Protesters demand the council houses homeless in Kent
Some 30 people from the Medway Justice for Homeless People held a protest at the Dickens Festival in Rochester last Saturday.
The festival, held to commemorate the writer Charles Dickens, was organised by Medway council.
The council is not providing adequate help for the growing number of homeless people in the area and it recently evicted a small homeless encampment from council land.
The campaign was formed in the summer after a young homeless man was found dead in a tent in the centre of Chatham. It is demanding an end to evictions and the opening of homeless shelters in empty buildings. Medway has the highest number of empty buildings in Kent.
The protest was well received by most people attending the festival but Tory councillors dressed up in top hats and fancy waistcoats were not so pleased.
The protest was followed by a public meeting where it was agreed that the campaign would identify empty properties that could be used as homeless shelters.
It was also agreed to put pressure on Labour councillors to fully support the demands of the campaign.