Planet of the Humans: how environmental and green energy movements were taken over by capitalists

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Apr 30 00:56:12 BST 2020

See below for: The Government Asked Councils To 
House Every Rough Sleeper. Here's What Happened Next

Planet of the Humans - you have another three weeks to watch it free online

Directed by 
A delusion-shattering documentary on how the 
environmental and green energy movements have been taken over by capitalists.

Film Review by 
and Mary Ann Brussat

Planet of the Humans is available to stream for 
free on YouTube for 30 days, beginning on April 
21, 2020, the eve of Earth Day. 
here to watch the documentary. A discussion with 
Executive Producer Michael Moore, Writer/Director 
Jeff Gibbs, and Producer Ozzie Zehner, recorded 
on April 22, can be viewed <>here.

We remember well the first Earth Day. Mary Ann's 
brother Philip had helped to organize the event, 
including the big celebration on the mall in 
Washington, D.C. So we had plenty of advance 
notice of its significance, and we 
enthusiastically joined the crowd in New York 
City's Union Square Park. In the 50 years since, 
we have remained committed to environmental 
causes, attending more rallies, making donations 
to various organizations, divesting from fossil 
fuels with our investments, and participating in 
recycling and other projects. Like others, we've 
hailed the rise of green energy options like 
solar and wind power. And we've read and reviewed 
the books and the documentaries by environmental activists.

Watching this documentary, written, directed, and 
produced by Jeff Gibbs, a lifelong 
environmentalist, and executive produced by 
award-winning documentary filmmaker and social 
prophet Michael Moore, we realized that what we've been doing is not enough.

In fact, what all of us have been doing may not 
be enough.The film opens with on-the-street 
interviews with a variety of people asking them 
how long they think humans have on earth. Gibbs 
asks his own questions: "How you ever wondered 
what would happen if a single species took over 
an entire planet? Maybe they are cute; maybe they 
are clever, but lack a certain self-restraint. 
What if they go way, way, way, way, way too far? 
How would they know when it is their time to go?" 
Sobering questions, especially in light of the 
delusion-shattering information to come in the next two hours.

Let's start with the promise of green energy, 
embraced by President Barack Obama, airline owner 
Richard Branson, philanthropist Michael 
Bloomberg, founder Bill McKibben, the 
Sierra Club and other environmental 
organizations, and a large percentage of the 
public. Electric cars, solar panels, and wind 
turbines were to be the alternatives to a 
reliance on fossil fuels, but it hasn't turned 
out to be that simple. An electric car is charged 
from an outlet powered by the local company that 
relies on coal and natural gas. A site for wind 
turbines in Vermont requires that a forest be cut 
down, a mountain-top removal similar to what seen 
in coal country. In an upsetting sequence, we see 
all the materials that have to be mined, 
transported, and processed to make solar panels. 
And still, both solar and wind power requires a 
backup system for rainy and windless days -- 
which turn out to be power generated by burning 
fossil fuels. Gibbs asks: "Can machines made by 
industrial civilizations save industrial civilizations?"

When solar and wind did not provide the answer, 
biomass became the energy alternative -- most 
often the burning of wood chips made from trees 
and waste wood, like old railroad ties. But just 
because trees can be planted and harvested, does 
that make them a sustainable form of energy? What 
about the fuels used to power the machines 
cutting down the trees and converting them into chips?

Nevertheless, environmental "leaders" have jumped 
on the biomass bandwagon. Bill McKibben, having 
noted that trees grow much faster than the 
thousands of years it takes to make coal or oil, 
is shown speaking at a stockholders' meeting 
about how biomass must happen everywhere. Robert 
Kennedy, Jr., and Al Gore, both known for their 
environmental stands, are also defenders of this 
"sustainable" solution. One of the few opposing 
voices is Indian activist and anti-globalization 
author Vandana Shiva, who says: "We are talking 
about the old oil economy trying to maintain 
itself now through another raw material, the 
green planet. . . . The big crisis of our time is 
that our minds have been manipulated to give 
power to illusions. We shifted to measuring to 
growth not in terms of how life is enriched but 
in terms of how life is destroyed."

