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London Activists Destroy "Anti Homeless Spikes"

 
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    Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 12:06pm

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/activists-vandalised-the-anti-homeless-spikes-this-morning

ACTIVISTS POURED CONCRETE ALL OVER SOME 'ANTI-HOMELESS' SPIKES THIS MORNING

By Simon Childs, Photos: Tom Johnson Jun 12 2014


The war against London's "anti-homeless" spikes escalated today from sign-waving to radical criminal action. In the small hours of the morning, some activists dressed as builders poured concrete over the metal spikes outside a Tesco Metro on Regent Street, before vowing to strike again.

A "Homes Not Spikes" demonstration organised by Left Unity is taking place at the store later today, but I was tipped off last night that some kind of protest would be happening early this morning, so I went along to check it out for myself.

UPDATE: A left-wing activist group known as the London Black Revolutionaries have claimed responsibility for the action. VICE interviewed them here to find out who they are and why they did it.

Walking through the West End on the way there, it was clear to see why this issue has touched a nerve; there were plenty of homeless people around, using shop doorways for shelter – and the more private businesses install metal studs in those doorways, the fewer sheltered places there are to sleep. 

The number of homeless in England has been rising for the last few years, with programmes to help people off the streets struggling and council house waiting lists overstretched.

Some have said that the spikes are a good thing because rough sleeping is dangerous and needs to be discouraged. The problem there is that sleeping on the street generally isn't something people choose to do, so maybe the best way of discouraging it is by asking the government to stop gearing policy towards housing for the rich, rather than making an already uncomfortable situation even worse.

I hung around outside the Tesco for a while, and before long some guys in hi-vis outfits appeared.

They were all carrying buckets, which I soon found out were full of concrete. Tipping the containers all over the spikes, the stuff inside landed with a messy thud on the ledge. The activists then tried to spread the concrete out with some wooden slats, but it looked a little thick and wasn't really budging.

When they dashed down a side street, I caught up and asked one what exactly they were doing. They explained that they were trying to drown the spikes in concrete, rendering the ledge non-spikey. “These [spikes] are in places where people are trying to find a cosy, less wet place to put their head down,” one said. “These are places that the underclass rely on. We give [Tesco] our money and this is how they treat us.”

“Homeless people are some of the most vulnerable people in society with the Tories’ austerity programme,” added another activist. “They’ve cut Shelter’s funding. Crisis are in crisis. There’s more people on the street, more people using food banks – and you have businesses installing anti-homeless spikes. It’s a really degrading way to treat human beings.”

After our chat they prepared themselves for a second round. This time they poured concrete mix directly out of a bag, then mixed it with the water al fresco. This mostly resulted in a powdery mess and a load of concrete-y water running down the pavement.

I pointed out that what they were doing to the spikes was illegal vandalism. “We don’t really care, to be honest. If any others pop up, anywhere in London, we’re going to do the same thing to them,” was the response.

“Others are going to get hit as well. It’s going to be the same way – they’re going to get hit.”

With that, they walked off with their buckets in tow.

Homeless people of London, your sh*tty new mattress awaits. 

Tesco have insisted that the spikes aren’t there to deter rough sleepers; they claim they're actually there to stop people sitting on the ledge to smoke and drink, which puts off customers. Unfortunately for the supermarket, I'd say their storefront now looks even less appealing than it did before.

@SimonChilds13 / @tomjohnsonuk


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tatee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 12:18pm
the only solution they could think of was to deface someone's property
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 12:20pm
Homeless people sleeping in front of folks businesses isn't cool though. 
I also hate when people stand outside of stores and apartment buildings too. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote creole booty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 12:35pm
I just like the action
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote femmefatale85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 12:37pm
they're not going to sleep on that either
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote thewonderfulwa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 2:41pm
Ive seen spikes like that in the city to keep people from loitering
I believe if officials would find suitable housing for the homeless they wouldnt be sleeping in entry ways to residential and business areas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ppp38 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 2:48pm
Hope they are arrested for vandalism 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Lady ICE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 2:53pm
I pointed out that what they were doing to the spikes was illegal vandalism. “We don’t really care, to be honest. If any others pop up, anywhere in London, we’re going to do the same thing to them,” was the response.

“Others are going to get hit as well. It’s going to be the same way – they’re going to get hit.”

With that, they walked off with their buckets in tow.


i like this.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote creole booty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 2:54pm
^^^I don't hope they go to jail. They put down spikes so that homeless people wouldn't sleep there. What kind of human being could even go to that extent?

Edited by creole booty - Jun 15 2014 at 2:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 15 2014 at 2:56pm
Would you want homeless people sleeping on your porch?
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