Homelessness is a crisis in London, but activists don't believe putting spikes around the city is how to handle it. But that's precisely what has happened.
A group of activists called Space Not Spikes has stepped up to the plate to try to reverse the spikes that have been installed in front of the flagship Selfridges store in Manchester, hopeful to not just help the homeless, but send a powerful message as well.
"Living in a city, we bumble along from place to place in tightly martialed lines. We're told where we can walk, where we can sit, where we are welcome but only if we spend money. Or have it," the group wrote on its Better Than Spikes Tumblr page.
"It makes us neurotic and engenders a deep sense of ‘otherness’ in anyone who chooses to or simply cannot buy in to what currently passes for society and leisure."
So the group came together and decided to transform spiked ledges on Curtain Road to get the ball rolling.
The group transformed the spiked ledge into a bedroom.
Complete with a bed and bookcase.
With a special message ...
While some feel like shoppers should not have to be heckled by people begging for money, many of agree with the Space Not Spikes activists on the handling of the city's homeless population.
Thankfully, the store heard the pleas and announced plans to remove the spikes.
"As a business Selfridges cares a great deal about its local community — we employ over 1,500 team members in Manchester and as such are involved in a number of local and charitable initiatives," a Selfridges spokesman told the Manchester Evening News.
Still, there are more spikes (and homeless people) without shelter in the city.
The petition organizer, Cathy Urquhart, says there's a ways to go to helping them.
"The spikes are gone, but the homeless are still here. The petition put me in touch with some fantastic people working hard on homelessness issues in the City, such as Streets Ahead, Coffee 4 Craig, and Manchester Street Angels. We are setting up a coalition for those people so we can continue to work with each other," she wrote, linking the Facebook page for the Manchester Homeless Coalition.
The fight to treat people like humans — and get them off the streets — continues.