Vandana Shiva

With plenty of examples to back up his arguments, 
Gibbs posits that we are turning what was left of 
nature into profit. Whether we are burning trees, 
killing animals to render their fat for use as a 
liquid fuel, or harvesting seaweed and algae to 
fuel Navy ships, the natural world has become 
just another product in the profit-making system. 
As leaders join boards and endorse various 
strategies, the "takeover of the environmental 
movement by capitalists is complete."

Planet of the Humans may seem to be an odd choice 
of a film to release on Earth Day, an annual 
feel-good event that is usually associated with 
celebrations of the planet, excursions in nature, 
and lots of speeches about how much good is 
happening. We don't like to think about the 
negative and shadow sides of the environmental movement. But Gibbs says:

"I truly believe that the path to change comes 
from awareness, that awareness alone can begin to 
create the transformation. There is a way out of 
this. We humans must accept that infinite growth 
on a finite planet is suicide. We must accept 
that our human presence is already far beyond 
sustainability and all that that implies. We must 
take control of our environmental movement and 
our future from billionaires and their permanent 
war on Planet Earth. They are not our friends. 
Less must be the new more. And instead of climate 
change, we must at long last accept that it is 
not the carbon dioxide molecule destroying the 
planet, it's us. It's not one thing but 
everything we humans are doing, a human caused 
apocalypse. If we get ourselves under control, all things are possible."

What we need is the spiritual 
of reverence, radical respect for the Earth and 
all the beings -- animate and inanimate -- upon 
it. All the spiritual traditions have taught and 
recognized that reverence is a transformational 
practice both for individuals and societies. 
Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest, a historian of 
religions, and a "geologian," put it wisely in 
his classic book The Dream of the Earth:

"The change that is taking place on the Earth and 
in our minds is one of the greatest changes ever 
to take place in human affairs, perhaps the 
greatest, since what we are talking about is not 
simply another historical change or cultural 
modification, but a change of geological and 
biological as well as psychological order of 
magnitude. We are changing the Earth on a scale 
comparable only to the changes in the structure 
of the Earth and of life that took place during 
some hundreds of millions of years of Earth development.

"While such an order of magnitude can produce a 
paralysis of thought and action, it can, we hope, 
also awaken in us a sense of what is happening, 
the scale on which things are happening, and move 
us to a program of reinhabiting the Earth in a 
truly human manner. It could awaken in us an 
awareness of our need for all the living 
companions we have here on our homeland planet. 
To lose any of these splendid companions is to 
diminish our own lives. "To learn how to live 
graciously together would make us worthy of this 
unique, beautiful, blue planet that evolved in 
its present splendor over some billions of years, 
a planet that we should give over to our children 
with the assurance that this great community of 
the living will lavish upon them the care that it 
has bestowed so abundantly upon ourselves."

The Government Asked Councils To House Every 
Rough Sleeper. Here's What Happened Next

Thousands of rough sleepers now have a roof over 
their heads. But the challenges faced by the 
community don't vanish once they're inside a hotel room.

<>By Sarah Turnnidge

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Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.

On March 26, MP Luke Hall, minister for local 
government and homelessness, wrote to local 
authorities across the UK and asked them to house 
every rough sleeper by the end of the weekend.

Three days had passed since Boris Johnson 
announced a nationwide lockdown, and serious 
questions were being asked about 
was being done to protect some of the country’s most vulnerable residents.

“Our strategy must be to bring in those on the 
streets to protect their health and stop wider 
transmission, particularly in hot spot areas,” he 
wrote, setting out six steps local authorities 
should take in order to protect the nation’s street homeless.

The announcement, which hit headlines the 
following morning, was met with widespread 
praise. A total of £3.2m of emergency support for 
homeless across England had already been 
announced 10 days earlier, but this new move 
represented a shift of unprecedented scale.


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In fact, it was St Mungo’s, not the government, 
that first saw Covid-19 as an opportunity to get 
everyone off the streets. The homelessness 
charity ran with the idea two weeks before the government’s announcement.

