Photos: Guangzhou sets concrete spikes under bridges to drive away homeless people
Homeless people living under bridges is such an eyesore that Guangzhou has cast concrete spikes as a countermeasure? Photos of these ‘defensive works’ posed by netizens onto Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging service, have soon become viral.
Most of photos were taken under a bridge that links the city with the entrance of an expressway to the airport. The reporter from Southern Metropolis Daily talked to a number of government agencies of Guangzhou’s Baiyun District, where the bridge is located, about this ‘fascinating invention’, including Bureau of City Management, Bureau of Transportation, and Bureau of Construction, but none of them took credit for it.
A person in charge at Baiyun District’s Bureau of City Management said that they did not set spikes, and believed that spikes were not intended for preventing homeless people from sleeping under bridges. As for their real purpose and construction cost, the person said he was not aware. “It should be overseen by the airport management. The city management doesn’t really that area.”
However, the staff at the airport management denied having anything to do with spikes under the bridge, “Those were built by the District administrative agency, because too many homeless people congregated under the bridge and not only rested there but lighted a fire to cook there as well, which posed danger.”
Liang Shuxin, a notable civil rights activist, wrote on his Sina Weibo page, “These concrete spikes are a disgrace on Guangzhou, which brands itself as a metropolis with tolerance and inclusiveness as its spirit. If you are in favor of razing these spikes that have stabbed at people’s heart, please retweet. Return a resting place to homeless people.” Within three hours, the message had over 47,000 shares and received 9,501 comments. Most netizens were highly critical of the arbitrary and inhumane approach the government has adopted to manage the homeless population.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
某某饺子：Even homeless people are citizens. As a government, far from improving the harsh living environment of these citizens, it has adopted such a shameful approach. I really don’t know what words I can use to describe my disappointment. //@新周刊: Putting the people first? Putting hurting the people first. Putting inhumanity first…
龙年大吉_2012V：So this can solve the problem of homeless people?! I so despise them!!
混血宝贝安娜：What a disgrace!!! Which country doesn’t have homeless people?! Look at the United States, they have even more than China! Do they really have to be so ruthless and cruel!!
笑着笑着就哭了001：Damn, Shameless! Who would really love to sleep under a bridge if he really has a home? Does the homeless sleeping under the bridge really adversely affect anyone in particular? Do they really have to drive away and exterminate everyone?
zl623：Awesome. How talented! Who came up with this? I was really wrong about these goddamn government officials. I thought they f**king do nothing but graft and corruption NB every day. It turns out they put in quite a lot of effort into things like this!!
A_lindar：The money spent on concrete spikes is almost enough to build them a temporary shelter…
袁莉wsj: Toying with taxpayers’ money. Which government agency did that?!
面噢啦啦：They’d better spend time thinking about how to improve living standards of people living at the bottom rung than rack their brains to chase away homeless people~ A brain-dead government that put the cart before the horse.
大葵_：Even Manhattan in New York has a homeless population. I never see them do this.
Top comments from NetEase:
中石油CEO [网易山西省朔州市网友]：2012-07-03 08:47:58 发表
Homeless people in America not only have free food provided to them every day, but have their physical health checked by volunteers every now and then.
A certain country cracks down heavily on the homeless population. It seems homeless people can only sleep in public places in the future.
84721791 [网易山东省网友]：2012-07-03 08:47:10 发表
Why don’t they just lay land mines?
网易江苏省常州市网友 ip：222.185.*.*2012-07-03 08:45:15 发表
You are really forcing these people to stand up and make trouble.
印小兄 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]：2012-07-03 08:42:41 发表
Like one little tomb after another.