“Anti-Homeless Spikes” Removed After Social Media Backlash

See Li/Flickr

Activists on the street and on the web reacted strongly against sets of metal spikes installed in front of a London grocery store and luxury apartment complex. The property developer, Property Partners, explained the pointed spikes had been put in place to prevent smoking and ‘antisocial’ behavior outside the buildings. Thousands of activists saw the installation of the spikes as an inhumane, hostile deterrent to the homeless people living in the area. Over 100,000 people signed a Change.com petition to remove the spikes and London Mayor Boris Johnson denounced the spikes as “ugly, self-defeating, and stupid.” On June 11, days after the spikes were installed, London activists poured concrete on the spikes outside of the grocery store and the store agreed to remove them later that day. The spikes outside of the apartment complex were also removed. Jacqui McCluskey, director of policy at UK Charity Homeless Link, said the use of the spikes is “not only inhumane; it does nothing to tackle the causes of rough sleeping [on the streets] and just moves the issue on for someone else to deal with.” He emphasized that “individuals need support.”

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