Whilst a loud minority of hipsters lose their collective shit over a new Pret in sheep’s clothing at the top of Brick Lane, elsewhere in Shoreditch there’s a far more noble cause taking place.
An artist collective is protesting the controversial ‘anti-homeless’ spikes that have been cropping up across London and becoming a thorny issue amongst residents.
Under the name Better Than Spikes, the group has given the spikes outside what was once the club Plastic People (opposite the hugely popular Blues Kitchen) a makeover.
Where the homeless would have been confronted with steel protrusions, there is now a comfortable mattress, pillows and a miniature library where you can borrow a book on the basis you return it after.
The group are calling for ‘space, not spikes’ to be made available throughout the city.
In a statement on their Tumblr page they said; “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.”
They’ve got a point.