The fortitude of homeless people camped in the city centre is a reminder of the savage human costs of austerity – and symbolises a willingness to fight back
Poverty rarely breaks into the sunlight and presents itself unashamedly to the world. The usual nature of hunger, homelessness, destitution and desperation is to lurk, shy and embarrassed below the surface of public consciousness.
But since April, a small group of courageous and committed homeless people in Manchester have been refusing to play to that rule book, setting up and holding camp in some of the most prominent locations in the city centre. The collections of tents, shelters and slogan-daubed banners have quickly become an alternative local landmark, part of the vivid fabric of the city, attracting widespread support from the public and increasing dismay and impatience from the local authorities.
Manchester, like most cities, has been attempting to manage the social catastrophes caused by the ravages of austerity