Protesters tackle homelessness in Leicester

By Dan Nash

homelessnessProtesters against homelessness set up a makeshift camp in Jubilee Square in Leicester last month in order to raise awareness about the issue.

They stayed in the square for just over four weeks, attracting both public and press attention, with many of the protesters being homeless themselves.

James McLean, 38, pictured below, was one of the key members in organising the protest, and stated that his ambition is to end homelessness in the UK, firstly by starting in Leicester and then drifting to other major UK cities.

He described the situation as a ‘nationwide problem’ and ‘not just about Leicester’.

An objective of his was to highlight to the community what he describes as the treatment towards rough sleepers in the city.

McLean suggested that rough sleepers are urinated on and are subject to being kicked and punched.

He set up the camp to provide shelter for local homeless people and to protect them from the cold this winter.

Tents in the makeshift camp displayed messages such as; ‘no drink, no drugs, no aggression, no ifs, no buts’.

The use of alcohol, drugs or aggressive behaviour were not welcome in the camp under supervision of McLean. This was said to make it easier to manage for him and to try to prevent the site being taken away from them.

He seemed moderately satisfied with his actions, saying: “The whole of Leicester is talking about homelessness now, they weren’t doing that four weeks ago, so I think I have achieved my goals.”

He stated that everything that had happened on the site for the duration of their stay will be documented and reported, then sent to both the government and local government in order to reinforce to authorities the lives of homeless people.

The protesters have now left the site in Jubilee Square.

 

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