Socialist Worker

Making it a crime to be homeless

Issue No. 2244

Around 500 campaigners and homeless people protested against a Tory council’s plan to ban soup kitchens in central London last week.

Westminster council wants to outlaw soup runs—and even make “lying down or sleeping in a public place” a criminal offence.

It is planning £500 fines for anyone who gives “free refreshments” to homeless people—such as soup, bread and water.

Tory minister Sir George Young says giving “handouts” to homeless people “encourages them to a lifestyle which is not in their best interest”.

Home secretary Theresa May has put a clause in a new law that would let the council fine “offenders” and seize the soup, cooking equipment and even vans.

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Tue 22 Mar 2011, 17:18 GMT
Issue No. 2244
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