Stop benefit sanctions, public meeting Bridgwater 14th April 2015


Current Benefit Sanctions Policy Is Bonkers Says Workfare Industry’s Top Spokesperson

“This is about as close as an industry spokesperson can come to calling Iain Duncan Smith a fucking idiot without losing their job.”

the void

sanction-sabs3Aspects of Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal benefit sanctioning regime are bonkers  according to an astonishing diatribe from the workfare industry’s top spokesperson Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of the  Employment Related Services Association (ERSA).

ERSA are the trade body established to lie on behalf of the welfare-to-work companies like A4e and G4S who hold lucrative contracts to run workfare and forced training schemes.  In a frank statement on their website McHugh says that the use of sanctions is based on sending political messages rather than evidence of what works and that a more humane system is needed.

According to McHugh, current rules which mean welfare-to-work companies have no choice but to refer people for a benefit sanction for not carrying ‘mandated activity’  are ‘bonkers’ and that this causes inappropriate sanctions to be applied.  She also backs the recent call for an urgent review of the sanctions regime made by the Work…

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Police Intimidation on the #CroydonSouth Election Campaign – #VoteBigger

We don’t endorse engagement with the electoral process nor do we emphatically reject it. We must point out though, that any engagement – including spoiling – is a privilege denied to many, such as migrants, prisoners, the homeless, those on the run from debt collectors, domestic violence or the state. All of of whom will be at the mercy of whatever bunch of crooks and charlatans form the next government.

Trade Onion by Jon Bigger

Just imagine if the cops followed all the election candidates around in order to intimidate them. Today in Purley a small band of Class War agitators were out and about supporting me in my legitimate electioneering. Constantly followed by four uniformed cops on foot and a van with approximately eight more they numbered more than we did. In fact there were two vans when we started our campaigning outside Tesco. What was our crime?

20150328 Purley Cops2

We were giving out leaflets. OK the leaflets had “Class War” written on them and my mugshot which might have been a danger to public order but they were just leaflets. When Chris Philp or Emily Benn hand out leaflets do they get followed like this? What can it mean other than intimidation?

20150328 Purley Cops3

What do the authorities fear so much about me standing in the election that they feel the need to get so many officers…

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See you in Bristol! 25th April 2015.

We're doing a stall this year for literature and a small stock from Freedom Books.

We’re doing a stall this year for literature and carry a small stock from Freedom Books.

IWW Greece: International Call for Revolutionary Solidarity with the Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Industrial Workers of the World Dorset

At the present moment, the imprisoned anarchists, members of DAK (Network of imprisoned social fighters), A. Stampoulos, A. Theofilou, G. Karagianidis, D. Politis, F. Charisis, A. Dalios, D. Mpourzoukos, G. Sarafoudis, G. Michailidis, the members of the “Revolutionary Struggle” N. Maziotis and K. Gournas, the member of “17th of November” D. Koufontinas, a number of Turkish political prisoners and the prisoners G. Sofianidis and M. S. Eltsibach, are on a hunger strike, fighting against the repressive legal state of exception which has been established by the Greek state since the beginning of 2000.

Starting on March 2nd, along with the comrades outside the prison walls, we commenced a struggle for the abolition of type C high security prisons, the abolition of “antiterrorist” law, the abolition of the “hoodlaw”, the radical change in the process of taking and identification of DNA samples, the release of the seriously sick member of 17N…

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Pay YHA workers a Living Wage! The IWW and the YHA…

Liverpool IWW

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is now taking up the campaign to support the staff of the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) in their claim and efforts to be paid the living wage for working for the YHA.

The YHA is a long established charity proving economical accommodation for travellers, hikers and tourists. Despite being a charity, or maybe because they are a charity, they have not been able or willing to lift the wages of their staff who are on the minimum wage to the living wage.
We have some sympathy for the YHA as we know that the financial circumstances of the charity have been troubled in recent years. However we expect a charity such as the YHA to be willing to meet with the IWW so that we may represent the views and concerns of our members and discuss what needs to be done.
We understand…

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Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First

Antifascists with the seized BF banner.

Antifascists with the seized BF banner.


Red & Black T.V. – Britain’s racist election.

Victory for Bridgwater Unite Refresco-Gerber Strikers!

The following message appears on Bridgwater Unite Community Facebook page:

Congratulations and solidarity to Bridgwater’s Gerber workers!

Please find below a message from the Unite Full-time Officer for Refresco-Gerber that celebrates a successful negotiated outcome to this long dispute. The March and Rally on Saturday 28th are now cancelled

“Hi Dave & Bridgwater Trades Union Council
The Strike at Refresco.Gerber has been called off. This is due to the Company agreeing in full to reinstate the Sick pay, remove the contentious shift pattern and reinstate the six months shift pay protection.
I thank you for all the time you have devoted to supporting the Industrial Action.
Thanks to all who gave their support!”

Behind The Benefit Bashing Headlines Lies A Nasty Ideology That Is Not Confined To The Daily Mail

the void

mustard-tree-protest A protest was held outside Manchester homelessness charity Mustard Tree yesterday over their involvement with workfare. (h/t @gajagwyn)

There was a time when policies to send sick or disabled claimants on workfare, or sanction the benefits of lone parents, would have been met with horror by the electorate.  There have always been grumblings about the social security system, as with any other institution, but unemployment was once seen as a personal tragedy caused by wider economic failings, not a personal failing caused by laziness or the wrong attitude.

This change in public opinion did not happen by accident.  Just like immigration can be used to whip up and divide sections of the population, so can the social security system.  The implanting of the idea that somebody is getting something you aren’t, even if this isn’t really true, is an age old technique.  The grass on the other side of the…

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