Government’s new powers to stomp on people in need

I have read of recent news coming from Sydney is concerned with people currently living within tents in the city’s Martin Place.  According to all the information I have read, many homeless people have been sleeping in small tents in the public area, and considering how cold it has been lately, I don’t blame them.  The media has been all up in a storm about how the government has failed to move these people on, despite many government officials stating that they will remove the tents.

Lanz Priestly - a leader of the group of people living in tents
Lanz Priestly – a leader of the group of people living in tents

I find it appalling that people are being treated so atrociously, and these people are especially vulnerable due to being homeless and possibly disengaged.  In my opinion, we have a large group of people what have every right to occupy a public place.  I have read that they have kept the area clean, tidy and to not (generally) block public access to the site.  According to statements from the mayor of Sydney, the police have no legal power to remove these people from Martin Place, which I am sure is correct (I have not taken the time to read through the legislation on this matter).

I have also read that the government has created new laws to remove these people.  So, in short, people were doing something lawful yet the government has stepped in and created a law to make this illegal.  I understand that no one was being hurt by this tent city, yet that hasn’t stopped the government stepping in.  From everything I have seen, each arm of the government has been using this as a way to snipe at each other and earn political points.

Reading the comments (which I know I shouldn’t do) I am shocked by the amount of hatred and venom for these people.  Comments talk about how the homeless should be removed from the city and the state are unbelievable to me.  People are declaring that a foreigner (Lanz Priestly, who happens to be a New Zealand citizen) shouldn’t be ruling a city.  It is so insane I can’t understand it.

I can honestly say that if I lived in Sydney I would be going down to Martin Place and setting up my own tent, to show my support for these people who have every right to occupy a public place.   I hope that you all agree with me here, as people in need, who are not hurting anyone, shouldn’t be treated like political fodder.


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