Activists Just Took a Bold Stand Against Those Anti-Homeless Spikes in London


The news: This week, a couple of buildings in London became the latest targets of Internet furor after they installed metal studs outside their property, which many interpreted as efforts to ward off homeless people. And now, that online outrage has translated into vigilantism.

According to Vice report, "a left-wing activist group" called the London Black Revolutionaries (LBR) decided to do some redecorating at a Tesco market on Regent Street, one of the sites with the so-called "anti-homeless studs." Early Thursday morning, several vigilantes showed up outside the store in construction gear, covering the studs with cement.

This is what they did.

Image Credit: Vice

Image Credit: Vice

And far from being professional construction workers, they ran into some problems mixing and applying the cement. This is the mess they ended up with:

Image Credit: Vice

Hashtag activism at work: Although messy vandalism may not be the best way to go, Tesco and a luxury apartment's decision to install these metal studs has certainly struck a chord. And while Tesco staff has maintained throughout the controversy that they didn't mean to target homeless people, they have given into public demand; just as a group of protesters arrived by the storefront on Thursday evening, store workers removed the studs.

Image Credit: Facebook

"Customers told us they were intimidated by anti-social behavior outside our Regent Street store, and we put studs in place to try and stop it," said a spokesman. "These studs have caused concern for some who have interpreted them as an anti-homeless measure, so we have decided to remove them."

What will happen next? While the Tesco studs have been removed, the ones outside a block of luxury flats near London Bridge still remain — but they won't stay for much longer if the public gets its say.

A petition to remove them outside the property has received over 120,000 signatures and even London Mayor Boris Johnson, who described the studs as "ugly, self-defeating and stupid," demanded that they be removed immediately.

And of course, there are the vigilantes. The LBR group warned that they will continue to remove any anti-homeless studs that they see and reminded property owners that their money could be better used elsewhere, to everyone's benefit.

"What places should do instead is give the money to a local shelter organization, a food kitchen, or a food bank, because that's what's going to help," an anonymous LBR member told Vice. "It's not going to solve the problem of homelessness, but it's going to alleviate some of the pain and suffering in these people's lives."