French town displays lack of compassion for homeless people

The benches were used “pretty much exclusively by drunks every day.”  Those were the words of a spokesperson for the French city of Angoulême in the wake of the town’s decision to erect metallic cages around public benches to prevent homeless people from sleeping on them.

In southwest France, the holiday season was marked by an alarmingly inhumane addition to the city of Angoulême. The city’s conservative Mayor, Xavier Bonnefont, decided to put a damper on everyone’s spirit by installing metal cages around public benches – an eyesore with an even uglier message.

Installed on Christmas Eve, Bonnefont had the cages put up to discourage homeless people from hanging around Angoulême, giving them less options to sit and sleep on. This was not only cruel to the homeless – thanks to Bonnefont, no one could use the benches! Surrounded on all sides by the metal fencing, the benches became impossible to access.

Looking at those cages, my first thought is “what kind of asshole thinks it’s a good idea to make the lives of homeless people MORE DIFFICULT?” (and my second thought is what a darn eyesore those cages are). The cages send {at least} two messages-

1: You may be a human being with rights and yeah, maybe we should show you some dignity, such as by not preventing you from finding a place to sleep, but we really don’t care about you

and

2: Not only do we not care about your human rights…not only would we never deign to treat you with dignity…but we also don’t want to look at you.

This vile idea of conservative Mayor Xavier Bonnefont would probably be embraced by many right-wingers here in the United States. Thankfully there was a public outcry against the benches and they’ve been removed (although the Mayor says this is temporary and a final decision on the matter will come in January).

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French town displays lack of compassion for homeless people
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2 thoughts on “French town displays lack of compassion for homeless people

  1. 2

    Nah. Not a bad person.
    That would have been the most logical thing to do. Obviously removing the benches would have been just as inhumane, but it would have prevented homeless people from sleeping on them, and probably would not have been as costly as creating those cages. It’s almost like the mayor thought “how can I make the lives of homeless people more miserable, while wasting city $$?”

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