“The demand hasn’t changed – it was always there 
– but what we’ve had is the opportunity to do 
something about it, and in a wholly innovative 
way,” explained the charity’s chief exec Howard Sinclair.

“We’ve been able to accommodate thousands of 
people in a way we couldn’t have dreamed of. We 
led on that opportunity and demonstrated it could 
work in London, which meant the government then 
said to everyone: ‘This is what you need to do.’

“It wasn’t in response to the government – it was 
a response to a real humanitarian situation where 
we just couldn’t allow people to stay on the streets.”

The government has since poured £3.2bn into local 
authorities in order to help them combat the 
challenges posed by coronavirus, with some of 
that money expected to fund rooms – largely in 
hotels and B&Bs – for rough sleepers so they have 
somewhere safe to self isolate.

In London alone, more than 1,000 people have been 
taken off the streets and housed in temporary 
accommodation. A spokesperson for the mayor of 
London said that at the start of the crisis there 
were an estimated 11,000 homeless people in London.

They added: “Up to 2,000 were either on the 
streets or in shelters – where sleeping is 
communal – so they are our priority and we now 
have more than 1,100 of those in City Hall funded accommodation.”

The vast majority of the remaining 900 are being 
helped by individual boroughs, who are operating 
their own programmes independently.
The government has said 90% of rough sleepers have been housed,

said 90% of rough sleepers have been housed, but 
grassroots organisations and larger charities alike are concerned.

Everyone in?

By April 19, 90% of rough sleepers had reportedly 
been offered a place to see through the crisis, 
according to housing secretary Robert Jenrick.

Of course, the number of people sleeping rough is 
not a static one, and it is feared that the 
conditions of lockdown – from people facing 
illegal evictions to those fleeing domestic 
violence – will lead to even more people on the streets.

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council, which 
has housed more than 200 homeless people since 
the start of the crisis, said: “We are not 
working in a static environment, and the Outreach 
Team and Street Intervention Service will connect 
with anyone who comes onto the street in order to help find them accommodation.

“Homelessness is very complex and not everyone 
wants to move into accommodation, but we will 
continue supporting people in the best ways possible.”

With an accurate number of those sleeping rough 
notoriously difficult to calculate, HuffPost UK 
contacted the Ministry of Housing, Communities 
and Local Government to ask how the figure of 90% 
had been collated, and asked if this figure would 
be reviewed as the current situation continues.

A spokesperson from the department said local 
authorities across England were asked at the 
start of the crisis to provide an estimate of the 
total number of people sleeping rough and in 
accommodation with communal sleeping spaces, such as night shelters.

They added that officials were aware of a 
shifting population of rough sleepers, but did 
not clarify whether or not the figure of 90% 
would be updated in the weeks and months to come.

Staff at Streetlink, which operates an app, phone 
line and website allowing homeless people either 
to self-refer for help, or to be referred by a 
member of the public, have been inundated with alerts.

Between April 1 and April 22, 2019, the service 
received 2,271 – an average of 103 a day. A year 
later, that figure has increased by 70%, with a 
team of just six to eight staff and a couple of 
volunteers each day fielding an average of 177 calls every 24 hours.

Alerts from the public have risen by more than 
half (55%), but self-referrals from rough 
sleepers have have rocketed by 740%: a total of 
462 from April 1 to April 22 this year.
Coronavirus has meant thousands of homeless people are off the

HENRY NICHOLLS / REUTERSCoronavirus has meant 
thousands of homeless people are off the streets 
– but those who are left behind have been cut off from vital services.

A spokesperson told HuffPost UK this could be 
down to homeless people becoming more visible due 
to quieter streets, increased public concern 
about people sleeping rough, local authorities 
explicitly asking members of the public to refer 
homeless people through the site, and the closure 
of day centres and public toilets.

It’s a big spike in demand for a small team – but 
the bigger concern is the capacity of the services on the ground.

