Many homeless people in Columbia, South Carolina are facing an arduous choice: vacate downtown or be arrested.
That’s because last week, the Columbia City Council unanimously approved a new plan — the Emergency Homeless Response” — to remove homeless people from the downtown business district. Here’s how the initiative, which was spearheaded by Councilman Cameron Runyan (D), will work.
Police officers will now be assigned to patrol the city center and keep homeless people out. They will also be instructed to strictly enforce the city’s “quality of life” laws, including bans on loitering, public urination, and other violations. And just to ensure that no one slips through, the city will set up a hotline so local businesses and residents can report the presence of a homeless person to police. (more…)
Which product at this year’s South by Southwest technology conference received more attention than perhaps any other?
Homeless people as wireless transmitters.
A marketing agency touched off a wave of criticism and debate when it hired members of the local homeless population to walk around carrying mobile Wi-Fi devices, offering conferencegoers Internet access in exchange for donations. BBH Labs, the innovation unit of the international marketing agency BBH, outfitted 13 volunteers from a homeless shelter with the devices, business cards and T-shirts bearing their names: “I’m Clarence, a 4G Hotspot.”
They were told to go to the most densely packed areas of the conference, which has become a magnet for those who want to chase the latest in technology trends. The smartphone-toting, social-networking crowds often overwhelm cellular networks in the area, creating a market that BBH Labs hoped to serve with the “Homeless Hotspots” project, which it called a “charitable experiment.” (more…)
“A disturbing video has emerged showing French police evicting African immigrants with babies and children during a housing protest in a Paris suburb. Police arrived in the north-east Parisian suburb of La Courneuve last Wednesday and asked a group of about 60 mostly women and children to move, said Michael Hajdenberg, a journalist with the French media organization Mediapart. The group had been living in the street since being evicted from their council homes on July 8 to make way for a new housing project, he said. When the group failed to respond to the request, Hajdenberg said police officers forcibly removed them. “NSFW OR NSFH this is apalling.
The footage shows a screaming woman with a baby wrapped to her back being dragged along the pavement. Another scene shows a pregnant woman lying on her back on the street.According to France 24 the footage was recorded on July 21 by an observer from the Droit au Logement (Right to Housing) association and uploaded on the internet by French news site Mediapart and broadcast by CNN on Tuesday.Most of the immigrants are from the Ivory Coast. Some of them had been living in France for ten years and were not illegal immigrants. click link and Watch at your own risk (more…)