Broken Windows Theory is Broken

Tiny - Posted on 04 October 2015

Poor, Houseless, Disabled and Criminalized Mamaz, Daddys, Elders and Youth Release Findings on the Racist , Classist Broken Windows Theory

(Photos by Suze Leon/PoorNewsNetwork

“Welcome to the 2015 WeSearch Policy Group 2015 report. Today we, the houseless, criminalized, displaced, elders and youth will present our well documented findings on the abuse, violence and criminality of the ‘Broken Windows Theory’ and European settler colonizers who steal and hoard indigenous resources and land and then create laws to incarcerate us,” said Dee Allen, WeSearchPolicyGroup Data Investigator to passerbys outside the Marriot Marquis Hotel in San Francisco, the location of the 2015 International Downtown Association(IDA) . 

A 2015 WeSearch report (poor people-led, not Academic-ethnographed, research project of POOR Magazine) was released outside the Marriot Marquis Hotel because the IDA is the epicenter of all private , anti-homeless policing and this year was hosting a workshop by none other than Kelling, the co-author of the anti-poor people theory, Broken Windows implemented by mayors of cities across the US and the world.( because we are exporting private policing and hater laws across the world as a “new” business model) .  
The broken windows model of policing was first described in 1982 in an article by Wilson and Kelling. Using code words like “disorder” and the metaphor of “broken windows”  the model focuses on the importance of “fixing” , aka policing, getting rid of, cleaning out  broken windows as a way of “preventing” more “serious crime”.

The poor, disabled and houseless scholars from POOR Magazine, who have experienced the violence of this private policing through programs like the “ambassador” programs in San Francisco and Berkeley, launched the WeSearch Policy Group(WPG) in 2013, because as our tag-line reads, “the ruling class only honors acronyms” to use the same paper trails, numbers, “data”, laws and confusing tactics that the gentry uses against us poor people all the time to evict, test, arrest and incarcerate us.

“In my Afrikan neighborhood since 2012, over 2,500 children and youth under 18 have been abused, profiled and threatened by policies inspired by Kellings Broken Windows theory. In addition, I as a poor Afrikan mama, have been abused, profiled and harassed by private police for walking, living and shopping while black stemming from those same racist theories,” said QueenandiXSheba, WPG Data investigator.

“Broken Windows is broken,” chanted a crowd who marched around the corner to join us. The fake corporate-quiet of the Marriot Marquis, colored a burgundy marble-esque, meant to lull the housed, jobbed, and oblivious into a relaxed feeling of “cleanliness”  a corporate settler -colonial wallpaper over the world, was beautifully disturbed by over 50 private policing resistors from across this stolen land. We resist these racist, classist laws and we are not broken windows,” said Bilal Ali, powerful revolutionary organizer with the Coalition on Homelessness. In addition to the COH, we were joined by Los Angeles Community Action Network and Western Regional Advocacy Project( WRAP), all of whom, like POOR have been conducting powerful research on the ways these laws force thousands of poor people into jails and increased poverty, often resulting in our death at the hands of the state. 

“As a young Black male child, if I stand together in my neighborhood with other youth of color I am automatically at risk of criminalization and arrest due to laws inspired by the Broken Windows theory, said 13 year old Tyray Taylor from Deecolonize Academy, a revolutionary school on the land at Homefulness. Three of his fellow students ranging in age from 12-14 also added their WeSearch Findings on the ongoing abuse to their communities caused by Broken Windows theories.

“As the child of a houseless mama – my family and I were harassed multiple times by private police for being houseless – this did nothing to solve our homelessness – but instead made our life more difficult,” said my sun Tiburcio, 12 years old, a student at Deecolonize Academy

From New York to Berkeley, poltricksters work with corporations to create new codes like the Business Improvement District’s  and Downtown Business Associations to hire private police whose sole purpose is to arrest, harass and move out poor people. But lest you think these are new, these same laws were already written throughout history to harass poor people. These are the same theories that were used in the anti-Black Sundown Towns, anti-Disabled Ugly Laws and now underscore laws like Sit-lie and Stop and Frisk.
I am Philip Standing Bear, an indigenous single, teen father. I am releasing WeSearch Findings today on the criminalization of poor youth and families. Since 2012 Over 350 families like mine were separated because they were sleeping in their cars. In my families case this crimialization never got us housing, but rather caused us to become more traumatized. As a Lakota Sioux person my family and myself has already suffered generations of ancestral trauma from the abuse of settler colonial land and resource theft

Sadly , often times even activists and revolutionaries don’t care about the struggles and resistance of houseless people, and don’t realize our incarceration as well as our liberation is all linked, as witnessed on Sept 21st with the I Did Die in SF County Jail” action led by Idriss Stelley Foundation, Krip Hop Nation and POOR Magazine.

“Hello Everyone, I am Bruce Allison, with a Phd in Shelter Studies from Shelter University, As a houseless, disabled elder since 2013 i have been profiled , harassed, incarcerated and arrested over 230 times.”

One of many “controlled” studies conducted by the WPG in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco,, our WeSearch Policy Group discovered that due to the racist and classist nature of the Broken Windows theory – the law only applied to people who looked “homeless” - you could be of any race but if you appeared to be poor- ie old clothes or living with a disablity the police would harass and arrest you . Another powerful study was just released by the Coalition on Homelessness, called Punishing the Poorest, also corroborated these findings.

The WPG conducted the same controlled study in San Francisco with the Downtown Associations crafted Sit-le Law. Over a period of six months if you appeared disabled or poor you were cited and arrested –of you were a Black man you were twice as likely to get cited and arrested. if you were disabled and an elder – this also increased your chances of arrest and citation.

From day laborers standing on corners to houseless people sitting on the street, our struggles might seem different but they are frighteningly similar.

“Hello Everyone, this is Muted Silence- A migrant, indigenous,poverty scholar with a Doctorate in Border Jumping and I have the following WeSearch Findings to present: In my intentionally blighted, poor black and brown neighborhood since 2012 over 6,700 black and brown youth and adults have been abused and profiled by the Broken Windows Theory

“Mr Kelling would you please come out and join us, and stop making theory about us without us,” I screamed one last time into the lobby of the hotel as I did many times throughout the day. “Mr Kelling would you please come out…”



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