Inhumane anti-homeless spikes in London creates Uproar
The anti-homeless spikes that were erected by the entrance of a luxury block of flats in London led to social media outcry this week that even got London Mayor Boris Johnson fuming.
Homeless spikes outside a housing development in Southwark borough, London
The outrage all began in Twitter on Saturday when photos of the anti-homeless spikes were posted and shared in the social media network. Sharers and commenters said that the spikes, which are similar to those used to deter pigeons from window ledges, are ‘disgusting,’ ‘medieval’ and ‘shameful.’
The rage drew media attention as early as Sunday and finally reached London Mayor Johnson’s office on Monday. He said:
On Tuesday, a petition was set up in Change.org urging Mayor Johnson and the managers of the housing development Property Partners to remove the anti-homeless spikes. So far, the petition has reached 100,000 signees. Petitioner Harriet Wells called the spikes ‘a controversial and inhumane way of “managing” London’s homeless population.’
However, concerned Twitter users from around the world reveal that the issue is not unique in Britain.
Cement spikes under a bridge in Guangzhou, China
Cape Town, South Africa
New York, USA
Netizens have also been posting other anti-homeless spikes they found throughout London like those in Tesco, Regent Street and the offices of law firm Latham & Watkins. The Labour Party has also been accused of setting anti-homeless spikes outside their headquarters:
According to information collected by St Mungo’s Broadway charity, around 2,000 people were sleeping rough in London from January to March this year. This is an 8% rise in last year’s number. The photos are proof that there is growing awareness among netizens about the problem of homelessness around the world, an awareness that will hopefully translate into more practical and humane actions by officials.