Homelessness Activists Occupy Tunnel, After MPs Ask for Gate to Stop Rough Sleepers

Novara Media, September 2019

“There’s this big mess in there about Brexit, about this and that… and in the meantime the world is falling apart,” John said, gesturing towards parliament.

John* sells the Big Issue in Westminster and used to sleep rough in the underpass leading from the tube station to the Houses of Parliament. Last month, John and fellow rough sleepers were evicted by the police without warning and a gate was installed, shutting off access to the tunnel at night. Homeless people allege this was after some MPs, who walk past them everyday, complained about their presence.

Now, as the weather turns cold, people who used to sleep in the relatively warm, safe and dry tunnel have been left with nowhere to go. “They try to push us away – [but] away to where?” John asked. “They might as well throw us in the river”.

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