People Power powers through

Yes, the people have won! With over 10,000 supporters garnered in ten days, a petition launched against Selfridges’ ‘anti-homeless’ metal spikes has had its voices heard. The high-end department store removed the metal spikes amid rising calls from campaigners to get rid of them.

The central Manchester branch (pictured) had put small studs on its periphery akin to those used outside buildings to deter people from sleeping rough. The move led to nationwide outrage and social media reacted to what some termed “the heartless treatment of the vulnerable” within our community.

University professor Cathy Urquhart, 53, who initiated the petition on Valentine’s Day calling for the fixtures to be removed from outside the store’s Cross Street side said, “Selfridges have listened and they took down the spikes overnight. We are very grateful to Selfridges for taking prompt action on these spikes, listening to the concerns put forward by the public, and being serious about corporate social responsibility.”

She later added that “In the future, we’ll be urging Manchester City Council to implement a city-wide ban on these anti-homeless spikes. The petition revealed a massive concern about homelessness. It is something that people worry about – many people have said to me that homelessness has no place in a wealthy country like Britain, and I agree.”

Activists stood outside the store handing out informative leaflets which gathered much support for the campaign with many people concluding that they will no longer be shopping at Selfridges. In response to the news that the store has listened to the widespread condemnation and acted as requested, campaigner Nadine Schofield said, “Well done. A victory for compassion and common sense. There’s enough hate and division in this world.”

The campaign has been hailed as an example of just how much power ordinary people can exert if they unite to voice the need for change. Activists around the world will surely be taking note.

 

TNT News Yasin Chinembiri

 

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