Well I was shocked yesterday when I heard about an alleged assault of a driver in a convertible by a squeegee kid. I remember the news reporting the details as “the squeegee kid offered to clean the drivers car windows and the driver said No and an argument ensued. The youth climbed into the passenger side of the car and proceeded to assault the driver. Police are investigating”. So the first thing that comes to my mind is that there should be ZERO TOLERANCE for any type of violence out on the streets, and no excuses for street people assaulting anyone regardless of antagonism, with the exception of self-defence. The second is – These are my people, some are my friends, I know most of them by sight and many by name. What are we going to do? It’s like they’re committing hari-kari.
Obviously this is a very large issue and I’m going to be commenting on it extensively over the next few days. Councillor Casey Ootes is renewing his call for a complete ban on panhandling in Toronto. Do you agree or disagree? Here’s some insight ito the news reports: Quote”…the driver said no and an argument ensued…” . Common sense tells us that the driver said much more than “no”, he probably made good use of the f**k word and may have followed it up with the “get-a-job” epithet or some other pithy and , only to him, witty remark designed to hurt. He may even have challenged the youth – thats for the police investigation to decide. I won’t say you get what you deserve, because there is no excuse for violence, but who is the first to have escalated the violence?, the driver or the squeegee kid? Is violence and assault only physical? No, of course not. Look into the issues surrounding violence against women and the first symptons are always “verbal abuse”- Using violent hurtful language is a form of assault. And I can tell you from experience that these street youth face that violence hundreds of times a day.
Panhandling also comes under attack again, with the reminder that a “gang of panhandlers” murdered an innocent visitor to the city just last month. I’ll discuss this more in the next post. Just suffice it to say, the attackers were NOT a “gang” of panhandlers, they may not have even been from Toronto and just in town to visit, party and cause trouble…
Filed under: Advocacy, Blogroll, Christianity, crime, crime and justice, health, homelessness, Life, News, People | Tagged: beggar, begging, health, homeless, hungry, kids, mental, panhandle, panhandling, poor, poverty, project417, squeegee, violence, volunteer |