Thursday, June 13, 2013

Homeless in Athens, Greece

Homeless in Athens, Greece: there are so many dangers & indignities in homelessness often not considered: inclement weather; sickness & disease; bodily functions like toilet & menstruation; cleanliness; mental illness; fears, especially of children, elderly, & disabled; physical assault. This 36-year-old Athenian man named Michael was a hotel clerk for over 15 years; when the hotel closed he could not find work & became homeless a few years ago. Soon after he was diagnosed with lymph node & thyroid cancer.

Official unemployment figures for Greece under mandated austerity policies are 25% with a dramatic increase in people sleeping rough on the streets. But of course official figures are usually a catalog of estimates & deceits; millions of unemployed are excluded in the calculations so the actual figures are certainly much higher. Growing & massive impoverishment is the legacy of neoliberal plunder which treats human beings like trash & indicts this system as rotten to the core, as unredeemable, & unreformable.

Housing is a human right! If this stinking system cannot provide the elementary needs of human life, it has to go! The urgency of its demise has never been more apparent & the homeless are testimony to that indictment.

(Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

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