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Bum fights caused 27 deaths last year

September 10th 2009
Youths and 20-somethings encouraging rough sleepers to fight each other or put themselves in dangerous situations caused the deaths of 27 people in America last year. As reported by The Pavement previously, so-called "bum fights" are videoed and posted on the website YouTube, where they are watched by thousands. The US-based National Coalition for the Homeless reported 106 incidents where rough sleepers had been coerced into fighting in front of the camera in 2008. Although this figure is less than the 160 reported a year previously, it is thought many more attacks go unrecorded. The humiliation is allegedly accepted because "they are alcoholic, they are mentally disabled, have no money," explained Michael Stoops, director of the NCH. "They are bribed: if you jump or let us push you in a shopping cart, we will give you five dollars or a pack of beer." In July alone, nearly 86,000 degrading videos of homeless people were posted on YouTube, 15,000 more than a year earlier, according to an NCH count. US lawmakers are now seeking harsher penalties for hate crimes against the poor. Mr Stoops added that in the 10 years his group has been tracking crimes against the homeless, 95 per cent of the perpetrators were found to be men, most under the age of 25. They came from all backgrounds, but the vast majority were white.

September 2009



Best foot forward

Jumping the gun

Doing the Kiltwalk

Sally forth

Homelessness Hurts

The soup report: The right help in the right place at the right time?

Space at Emmaus

MP's expense and being on the street

Anger at a common scene

Operation Loose Change

London's 15 per cent rise in homeless

Swine flu preparations made

Goings on at Novas

Westminster fails to follow up on street count accuracy

Inquest goes ahead as homeless man's family is found

Charities squabble with politicians over homeless rights

Bum fights caused 27 deaths last year

Professional beggars working in Leicester

Belfast local charged with murdering his nephew

Seattle "breached constitutional rights‚Äö?Ñ?? by refusing tent city

Thames Reach, Blenheim partner up

Homeless services to pay for banning animals

Economic crisis transforming US homeless population

Street Shield 7: The Missing Man


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484