Keith Plocek for HouStoned Images Ltd., Ulmtd. Satch and Scott
This morning Satch, our favorite homeless essayist, had his first protest in front of City Hall. That is, if two dudes standing around and holding signs counts as a protest.
We admit we were hoping more people were going to show up – not for any specific political reason, but because it would’ve been nice to see the homeless organize something on their own behalf rather than having it done by the domiciled folks who work for service agencies. (On that note, Salvation Army, Houston Food Bank and Star of Hope all had booths set up in front of City Hall as part of a hunger awareness campaign, but that was more coincidence than anything.)
HouStoned hung out for about half an hour, chatting with Satch and his buddy Scott about the situation on the streets. They want public showers and toilets, better public transportation, more job opportunities and better health care for the city’s indigent. They also want the police to quit shuffling them along.
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Here’s what Satch had to say:
“What the politicians want is, they want Houston to have this clean, spotless, immaculate look that’ll attract all the outside money to come in for tourism and the conventions and the sporting events, and they want the homeless, they want the dirty, unwashed people out of the way so it doesn’t offend the sensibilities of the businesses. We can, if they don’t listen to us, we can offend some business sensibilities, if we get a thousand or ten thousand homeless together and we go down to the convention center every time they have a big thing or we go to Minute Maid Park or Reliant Center and we start peacefully walking and displaying our signs, and displaying our stink, displaying our homelessness and our poverty, that’s going to make Houston look real bad. So they can listen to us here or they can listen to us in front of the convention center. It’s up to them.”
He does make a valid point. Thousands of homeless people protesting would definitely get the city’s attention. Although that might be tough to pull off, considering how only two people showed up this morning.
Correction: Two other guys arrived when HouStoned was leaving. Enough for a rock band, but not a revolution. – Keith Plocek