Spikes have appeared outside of luxury flats

Spikes have appeared outside of luxury flats

A number of anti-homeless spikes have reared their ugly heads across the country in a further attempt to demonise the most vulnerable people in society.

Rather than waging a war against homelessness, both businesses and politicians have teamed up to wage war on homeless people instead.

Earlier this week, Tesco sought to distance itself from criticism after what appeared to be anti-homeless spikes were spotted outside one of their stores.

It instead claimed that the metal rods were there to target street drinkers. Pictures of metal studs on flat ledges outside the Regent Street branch were circulated online over the weekend and attracted a number of angry comments over Twitter.

This came shortly after it emerged that anti-homeless spikes had popped up outside of luxury flats in Southwark.

It attracted such controversy that even the mayor of London, Boris Johnson waded into the row by calling for them to be removed.

In a rare show of compassion (or political tactics) he stated: “Spikes outside Southwark housing development to deter rough sleeping are ugly, self defeating & stupid. Developer should remove them ASAP.
“We’ve spent £34m on the likes of ‘no 2nd night out’ [which aims to ensure no one spends more than one night on the streets], reaching 3/4s of rough sleepers, but must do more. Spikes are simply not the answer.”
Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis, added that simply moving homeless people on from one doorway to the next would not solve the root causes of the problem.

She added: “We will never tackle rough sleeping with studs in the pavement. Instead we must deal with the causes”.

A number of complaints have been made to Southwark Council as a result of the spikes. However the authority responded that there was little it could do unless there had been a breach of planning regulations.

Anti-homeless spikes also made an appearance outside of the Labour headquarters. Political blogger Guido Fawkes placed a photograph of the stones on his website, quoting one of his readers as saying that a homeless man had been sleeping outside the Labour HQ until the stones were installed.

Fawkes quoted the reader as telling him: “There is a homeless man who for some time has pitched his night time cardboard box hard against a building for warmth. He is harmless. He has a wonderful, well-tempered dog who sleeps against him for warmth. Recently, new stones have been laid along the base of the building, down the slope. They are in a wave pattern and their only purpose seems to have been to move on the homeless man and his dog.”

However, the Labour Party has denied that they installed the new spikes and insisted that they were merely a tenant in the building.

It is unclear however, whether members of the party asked their landlord to put the anti-homeless spikes there.

Anti-homeless spikes have also appeared outside of Swansea Bank

Anti-homeless spikes have also appeared outside of Swansea Bank

However the war against homeless people is not just being waged in Britain. In the US, officials in Los Angeles are seeking to introduce a law which would make it illegal to feed homeless people.

City Council members Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell, are both trying to get the resolution passed, which would mean that not only are members of the public not allowed to give food to homeless people, meal lines or soup-kitchens would also have to be held inside of a building – and not outside.

Los Angeles is one of many cities across the US to see a spike in homelessness. The city has the second highest population of homeless people in the States, following New York City.

Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 15% from 2011 to 2013, to nearly 53,800 individuals, according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

New York City and Philadelphia have similar bans in place.

In fact, New York City is even worse, because under the legislation introduced by mayor Bloomberg, even donations to homeless shelters are banned.

Not only does it represent a vicious attack on those who have already been failed by the State, due to extortionate medical expenses and rising debt, it is also a restriction on the basic freedom to give your money to whoever you choose.

The ban is disguised as a bill to monitor the salt, fat and sugar content of food for the homeless, but is really just a way to starve them.

Jerry Jones, the executive director of the National Coalition of the Homeless, has spoken out against the bans.

He said: “It’s a common but misguided tactic to drive homeless people out of downtown areas.This is an attempt to make difficult problems disappear. It’s both callous and ineffective.”

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