Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Arrest Us -- Please!

I heard a story recently about a Japanese woman who stabbed someone and, when asked why she did it, said it was because she was homeless and starving and being in jail would provide her with a place to live and some food. Which got me to thinking. Maybe if all the homeless in this country demanded to be arrested -- or else -- the message would get through to Washington.

"Arrest us. Or else we'll do something illegal and you'll have to arrest us anyhow. Then find the jails to put us in. And if there's no room, then why not simply put back in our old homes, under 'house arrest,' like Bernie Madoff, for example. If we're prisoners you'll have to find someplace reasonably clean to keep us in, with a sink and toilet that work, you'll have to feed us and you'll have to provide us with medical care. Best of all, you'll have to find work for us."

Prisoners don't need money. They don't need credit. They are provided with what is necessary for survival. But don't go out and stab anyone, please. Civil disobedience should do just fine.


  1. The case is maybe extreme but I've read in the realistic and dramatic stories of I. Aldecoa of people doing comparable things (robbing for example) just to get a warm place to stay for the winter, in the harsh times of post-war.

    But anyhow that is what poverty and desperation will make people to do: not in order to go to jail but in order to get some money on which be able to eat or pay the rent. Poverty brings crime and corruption, that's clear. And some of those real life desperados will end in jail or maybe just dead.

    But life in jail anyhow is not any nicety: you have a rigid time schedule and no freedom, almost no rights, nor even privacy at all. In some countries like the USA forced work (for a symbolic wage, modern slavery) is still accepted. I know that in Roman times some people sold themselves or their relatives as slaves out of desperation but really is no sweet destiny in any case.

  2. It just goes to show what people will trade in order to survive WITHIN the system.


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