By Michael Evans
Police in Beijing raided a homeless camp at Beijing’s Yongdingmen bus station Saturday, clearing out those who had taken shelter from near-record cold temperatures, and allegedly confiscating their belongings.
The incident was first revealed by homeless advocate and social scientist Yu Jianrong on his Weibo, and later reported by state media. As the South China Morning Post reports:
Witnesses in the area near Beijing’s Yongdingmen reported hearing several people scream “robbery!” as coats, quilts, shoes and even packs of instant noodles were confiscated.
One homeless woman claimed to have lived in the bus station for nearly two years along with a group of 30 to 40 others.
“This is not the first time they have come to steal our belongings,” she said. “Most of us will be sent back to our home villages, but for those who do not have family members, they will have to stay here in Beijing.”
Urban management officials denied “robbing” those who were moved, saying that officers simply collected items that had been discarded after the homeless had been cleared from the station, a “necessary” move to ensure public hygiene and fire safety.
How you can help:
Home Sweet Home is a Pudong-based charity which provides housing and community services for Shanghai’s homeless.
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