Fascist Policing: Crushing the homeless starts with crushing their wheelchairs

There are problems everywhere in the US relating to homelessness. The first and biggest problem is that so many people don’t have any fucking home. But of course there are subsidiary problems: if someone has no home, they also have no place to go to the bathroom for a good number of hours out of every 24. They don’t have their own garbage service, leading them to leave trash behind and/or to place their own trash in the dumpsters and cans which other people pay to have emptied (other people who then feel “robbed” by paying for the removal of garbage not their own).  Then there’s also the fact that sometimes people just need privacy, and without a place to take that privacy territorial fights can break out. After all, when we most need privacy is by definition when we can least resolve conflicts with others peacefully and well. Homelessness then leads to more conflict that can cost others enjoyment of their own neighborhoods as well as more actual assaults, which results in costs for policing, jailing, and prosecuting more people who simply would never have committed a crime if they just had a door they could close behind them so that they could be alone for a bit.

Of course, all those subsidiary problems would (by definition) disappear should we actually house people. Nonetheless, cities again and again think that the best solution is to take possessions, to jail, and to harass people currently homeless, as if living on the street wasn’t already a crappy experience and just adding some misery would cause people to suddenly no longer be homeless … or at least no longer be homeless within that particular city’s limits.

Still, it’s rare to see a city destroy wheelchairs as part of those campaigns. Yet, that’s just what Boston is doing.

Boston Magazine has coverage of the new tactic, so I won’t write more except to remind everyone, “The cruelty is the point.”



  1. says

    If white collar people declare bankruptcy, are their computers seized and destroyed, or are they allowed to keep “a means of earning a living to pay debts”? If a blue collar worker like an auto mechanic declare bankruptcy, would their tools be seized and destroyed? Very likely, both would get to keep them.

    And yet governments are targeting the weakest and most defenceless, seizing and destroying wheelchairs, robbing people of their mobility. Those people (because that’s not emphasized enough) will either end up on the street crawling around on their hands, or starve to death in their homes, unable to move.

    This is as a monstrous as closing homeless shelters in -40C weather.

  2. voyager says

    That wheelchair was probably on loan from an equipment cupboard somewhere who have now lost out, too. Wheelchairs are not cheap.

    I thought it was bad when they criminalized feeding the homeless. This is exponentially worse, but it’s not entirely surprising. The U.S. has a president who openly makes fun of the disabled so why would the state behave any differently.

  3. says

    Homelessness is a choice – of the government! There’s enough housing, the cost of simply housing folks would be lower than the associated cost of homelessness, but how do you get the working poor under your heel if you don’t have a worse fate for them in stock than their current one?

  4. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Giliell
    In my home state of California, there is not enough housing, and not enough shelter beds, by a lot, according to every report on the matter that I’ve read, and I’ve been reading a lot of them in recent days.

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