Council- and charity-run outreach teams, 
sometimes informed by Streetlink’s alerts, are 
the mechanism through which the government is 
expecting the homeless to be housed. They have 
limited numbers of staff, and councils have 
limited amounts of accommodation to offer those who need it.
“The key mistake is relying on a system that is 
broken to repair the system. It just can’t happen. Everything’s changed.

Grassroots organisations like Ealing Soup Kitchen 
and Streets Kitchen are concerned that rough 
sleepers – particularly those without a phone or 
who do not speak English – are going undetected.

Andrew Mcleay, manager at Ealing Soup Kitchen, 
explained: “By registering them with Streetlink 
you the assume these people are then accounted 
for, but in our experience that hasn’t always been the case.

“There are still people, even now, who have never 
been found by Streetlink or have had any contact 
with them. There are quite a number of people 
still out there who don’t speak English, which 
presents quite a problem to Streetlink and the 
outreach teams, because how would they even 
communicate with them without a translator?”

While there are practical issues with referral 
systems like Streetlink, the fact people are 
still out on the street is rooted in systemic 
issues, according to Jon Glackin of grassroots 
outreach service Streets Kitchen.

“The process is broken,” he said. “It doesn’t 
work. It works sometimes, but that’s not good 
enough – people are not getting through.

“The key mistake is relying on a system that is 
broken to repair the system. It just can’t happen. Everything’s changed.

“It’s shown that mutual aid groups and community 
groups are the backbones of communities at the 
moment. They’re keeping them alive.”

The stresses compounded by lockdown mean that 
even as local authorities are trying to house 
rough sleepers, more people are finding 
themselves suddenly homeless and with nowhere to go.

“A lot of people are being made homeless at the 
moment, through illegal evictions, backpacking 
hostels being closed, B&Bs being closed, sofa 
surfers being kicked out,” Glackin said.

“There’s a whole deluge of people hitting the 
streets. We’re seeing lots of new faces at our 
kitchens, which is very worrying.”

Hannah Gousy, head of policy at Crisis, said red 
tape was stopping vulnerable people – such as 
those fleeing domestic violence, or some groups 
of migrants – accessing safe emergency accommodation.

Gousy added: “We’re hearing examples of where 
local authorities are applying the legal tests 
within the homelessness legislation and that’s 
presenting as a big barrier for people moving 
into both emergency and permanent accommodation.

“In terms of what those legal barriers are, they 
could be denying someone assistance on the basis 
that they’re not able to prove they have local connections.

“It could also be denying people assistance 
because they’re not deemed to be a priority need. 
That could be women who are fleeing domestic 
abuse that aren’t deemed vulnerable enough to be 
in that category, and obviously that’s something 
we’ve seen a huge spike in during the coronavirus 
outbreak so we’re very, very concerned about that.”

Local authorities are also being instructed by 
government to reapply the “no recourse to public 
funds” criterion that was briefly lifted under 
the “everyone in” initiative, Gousy said. “No 
recourse to public funds” is a condition imposed 
on some migrants, meaning a person can’t access certain pots of public money.

The MCHLG said councils had been given 
flexibility to determine how they spent the cash, 
but were expected to meet their statutory duties.

A ‘dire situation’ for those left behind

A government spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “The 
effort to get rough sleepers off the streets 
during this crisis has been a success by any measure.

“Thanks to the close co-operation between 
government, councils and charities, thousands of 
rough sleepers are staying safe and following public health guidelines.”

While thousands of people have managed to find a 
safe place to self-isolate thanks to the scheme, 
organisations working with vulnerable people say 
many more hidden homeless are struggling as the 
services that support them are forced to adapt.

Mcleay said there were dozens of rough sleepers 
who had fallen through the gaps – with at least 30 known to the organisation.

“After the lockdown was announced and the 
government said they were going to house 
everybody, I started to put my number on a slip 
of paper inside the take away meal packages we do,” Mcleay explained.

“I must have had about 45 phone calls from people 
telling me that they were sleeping rough and 
hadn’t been offered anywhere to stay, and they 
were telling me about their friends too – so in 
all I had the names of about 60 people. A few 
weeks on, I would say there are still at least 30 
people we know about without anywhere to shelter.

