“I believe,”said Christoher Reeve, addressing the Democratic National Convention, “and so does this administration, the most important principle FDR taught us: America does not let it’s needy citizens fend for themselves.”

Less than 24 hours earlier, as I strolled down Michigan Avenue, I witnessed behavior by the Chicago Police that stood in sharp contrast to Roosevelt’s principle.

The street was clean and peaceful. Suprisingly not many people were out. A bag lady sat on a bench–not begging, not harrassing people, just talking to herself. Two police officers pulled up beside her in their car and shouted, “Get off Michigan Avenue.” She complied. Five minutes later I witness one of the same officers pushing an old homeless man–an amputee in a wheelchair–around the corner to Chicago Avenue.

While I think it’s nice that Mayor Daley has spruced up the city for the DNC, I walked away sickened by the systematic cleansing of the city’s homeless from Michigan Avenue and wondering what happened to those who were bold enough to stand up for their rights. Did they get whacked with billy clubs?