The Truth Tracker

“Tracking The Truth, Because the Mainstream Media Won’t”

Homeless Not Welcome in D.C. for Obama’s Inauguration!!

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Well I guess helping to end the homeless problems in American is not as important as so many folks say it is.  Rather than start with “Change” which could be a smaller event of Inaugural festivals, 8 figures will be spend on an event that lasts maybe 30mins.  Well I can’t wait to see the rest of his change.  (And I’m sure folks will say oh but why make the black president change and tone the excessive celebrations.  To them I say, why not have “The Messiah”, LEAD by example?  If anything is change, that would be.)

Washington’s homeless told to move along for inauguration

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Before sunrise on Thursday, Frank Mearns will leave the place he calls home, a stone’s throw from the White House, and join thousands of others in Washington who are upping sticks and moving out for the presidential inauguration.

But Mearns isn’t about to make a quick buck by renting out his pied-a-terre. Nor is he heading out of town on an inauguration escape holiday.

He’s one of Washington’s army of homeless who are being cleared from the center of the US capital ahead of the historic inauguration of Barack Obama.

“There’s a sweep on Thursday at 5:00 am,” Mearns said.

“Everyone’s got to be out of here and stay out until next Thursday,” the 37-year-old said.

“Here” is a space on 14th Street and New York Avenue, in the heart of a zone in the center of Washington that will be closed to traffic and heavily policed during the inauguration.

“Here” is also home to Mearns and a dozen other homeless people each night.

Five of his fellow street dwellers work full-time but can’t afford to pay the high rents in the Washington area. Another is a man who was displaced from his home in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. And there are a handful of women in the group.

“There’s a lady who’s been on the streets for 10 years and been raped seven times. She sleeps next to the guy from Katrina and if he’s not here, she sleeps somewhere else. She sleeps here for safety. She doesn’t know where she’ll go next week,” Mearns told AFP.

According to Michael O’Neill of the National Coalition for the Homeless, up to 1,200 people live rough in the security zone, including on Pennsylvania Avenue, the grand boulevard which the inaugural parade will march down.

The effort to clear the streets of Washington of its homeless population was unlike anything that former homeless man David Pirtle has witnessed.

“I was on the streets when George W. Bush had his second inauguration in 2005 and it was nothing like this. There were no large-scale sweeps. I slept on Pennsylvania Avenue the night before and the night after the inauguration,” said the 34-year-old who now works for the National Coalition for the Homeless.

“But as hard as the administration is going to try to make this look sanitary, the homeless are not going to be invisible. You can’t make 6,000-12,000 people disappear,” he said, citing official figures for homelessness in Washington-proper and the greater metropolitan area, including suburbs in Virginia and Maryland.

A dozen shelters will be open round-the-clock in Washington from Sunday until Wednesday, the day after Obama takes office, to provide temporary housing for the homeless.

The shelters will be equipped with televisions, showing live coverage of Obama’s swearing-in.

But they have only around 2,800 beds. And “things happen” in shelters, according to Mearns, who will be staying with an activist friend for the week.

Between one and two million people are expected to pour into Washington, a city of 400,000, for the inauguration, some paying tens of thousands of dollars a night for a hotel room and to attend lavish inaugural balls.

Given the huge numbers expected, unprecedented security measures are being put in place to try to ensure that the January 20 inauguration runs smoothly and safely.

“I don’t fault the people who are putting this together for trying to make it a safe event because if there are a couple of million people crammed into the middle of Washington, it could be a target for something,” Pirtle said.

“But you can do it and work with the community,” he added.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty has estimated that the inauguration will cost the city some 47 million dollars (35 million euros), while Maryland and Virginia have estimated their outlay at 12 million and 16 million dollars respectively.

“We are showing our priorities as a nation: throwing a multi-million dollar party while trying to shovel our poor and our homeless under the carpet,” Pirtle said.

“It’s an inauspicious start to our new administration of hope that Obama wants to work for,” he added, blaming city and security officials rather than the president-elect, who he said was “stuck in the middle.

Presidential Inauguration Committee spokesman Kevin Griffiths said he would “check what our interaction has been with the local authorities about the homeless,” and stressed that the organizers have been at pains to make the historic investiture as inclusive as possible.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

2 Responses

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  1. They did the same thing in Atlanta when the Olympics in 96 were here. I understand sort of their reasons of getting rid of the homeless, because if they are anything like they are here in Atlanta….then they are very aggressive and rude. But why be hard on Obama about it? There has been plenty of other inaugarations, but nothing was said about this then? At least Obama has acknowledged the fact that they have such elite and political people in DC to have so many homeless people and wants to bridge that gap together. I don’t think I’ve heard any other president acknowlege the homeless that lay right in front of the White House like Obama did. But very good read. Thank you! Cheers. =)

    Single In Atlanta

    January 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    • Single IN Atlanta-

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.
      I don’t see any reason to make them leave. This is a disgusting display of our Capitol, I mean they are making the homeless leave and in the same process spending at least 3X more money than has been spent on any of the previous inaugurations. Now weren’t we preached to by the President-Elect that “Change” is the main focus of his presidency? Well how about they change and take care of everyone they say matters, rather than catering to the rich and famous and trying to make this so spectacular? Do you even know how long the ACTUAL ceremony lasts? “I mean to be sworn in and then his speech”. Like 30mins, now can you explain to those homeless folks why they should leave, when we are spending over $100 million on this event?

      And to answer your comment about why is it a big deal now? B/c during Bush’s 2005 inauguration the HOMELESS WEREN’T REQUESTED TO LEAVE!!!!!!!!! If you can give me proof that during previous Inaugurations the homeless were told to move along than I’ll accept that it shouldn’t be as big a deal.

      Sorry dear but I’m not sure what you are talking about with this “At least Obama has acknowledged the fact that they have such elite and political people in DC to have so many homeless people and wants to bridge that gap together.
      And when and where has “The Messiah” talked about the homeless?

      Again thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      God Bless,


      January 18, 2009 at 4:43 PM

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