“There’s just no way of reaching these people – 
the outreach teams are so stretched, and already 
working in really difficult circumstances, that 
those people who are less visible, who can’t 
speak English or don’t have a phone, are just falling through the gaps.
While thousands of people have been housed, many more remain on

people have been housed, many more remain on the 
streets and struggling to access vital services.

“When this help doesn’t reach our clients they 
start to ask questions like: ‘Why not me?’ It’s 
hard not to feel like we’re failing people, like 
they’ve been promised something we can’t possibly deliver.”

Meanwhile, those without a roof over their heads 
have found themselves severed from many of the 
services – clean clothes, haircuts, showers, 
mental health support and socialisation – that 
made the demands of sleeping rough easier to cope with.

Without the patchwork of soup kitchens, libraries 
and shelters, many have been left with nowhere 
left to turn. For those who don’t speak English, 
or the many – usually older – rough sleepers 
without access to a phone or internet, the challenges are even greater.

Mcleay explained: “In ordinary times we offer 
showers, as do many other day centres across the 
capital – if someone really wanted to, they could 
probably wash every day. But now everything is 
closed, and people who are still on the streets 
have nowhere to go and are facing the prospect of 
going months without a shower.

“What sort of health problems will that bring up? 
How can we make sure these people are kept safe 
when some of them are completely cut off from the 
information they need? What we need to do just 
goes so, so far beyond putting people between four walls.

“Everyone’s trying their best, but social 
distancing measures mean we can’t do haircuts, we 
can’t clean clothes, we can’t allow people to 
gather or speak with the volunteers as they used 
to. Sometimes our sessions would be the only 
conversation a client had for a week, and now it’s gone.”

His concerns are echoed by organisations working 
with homeless people across the country, who have 
already seen those left out on the streets forced 
to accept serious risks to their health just to 
access basic needs like drinking water.

“I know of cases in Hackney of homeless people 
drinking toilet water because that was the only 
water they could get, from a public toilet 
without a working sink,” said Glackin.

“We’ve had to bring in loads of water because, 
remember, McDonald’s is closed, Burger King is 
closed, all the day services are closed, 
churches, most public toilets, everything’s 
closed. It’s a huge, dire, situation.”

It’s important to note that people are not just 
on the streets because they haven’t been found – 
outreach teams across the country are in touch 
with rough sleepers who, for a variety of complex 
reasons, have refused, or been unable to take up, offers of accommodation.

A spokesperson for Hackney Council said the local 
authority was aware of nine people still sleeping 
rough within its borders, all of whom were in 
touch with outreach services and had been offered accommodation.

They added: “The council has been talking to 
these residents over a long period of time and 
many of these entrenched rough sleepers have 
underlying physical and mental health problems, 
and substance- or alcohol-related problems.

“The availability of accommodation is not the 
primary factor for these residents remaining on the streets.”

Rebecca Rennison, Hackney’s deputy mayor and 
housing chief, said: “We had already placed more 
than 50 rough sleepers in safe, self-contained 
accommodation even before the government’s 
request. With an offer of accommodation in place 
for every person known to be sleeping rough in 
the borough, the vast majority of homeless people 
in Hackney are now safe off the streets and 
receiving food, healthcare and other support.

“But each individual has complex needs that will 
not be solved overnight and we continue to work 
with outreach organisations to help those who 
remain on the street take up offers of accommodation.”

Adapting to life ‘inside four walls’

The pledge to house the homeless through the 
crisis has given many their best chance at 
avoiding the virus. But the drastic change to 
what for some people has been a lifestyle for 
many years has posed its own challenges.

Mcleay said he knew of “at least five or six” 
people who had already been asked to leave 
accommodation after struggling to adjust to 
living within four walls, whilst others were 
facing difficulties with abrupt social isolation.

He said: “The council pays for hotel rooms to put 
these guys up in, but quite a few of them have 
already been kicked out and are on the streets now.

“They could have been misbehaving, but the whole 
point of this process was to make sure they 
weren’t infecting other people or getting 
infected themselves so by kicking them out you’re 
sort of invalidating that whole process. It’s a 
really difficult one, because for a lot of our 
clients hotels probably aren’t the right place to be.

