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Videos of US homeless beatings spike online

Videos of homeless people being beaten or forced into humiliating hu·mil·i·ate  
tr.v. hu·mil·i·at·ed, hu·mil·i·at·ing, hu·mil·i·ates
To lower the pride, dignity, or self-respect of. See Synonyms at degrade.
 acts are increasingly popular online, leading some US lawmakers to seek harsher penalties for hate crimes against the poor.

"They have become a new minority group that is okay to hate. If this would have happened to any other minority group, there would be some boycotts or protests," said National Coalition for the Homeless This article is about the national organization. For the original advocacy group it was based on see Coalition for the Homeless

The National Coalition for the Homeless
 director Michael Stoops.

Twenty-seven homeless people were killed in 2008 out of a total of 106 attacks, with the bulk committed by males who were 25 or younger, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a report published earlier this month by the NCH NCH National Coalition for the Homeless
NCH National Coalition for History
NCH National Council for Hypnotherapy (UK)
NCH National Center for Homeopathy
NCH Notched
NCH National Claims History
NCH Nielsen Clearing House

The total number of attacks was less than the 160 recorded last year but still far higher than the 60 listed a decade ago. More incidents are thought to have occurred but gone unreported.

On the Internet, videos of "bum fights" are a growing trend, with their authors defending the practice just for the "fun" or the "thrill."

In July, nearly 86,000 degrading videos of homeless people were posted on YouTube --- 15,000 more than a year earlier -- according to an NCH count.

No less than 5,700 of the posts -- 1,400 more than in April 2008 -- showed self-proclaimed "bum fights," where the homeless were pushed to battle each order in return for a pack of beers or a few dollars, but also to the amusement of those shooting the videos or watching them.

"This is exploiting people when they are at their lowest point," said Andrew Davis, who used to live on the streets in the nation's capital, Washington.

"Right now, the homeless have no voice. We need to prevent these things and the community has to be vigilant," the 44-year old told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol.  as he stood by dozens of homeless receiving a free meal.

The trend began in 2001, with videos showing fights or urging homeless people to jump into a trash bin from up high. Some 6.8 million similar videos have been sold on DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
 in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc

Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology.
 since then.

Some accept the humiliation because "they are alcoholic, they are mentally disabled mentally disabled See Cognitively impaired. , have no money," explained Stoops. "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."

Davis compared the practice to dog fights.

"It often happens with drug dealers," he said.

"They have money to throw away, they either pay the guy with crack, heroin, or weed or a drink, they pay to fight and bet on the fight," he said.

Each night, 672,000 people sleep under a roof that is not their own in the United States, the National Alliance to End Homelessness The National Alliance to End Homelessness is an advocacy group which promotes measures to end homelessness in the United States. External links
  • National Alliance to End Homelessness Official site.
 says. Between 2.5 and 3.5 million sleep on the streets or in a shelter at least once a year.

Out of the nearly 3,000 homeless living in Washington, according to official figures -- though homeless advocates say the number is at least twice that -- one-third say they have been victims of violence.

Close to the Watergate apartment complex, known for a political scandal that led to the resignation of former president Richard Nixon, Yoshio Nakada, 61, was murdered in his sleep on Christmas Eve last year after suffering what police believe were hatchet hatchet: see tomahawk.  blows that split his skull.

A 25,000-dollar reward has been posted for information about who may have been responsible for his death.

In April 2008, a 16-year-old beat Brian Michael Myers, 49, to death with an aluminum baseball bat in Glen Burnie, Maryland Glen Burnie is a census-designated place (CDP) in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States, and is a suburb of Baltimore. The population was 38,922 at the 2000 census. , just outside Washington.

Stoops said that in the 10 years his group has been tracking crimes against the homeless, 95 percent of the perpetrators were found to be men, most under the age of 25. They came from all economic classes and the vast majority -- 85 percent -- were white.

Faced with the scourge of violence, some states are taking measures. In October, Maryland is set to expand its hate crimes law to increase for the first time the penalties for attacks against the homeless.

Five states are considering similar measures, while the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district (2000 pop. 572,059, a 5.7% decrease in population since the 1990 census), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), on the east bank of the Potomac River, coextensive with the city of Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States).  (Washington) approved such legislation earlier this month. A bill tackling the spate of attacks is also under consideration in Congress.
Copyright 2009 AFP American Edition
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Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Aug 26, 2009
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