This Is the Best Way to Fight Back Against London's Anti-homeless Spikes
By Little Atoms /

In the past few years, central London has witnessed the rise of "anti-homeless spikes", rows of small steel protrusions placed in doorways to make them too uncomfortable for rough sleepers to bed down in for the night. This phenomenon has coincided with a massive increase in homelessness in the UK capital.

The spikes below are at the site of the legendary Plastic People nightclub in Shoreditch, which closed its doors in early 2015 after 20 years of championing underground music.

They are not very comfortable, but then that's the point

Recently some local artists (and friends of Little Atoms) decided to make something beautiful out of something ugly, because that's what artists do. Or, to put it in their words: "A bunch of idiots went out of an eve to address the issue of anti-homeless spikes in public/private space by setting up a small public library and a very comfortable seating and sleeping area in London's Hoxton."

If you build it, they will come

First, make sure you've got your measurements right

Solid workmanship is a given

Then the installation

Note the hi-vis jackets. Artistic statements on the cruelties of city life are important, but so is health and safety

Et voila!

The sofa came with a mini library of books on architecture and urban planning.

People were invited to have sit and read.

Good work comrades!

The people behind Space, Not Spikes say:

"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. 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.

"Anti-homeless spikes are part of that invention, Nothing says 'keep out' to a person more than rows of sharpened buttplugs laid out to stop people from enjoying or using public space.

"Space, Not Spikes came from the anger of public/private space inequity. We chose the Curtain Road location [in Shoreditch] because of its resonance with artists. Round the corner and down the road were the studios and spaces used by artists who couldn't afford anywhere else to live and work.

"This particular site is where the nightclub Plastic People used to live. It had a Vietnamese restaurant on top of it that vibrated on weekends. Now, we have spikes.

"Now, we're looking at poor doors and architecture designed to keep the 'right' people in and the 'wrong' people out. Regardless of whether you own, rent or even have a home, the streets are ours."

Find out more at

[All images Immo Klink/Marco Godoy license CC BY-ND]

3.8 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 11,413 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic
Michael Goodwin, Illustrated by Dan E. Burr · 6,691 views today · The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are the latest in a long line...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 5,965 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 5,773 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 4,667 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
Open Up - Have the Difficult But Important Conversations With Loved Ones
5 min · 3,712 views today · “The biggest casualty of humanity is the lack of communication, it’s the thing that breaks most relationships. It just feels so much better to talk and get it out.” There is...
Inside the Invisible Government: John Pilger on War, Propaganda, Clinton and Trump
John Pilger · 2,816 views today · The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was...
Democracy in the Digital Era
Birgitta Jonsdottir · 2,339 views today · Our current democratic models are crumbling and outdated. We need to make something more real and meaningful. Activist and politician Birgitta Jónsdóttir points to how it might...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,926 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 1,642 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,512 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 1,181 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,090 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 1,084 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 1,060 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 790 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 758 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Ode to Lesvos
5 min · 631 views today · An inspiring story of a few remarkable heroes on the Island of Lesvos who helped almost half a million refugees in 2015 has been documented in a new short film called Ode to...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 422 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 417 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
This Is the Best Way to Fight Back Against London's Anti-homeless Spikes