Remove Anti-homelessness bars from LSE Benches!
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We are students of the London School of Economics and we have started this petition to convince our university to remove anti-homelessness bars on our benches.
LSE’s mission statement claims to work towards the "betterment of society", but the implementation of anti-homeless benches outside the library is anything but.
These new benches, which are interrupted by armrests, prevent rough sleepers from resting there. This does nothing to stop rough sleeping; it merely attempts to hide it from view and to make life harder for people who are homeless.
We wholeheartedly reject the university’s decision to prioritise how the university looks over the shelter of the most vulnerable in our society.
The number of rough sleepers in England has increased by 73% over the last three years and a quarter of these rough sleepers, around 1,140 per night, are located in London.
As a university which claims to care about alleviating inequality and addressing social and economic challenges, it is outrageous that LSE would install these benches designed to exclude vulnerable populations. We therefore call on LSE to:
- Remove the new benches with dividing arm rests outside the library and replace them with benches on which an individual can lie down and rest.
- Take action to support local rough sleepers without putting anyone at risk, such as by installing benches like those in Vancouver which become shelters for those in need at night.
We hope that if enough people sign this petition not only can we convince LSE to remove these bars, but that we can send a strong message to the whole country that the public will not stand for anti-homelessness architecture.
This could set an example which stops other institutions from taking this action in the future.
So, please support us in calling on LSE to remove these anti-homelessness bars by signing this petition.
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