Selfridges, now with anti-homeless spikes
Selfridges are under fire for installing some anti-homeless spikes outside one of the entrances of its Manchester city centre branch. As a result of the spikes, a petition has been launched, gathering thousands of signatures.
Cathy Urquhart, a professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, writes on the petition: "These spikes are an affront to humanity. They tell the homeless that they are not welcome, that they are a problem to be moved on. We should be looking after the homeless, not demonising and scapegoating them. Manchester is better than this!"
Some of the comments on the petition are pretty forthright too. One says: "The homeless are people in need; they are not pests to be deterred or shooed away. Anti-homeless spikes are at the peak of heartlessness."
The spikes themselves, have actually been in place since Christmas, and Selfridges are adamant that they haven't been installed to deter homeless people, but rather, because there have been complaints about people smoking outside the staff entrance. Basically, Selfridges want you to know that these spikes are to deter absolutely every human there is.
Charity, the Manchester Angels, will be setting up their Street Kitchen beside the spikes this weekend and Help The Homeless of East Lancashire will be joining in too.
Of course, there's been a number of issues with these spikes, as previous protests have taken place outside a Tesco on Regent St, London as well as a Halifax in Swansea. After protests, the spikes were removed.
Figures showing that people sleeping rough are up by over a third since 2010, but a minority of people will invariably side with businesses as polls regarding this situation always show that there's a loud support in favour of the actions of the businesses involved.