This week San Francisco officials FINALLY cleared out the homeless out of downtown in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“Sources [said] the homeless have been pushed to other parts of the city in preparation for the [summit],” the New York Post confirmed.
“They started clearing the tents earlier this week and there is definitely a lot more police presence,” local resident and activist Ricci Lee Wynne told the paper.
“They’ve cleared out the tents that were near the Moscone Center on Howard Street, which tells me the city had the capability to do this all along — instead they just do the bare minimum. Once APEC is gone, police presence will start to simmer down again, the tents will return. And it will slowly flare up again,” she added.
And therein lies the dilemma. While it’s nice to finally have the homeless cleared out, it’s clear the city is doing it now purely because of optics. This will, after all, be the first time that the city has ever hosted the annual APEC summit.
“They’re clearing out the homeless people because they don’t want them to see this,” Christie Palominos, a 47-year-old homeless woman who lived in the area, explained to the Los Angeles Times.
REPORT: The San Francisco homeless population has “miraculously” gone missing as President Biden & Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet in the liberal city.
The typical drug addicts & homeless who wander the city like zombies have disappeared as 20,000… pic.twitter.com/2iDpl4FHCG
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 11, 2023
As such, locals recognize that what the city’s doing is nothing more than placing a temporary “Band-Aid” on a much bigger, wider problem.
Jennifer Friedenbach, the executive director of the Coalition for Homelessness, doesn’t like what she’s been seeing.
“With shelters seeing spaces already filling up or limiting openings, Friedenbach said it’s ‘really frustrating’ because the city is just displacing groups of homeless people when they’re moved around. Instead, advocacy groups were hoping for more temporary housing for the homeless during the conference,” according to the Times.
“They want to clean up the city’s image and use this conference as a way to draw back tourism,” Friedenbach said. “These efforts never work because folks don’t have disappearing power. People are out there because there’s not enough housing. There’s not enough shelter.”
Residents who live in the areas where the homeless are being herded are also not pleased by what’s happening.
“They are just essentially herding the problem around but offering no long-term solutions,” local business owner Adam Mesnick told the Post. “I’m just outside what they consider the ‘containment zone’ for APEC, so the problem is getting pushed into my area, which is already pretty saturated with drug activity.
“I don’t know if these tents will be in physical view during APEC, but it will be virtually impossible to eliminate all of that,” he added.
The capitalist & world’s self-proclaimed greatest country () is kicking out homeless & drug addicts in San Francisco. Why?
APEC Summit is about to start & Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting the city.
Go to Beijing, Shanghai etc. in China. World-class cities where… pic.twitter.com/6DCpOHtLTL
— S.L. Kanthan (@Kanthan2030) November 11, 2023
Mesnick continued by accusing city officials of engaging in “performance art.”
“They are very good at creating an illusion and they are very good at performance art. It’s a Band-Aid and indicative of a poor administration. And you know, really at this point, the frustration couldn’t be any louder,” he said.
“I’ve likened this period of time in the Tenderloin [downtown San Francisco] like the Gold Rush, but here it’s the Fentanyl Rush. We have the cheapest fentanyl on the planet and it’s pretty much easy to be highly successful from the bottom,” he added.
Speaking of fentanyl, that too is another big problem the city is hiding.
“The city is expected to have a record-breaking year of fatal overdoses and is on track to reach 800 deaths this year, according to data released last month by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” the Post notes.
“From January through September the first nine months of 2023 there have been a total of 620 overdose deaths,” Director of San Francisco Behavioral Health Services Dr. Hillary Kunins reportedly told a local news media outlet last month.
That comes out to two deaths per day.
San Francisco tries to “clean up” homeless problem before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. pic.twitter.com/KmEdwX5x2O
— Live Not by Lies (@Dana35300026) November 8, 2023
As for San Francisco Mayor London Breed, she’s hoping visitors to the city look past the reality of homelessness and instead take in the purported beauty.
“I see a lot of beauty all over San Francisco. My hope is that people will have the opportunity to experience San Francisco for themselves and tell the whole story,” she said during a press conference on Thursday.
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