“Some of these people have lived on the streets 
for years, and suddenly you’re putting them 
inside four walls and they’re cut off from those 
routines they’ve depended on to survive. It’s so 
hard, because they need to stay there to stay 
safe, but to isolate in that way goes against 
pretty much every instinct we have.”

Many day centres and outreach groups that 
typically provide supplies of food, a laundry 
service and mental health support have found 
themselves having to radically alter the way they work.

Free meals are being delivered to hotels, and 
takeaway services have replaced the traditional soup kitchens.

Under new regulations put in place for the 
lockdown certain business are subject to 
restrictions and closures – including restaurants 
and cafes – but services providing food or drink 
to the homeless are excluded from this directive.

Where mealtimes used to be a potential 
opportunity to help identify the needs of those 
on the streets, social distancing rules now mean 
rough sleepers have to take their food and quickly disperse.

HuffPost UK spoke to a number of groups, 
including Exeter-based St Petrock’s, which have 
started to deliver meals to hotels that are 
hosting clients, and are even providing support 
such as mental health sessions via Zoom.

Spokesperson Lucy Patrick said: “Covid-19 has 
fundamentally changed the way we work across our 
entire service, but particularly the workings of 
our day centre because people can’t just drop in anymore.

“We are providing daily takeaway services to the 
hotels and we also have support workers going in 
with to help with things like getting our clients’ clothes clean.

“With regards to our other survival services, 
things like the mental health clinic obviously 
can’t work as a drop-in any more, but we’re 
really pushing to advertise on our website the 
fact that this can be accessed through Zoom.”

In Exeter, as of April 24, there were 14 people 
recorded as living on the streets.

Since March 27, the council has accommodated 56 
individuals or families, including people 
sleeping rough and those at rick of being on the 
streets, those released from prison, and people 
who have lost accommodation in the days since.

A spokesperson for Exeter City Council said 94% 
of known rough sleepers known to the city had 
been housed, with £88,180 being spent so far.

What happens when this is all over?

Weeks on from the government’s announcement, 
there’s still no clarity on what will happen when 
the lockdown lifts, or when the funding runs out. 
Organisations working with some of the most 
vulnerable people in society are seriously 
concerned that rough sleepers will be forced back out onto the streets.

Gousy said: “What we would be calling on the 
government to do is ensure there is a robust 
strategy in place so everybody who’s been housed 
during this period is made an offer of settled 
housing, so they’re not forced to return back to 
the streets or into homeless accommodation.

“Ensuring that people are made a priority for 
social housing, ensuring that people can access 
the private rented sector, will be absolutely vital.”

Sinclair shares the fear that lifting lockdown 
could see a significant rise in the number of people sleeping rough.

The St Mungo’s chief exec said: “We’re seeing 
more people going on to the streets than in 
normal times, and we need to figure out why.

“We need to get to those people swiftly and come 
to a way of finding solutions for them. My fear 
is that amid the economic difficulties and the 
unemployment we’ll see more and more people on 
the streets over the next few months.”

He explained that, when designated “severe 
weather” beds open up in the winter, 80% of those 
who come inside don’t return to rough sleeping. 
It is hoped that this crisis, too, could be an 
opportunity to help guide people away from the streets for good.

He added “We’ll work with each person to come up 
with a personal plan and then we’ll going back to 
local authorities, various statutory agencies and 
the government, and saying: ‘Right, this is what 
people need. You need to help us facilitate this.’”

The government hasn’t yet committed to any clear 
plan for homeless people once lockdown ends, and 
there are fears about the scale of the issue if 
everyone is put back out onto the streets at once.

A MHCLG spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “While 
local authorities continue to provide 
accommodation to those that need it, it is only 
responsible that we work with partners to 
consider how best to support the rough sleepers 
who have been moved into accommodation once the 
immediate crisis has been resolved.”

The government’s emphasis on housing the homeless 
has been welcomed by groups working with the 
community, but organisations from grassroots 
level to major nationwide charities have also 
called for more financial support to cope with the sheer scale of the issue.

