Cement cones drive out the homeless
The top headline in today’s This Morning 6 O’Clock: “The most blatant food safety issues will be resolved in the next three years.” The article says the State Council has put forth a set of milestones to help track its progress in building a better food regulation system over the next five years. They plan to stop the most blatant offenses in the next three years. In five years, they will have developed a strong food safety regulatory system with better-enforced food safety laws, more inspections, and a general increase in awareness and integrity throughout the system.
The picture that takes up nearly the whole front page shows hundreds of small cement cones that have mysteriously appeared under bridges and overpasses in Guangzhou province. The headline reads, “Guangzhou pours cement cones to drive out vagrants.” The story broke yesterday on weibo, when users uploaded photos of these new cement cones and began debating who might have laid them down, and for what purpose. While no one has so far taken official responsibility for building the cones, it is fair to assume that the government was involved, and that keeping homeless people from taking up residence under these bridges and overpasses was a key motivation. The article lays out the specific locations of all the newly-coned walkways in the city and addresses the controversy: Should these cones exist?
The reporter says he interviewed a number of people, and that most support the existence of the cones: homeless people should not live in traffic-intensive areas like under bridges because this could create accidents. One interviewee further commented that it makes the city look dirty to have homeless people piled up at random, and that they often scare passers-by. He also claimed to have witnessed several incidents where a homeless person living under a bridge walks into traffic in the middle of the night and gets hit by a car.
Yet the reporter also points out that homeless people are on the street for many reasons, and many are sick. The government should provide adequate care for these people, and use humane law enforcement to keep the city clean. It shouldn’t be so rude as to simply pour these cement cones.
Links and Sources
This morning 6 o’clock: 食品安全三年解决突出问题 , 广州浇筑水泥锥驱赶流浪汉
ChinaSmack: Spikes under Chinese overpasses to prevent sleeping homeless?