Realizing that very old anti-Gypsy undertones really are present in much of the recent rhetoric about crackdowns on metal theft. Most visibly in this running assumption that small-time scrappers and scavengers are lawbreakers.
By contrast, what we're not seeing is a civic effort to help scavengers do their extremely useful work legitimately, keeping themselves and others out of trouble.
This is important from economic and civil rights points of view because scavenging is not only a profession chosen by some on a basis of taste or principle, but also one of the few remaining jobs available to people who can't handle more ordinary kinds of employment due to disability, or limited language or social skills, or homelessness, or other precarities.
I'd like to write in more detail about this later but just want to note the thought for now.