Gousy said: “There are still a number of measures 
we’re going to need to see the government take in 
order to ensure it’s a full success.

“One of those things is to provide a dedicated 
funding stream for local authorities to procure 
the accommodation that’s needed, but also to 
provide the really vital support that’s needed 
for people once they get into that accommodation.

“There’s obviously been additional funding 
provided to local authorities but none of it has 
been specifically earmarked to work with people 
who are facing homelessness or to help with the everyone initiatives.

“We already know there are some local authorities 
that have used that wider pot of money to help 
support people who are facing homelessness, but 
there are some local authorities that haven’t. 
There’s no guarantee that without clear 
instructions from national government that 
funding will be used to support people who are facing homelessness right now.”

The national picture of how local authorities are 
dealing with coronavirus is a broad one, 
constantly shifting and adapting as this 
unprecedented situation moves inconsistently across the county.

In Leeds, 200 people have been housed since March 
27 – which officials estimated represented around 
74% of known homeless people in the city.

A spokesperson for the council said between 12 
and 16 people were known to have refused offers 
of accommodation and were continuing to sleep 
rough, adding: “We are continuing to do 
everything possible to ensure that as many people 
as possible take up our offers of accommodation. 
This includes, with partners, working with and 
offering support to all those in need, including 
those who have turned down accommodation previously.”

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, 
officials in Leeds have spent £477,000 on 
temporary housing – not just for rough sleepers, 
but also for those at risk of homelessness and 
people fleeing domestic violence.

Meanwhile in Newcastle, a sweep of the city 
undertaken by outreach teams had found no people 
sleeping rough over the course of a three-day 
period when responding to HuffPost UK’s enquiry on April 24.

A spokesperson for the city council said housing 
had been offered to six of the 14 people found 
rough sleeping since March 27. Four people were 
helped back to their accommodation, while four 
were supported “to be reconnected and housed in their area of accommodation”.

They added: “We are working with our commissioned 
providers to maintain our existing accommodation 
of 779 beds and also work alongside partner 
agencies across the city to try to prevent 
evictions and alleviate the additional pressures within the accommodation.

“In addition to this, we are planning ahead and 
looking at opportunities to source additional 
accommodation as demands and pressures grow and 
also to ensure we have the most appropriate 
accommodation to offer individuals as circumstances change.

In Liverpool, 130 households had been moved into 
“a range of accommodation options”, with around 
six rough sleepers still outside but in contact with outreach services.

Looking forward, a spokesperson for Liverpool 
City Council said: “The council is looking at 
options and will continually review them as and 
when the current situation changes. The money 
allocated for this programme is £300,000.”

The entire country has been plunged into a degree 
of uncertainty, but for some of the UK’s most 
vulnerable people the situation is worse than ever.

Organisations working on the ground have praised 
the government for their approach, but remain 
daunted at the sheer scale of the issues facing 
both themselves and the clients they work to protect.

As Glackin points out, for outreach charities 
everything has changed but the homelessness 
crisis. For those sleeping rough, coronavirus is just one more huge barrier.

“We were made in crisis,” he said. “We have 
always been involved in the homelessness crisis.

“In a way, that’s the benefit of these grassroots 
groups – they’re all fundamentally just dealing 
with crisis after crisis. We’re firefighting all the time.”

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"And I think, in the end, that is the best 
definition of journalism I have heard; to 
challenge authority - all authority - especially 
so when governments and politicians take us to 
war, when they have decided that they will kill and others will die. "
--Robert Fisk

'From South America, where payment must be made 
with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made 
a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of 
the brightest Jewish businessmen into a 
participatory role in the development of many of 
its corporations, and many of these Jews share 
their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
their proposals are sound, they are even provided 
with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. 
I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford, 
Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown 
several years before our conversation, but with 
Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more 
than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
community with a certain share of his profits 
earmarked as always for his venture capital 
benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
instances across America and demonstrates how 
Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary 
commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful 
nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much “literature.”

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.'

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