Society Accomplice in Poverty Crimes

Demolition man is a great movie to be seen in this time of fascist control being enacted over the population for many reasons. Yes, there are problems with it, but it is a great movie for contrasting freedom and life with a government that lacks empathy or diversity.

In one scene, the cop that was awakened from cryo sleep into this world (played by Sylvester Stallone) is being treated to a dinner by the ruler of the society into which he woke. In the scene, there is suddenly a commotion when Edgar Friendly (a leader of a small group of poor rebels played by Denis Leary) lauches an attack on a food distribution truck. As the the cop John Spartan in attacking one sees that they are just carrying food, he has a conversation with his new partner (played by Sandra Bullock) and the leader. She said she liked how he took on the "scraps" with his violence, and he replied to her that "violence is not a good thing" then he looks at the leader, angrily, and says, "not when it is people looking for something to eat."

In that scene, you have all the mental material to get the rest of this post. At what point does society have to share the blame for the CRIMES of the poor. This is a message that has been emphasized in Black Lives Matter statements, but it is much larger than just black is POOR lives. Do poor lives matter?

Indeed, we read in the Chicago Tribune from this year about a warning that food delivery people were being targeted...

"In each case, the robbers surround the food delivery driver, show a gun and rob the driver of money and the food, police said."

Money and FOOD...

This is not a new issue. Indeed, Les Miserables is the story of a cop that was hunting down a man that had escaped his parole of his sentence for stealing a loaf of BREAD to eat. Through stories like these and history SOME societies have evolved. In Italy for example, their highest court said that it is not illegal for the poor to steal small items for food, as told in this Huffington Post article..

"Stealing is not a crime, ruled Italy’s highest court this week — when small amounts of food are taken in desperate need.

"The ruling was in the case a homeless man named Roman Ostriakov, who in 2011 was caught stealing a sausage and some cheese from a Genoa supermarket.

"...the Supreme Court of Cassation overturned Ostriakov’s theft conviction, ruling that stealing small amounts of food to stave off hunger is not a crime. The case has drawn comparisons to the story of Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.”

“The condition of the defendant, and the circumstances in which the seizure of merchandise took place, prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of an immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of necessity,” said the court, according CNN."

This is a question that OUR country needs to address, also. When the poor act out of desperation...say to steal food when hungry or break into a place to get out of the cold, do we not bear some responsibility, especially if we are voting to cut off government assistance to cover basic necessities? What would YOU do, if you had not eaten in a week and no one was helping? Would you consider crime, and if you did, is the punishment justified by the SAME society that were turning a blind eye to your need?

As much as conservatives love to talk about the violent poor, they condemn themselves in doing so, as often it is their OWN PARTY that cut off the funds that would deter this crime from ever happening. Just imagine a world where EVERYONE was guarenteed daily food and a place to live. Is that worth the cost, if it results in less need for police and jails and less potential for violent responses? Something to consider...

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