In a bid to keep the homeless from sleeping outside their buildings, it seems some Londoners are resorting to medieval tactics: deploying inch-long spikes to render sidewalk-sleeping impossible.
Anti homeless floor studs. So much for community spirit :( pic.twitter.com/Yz8VF7Ryid— Ethical Pioneer (@ethicalpioneer) June 6, 2014
Spikes were recently installed outside a luxury apartment building in London, and have provoked mixed reactions, with some calling the installation degrading and saying the homeless were being treated like "pigeons" or "vermin."
These Anti homeless studs are like the spikes they use to keep pigeons off buildings. The destitute now considered vermin.— David Wells (@David Wells) 1402137214.0
These #AntiHomelessSpikes are a disgrace and it makes me ashamed to be British, when did war on poverty become #WarOnThePoor ?— Karyna Morris ✌❤☮☯🌍⛥⚝ (@Karyna Morris ✌❤☮☯🌍⛥⚝) 1402220226.0
Others have defended the spikes as possibly justified, with Twitter user Gavin Logan saying they could possibly be a "last resort against someone who was aggressive and refused housing."
There will be a context behind those anti-homeless spikes. Possibly a last resort against someone who was aggressive and refused housing.— Gavin Logan (@Gavin Logan) 1402146338.0
Logan took some backlash on Twitter for his statement, and has since backtracked.
I’ve been quoted in The Telegraph about the anti-homeless spikes. I take it all back.— Gavin Logan (@Gavin Logan) 1402167543.0
For the record, I wish very few people to be placed on spikes. Almost no one in fact.— Gavin Logan (@Gavin Logan) 1402169735.0
While angry reactions poured out, at least one Twitter user noted the possibility that those who are outraged about the spikes might sing a different tune if they lived in the area.
#antihomelessspikes is a good example of a modern human nature. As long as it's not in my backyard then #outrage— Tonno (@Tonno) 1402201816.0
The luxury apartments are not the only place in London where sidewalk spikes have popped up, and not all sidewalk spikes are meant to keep the homeless from taking shelter, some say.
“The studs (outside a Tesco store) were put in place to try and stop people engaging in anti-social behaviour like smoking or drinking outside our store, which can be intimidating for our customers,” a Tesco spokesperson told the Telegraph.
Featured image via Ethical Pioneer/Twitter
(H/T: New York Daily News)
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter