Funds for housing, not for war!

Three unhoused people were murdered in Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 27 and 28. Two of the fatally shot men were Jose Bolanos, 37, and Mark Diggs, 62. The third victim has not been identified until the next of kin is notified. A suspect in the killings is now in custody.  

These killings cannot be viewed in isolation due to the growing epidemic shortage of housing in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s June figures, there are over 46,000 people without regular shelter, a 10% increase from 2022. Ninety-two houseless people were reportedly killed in 2022, according to Los Angeles Police Department data.   

The Los Angeles figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of houseless people throughout the U.S. The Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that in 2022 there were over 582,000 houseless people countrywide.  

Houseless people comprise one of the most vulnerable sectors of U.S. society. Many may suffer from being jobless or from mental and emotional disabilities. Houseless people are victims of police abuse and humiliation.  

In the richest imperialist country in the world, why are there hundreds of thousands houseless people, with a growing number of workers forced to choose between housing and eating? One immediate answer is that the capitalist government does not consider this basic human right – housing – as a priority.  

This government prioritizes military spending over every need for human beings — be it in housing, education, health care, nutrition and more. One stark example is the economic and military aid that the U.S. government forks over to the apartheid Zionist state of Israel.  

Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid, to the tune of $3.8 billion annually, much of it used for advanced military weaponry to massacre, maim and displace the Indigenous Palestinian population. Just think of how much housing – much of which already exists  – could be made affordable for the houseless people of Los Angeles with that much money.  

And now the Biden administration seeks to provide an additional $14.5 billion in military aid to Israel since the Oct. 7 assault by the Palestinian resistance. This bill has already passed in the House of Representatives. 

U.S. militarism received over $1.1 trillion of the overall U.S. federal budget, according to the National Priorities Project. Much of this money is used to police the world by providing arms to U.S. allies in NATO and Israel, and maintaining over 750 military outposts in 80 countries on land and on sea.  

The workers and oppressed people of the world must continue to unite to overthrow the shackles of the inhumane, profit-driven system of imperialism. A good place to start is to demand all U.S. aid to Israel stop immediately and instead fund human needs at home, including the right to housing.   

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