk to your friends, take whatever platform you can. From student loans to the minimum wage and deficits based on factors like race and gender, every reality, big and small, matters.

We can explain to the world why this narrative means so much.

These are #MyHungerGames. What are yours?

— 

HPA volunteer and journalist Alanna Bennett in an op-ed for The Mary Sue.

Read Alanna’s brave and moving story, then share yours.

You can read more #MyHungerGames stories here.

sorry this is long but READ THIS.


I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It had been towed, and when I called the company they told me they’d need a few hundred dollars for the fee. I didn’t have a few hundred dollars. So I told them when I got paid next and that I’d call back then.

It was a huge pain in the ass for those days. It was the rainy season, and I wound up walking to work, adding another six miles or so a day to my imaginary pedometer. It was my own fault that I’d been towed, really, and I spent more than a couple hours ruing myself. I finally made it to payday, and when I went to get the truck, they told me that I now owed over a thousand dollars, nearly triple my paycheck. They charged a couple hundred dollars a day in storage fees. I explained that I didn’t have that kind of money, couldn’t even get it. They told me that I had some few months to get it together, including the storage for however long it took me to get it back, or that they’d simply sell it. They would, of course, give me any money above and beyond their fees if they recovered that much.

I was working two jobs at the time. Both were part time. Neither paid a hundred bucks a day, much less two.

I wound up losing my jobs. So did my husband. We couldn’t get from point A to point B quickly enough, and we showed up to work, late, either soaked to the skin or sweating like pigs one too many times. And with no work, we wound up losing our apartment.

It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device.

One time I lost an apartment because my roommate got a horrible flu that we suspected was maybe something worse because it stayed forever—she missed work, and I couldn’t cover her rent. Once it was because my car broke down and I missed work. Once it was because I got a week’s unpaid leave when the company wanted to cut payroll for the rest of the month. Once my fridge broke and I couldn’t get the landlord to fix it, so I just left. Same goes for the time that the gas bill wasn’t paid in a utilities-included apartment for a week, resulting in frigid showers and no stove. That’s why we move so much. Stuff like that happens.

Because our lives seem so unstable, poor people are often seen as being basically incompetent at managing their lives. That is, it’s assumed that we’re not unstable because we’re poor, we’re poor because we’re unstable. So let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever. And let’s also talk about the ways in which money advice is geared only toward people who actually have money in the first place.

I once read a book for people in poverty, written by someone in the middle class, containing real-life tips for saving pennies and such. It’s all fantastic advice: buy in bulk, buy a lot when there’s a sale on, hand-wash everything you can, make sure you keep up on vehicle and indoor filter maintenance.


Of course, very little of it was actually practicable. Bulk buying in general is cheaper, but you have to have a lot of money to spend on stuff you don’t actually need yet. Hand-washing saves on the utilities, but nobody actually has time for that. If I could afford to replace stuff before it was worn out, vehicle maintenance wouldn’t be much of an issue, but you really can’t rinse the cheap filters and again—quality costs money up front. In the long term, it makes way more sense to buy a good toaster. But if the good toaster is 30 bucks right now, and the crappiest toaster of them all is 10, it doesn’t matter how many times I have to replace it. Ten bucks it is, because I don’t have any extra tens.

It actually costs money to save money.

It is impossible to be good with money when you don’t have any. Full stop. If I’m saving my spare five bucks a week, in the best-case scenario I will have saved $260 a year. For those of you that think in quarters: $65 per quarter in savings. If you deny yourself even small luxuries, that’s the fortune you’ll amass. Of course you will never manage to actually save it; you’ll get sick at least one day and miss work and dip into it for rent. Gas will spike and you’ll need it to get to work. You’ll get a tear in your work pants that you can’t patch. Something, I guarantee you, will happen in three months.

President Obama unveils bold plan to help Native American youth 

President Barack Obama unveiled a new initiative Wednesday aimed at expanding social and economic opportunities for Native American youth, many of whom live in poverty.

The new initiative does not provide a comprehensive solution, but it’s an important step in the right direction. It makes good on the administration’s promise to give the long-marginalized population a “seat at the table” when it comes to working with the White House on economic development.

The statistics alone speak volumes about the significance and potential of this program.

What if “There Is No Alternative To Capitalism” and what does it mean? Capitalism means war; war on nations, war on countries, war on nature, war on working masses and war on women and children. Capitalism means exploitation and expropriation of the labour of the working class. Capitalism means commodification of everything – the women, the intellect, the breathing air, the drinking water, the nurturing earth, the religious beliefs etc., Capitalism means over-consumption, colossal wastage and pilferage. It means the agglomeration of wealth, on one hand, in the hands of the one percent and destitution, on the other hand for most of the rest. Can there be a better example for this than the US, the richest ever nation on earth, where hundreds of thousands are homeless, jobless and are forced to take shelter in crammed community shelters? Capitalism means degradation of human values: the values of compassion, love and everything positive that humankind has developed in the course of its civilized life and its replacement with greed and the animal instinct of “survival of the fittest”. Capitalists are glad when you are thirsty for water, hungry for food, sick from diseases, because that is when they can maximize their profit and fill their coffers. This is what the end of history means. This is what happens if “There Is No Alternative” to capitalism.