Press Release: Bournemouth Uncut brands Poole Council leader Elaine Atkinson’s comments as “shameless”.

Bournemouth Uncut For immediate release: 29/04/2013

Elaine Atkinson of Poole Council was questioned about the recent Bournemouth Uncut ‘Who wants to evict a millionaire’ action during her interview on the Sunday Politics South [1] show her response was:
“I mean, it was awful, it was an awful attack on local democracy, because these councillors are ordinary people who are giving up their time to do a job and help to their local communities, and frankly Bournemouth Uncut I have to say they are intelligent, they are articulate, they are organised, go and get a job.”

All Bournemouth Uncut actions are held on a Saturday or bank holidays. This is because the overwhelming majority of people that organise or come to our actions are employed full time. For Atkinson to use her platform to promote the myth that all protesters are unemployed, without any evidence of the group she is subjecting to these claims is utterly shameless. This shows how little she is in touch with the local electorate. Bournemouth Uncut is open to anyone who wants to join us, our turn out has been made up of a very wide range of professions, higher education students and those in-between jobs.

Kim Elkin of Bournemouth Uncut is currently volunteering at the Soup Kitchen at St Johns Church in Parkstone, she said “We care very much about our community and the people in it. That is why we do what we do. We don’t just protest against the cuts, we go out and help the people directly affected by them as well. Bournemouth Uncut is a fun, creative and family friendly way to engage with the public, and it shows people that there are alternatives to austerity. It doesn’t have to be this way. The bankers that got us into this mess are receiving tax breaks, and avoiding tax, while the poor are suffering for the mistakes of the rich.”

Atkinson claimed “councillors are ordinary people who are giving up their time to do a job and help to their communities“ In reality Elaine picked up £32,095 in the period 1st April 2011 – 31st March 2012[4] for giving up her time to Poole Council. She is in fact the highest paid councillor in Poole. Bournemouth Uncut will continue to do their day jobs and help their communities for free in addition to taking creative direct action in their spare time.

589 households in Bournemouth affected by bedroom tax[2] and 635 households affected in Poole.[3] That’s 1224 vulnerable social housing households affected. How many of these households will be able to move to a house with the correct amount of bedrooms? How many will find that the houses just aren’t available and have to pay the tax? How many will be pushed into more expensive rented homes, wasting more tax payer money? Do you know Elaine? We would love to know the figures. So far we have seen no guarantee given by Bournemouth or Poole borough councils to its social tenants that they will not be evicted if they fall behind on rent arrears because of the ‘bedroom tax’. Other councils in the country have given such assurances, but neither Bournemouth nor Poole borough councils have.

When the traditional routes of engagement with MP’s and councilors has been exhausted, and people’s concerns and issues have not been adequately dealt with, then yes, people turn to protest and direct action to get their voices heard, it is a healthy part of living in a democracy. To say that it was an attack on local democracy is ironic to say the very least.

Bournemouth Uncut is part of UK Uncut a grassroots movement using creative direct action to fight the cuts and highlight alternatives to austerity.

###ENDS###

For more information and interviews:
Email: BournemouthUncut@riseup.net

Call 07596 388 848

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rxx34/Sunday_Politics_South_28_04_2013/
[2] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/total_households_affected_by_bed_2
[3] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/total_households_affected_by_bed
[4] http://www.boroughofpoole.com/your-council/councillors/members-allowances/?locale=en

Why we celebrate May Day.

The ‘Haymarket Affair’, Chicago Martyrs, ‘bomb throwing anarchists’ and the fight for the eight-hour working day.

In 1887 four Chicago anarchists were executed. A fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy.. on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea… Read the full story on Libcom.

Haymarket martyrs

Oscar Neebe not shown received 15 years.

There was never any pretence of proving their guilt, then as now, working class self-organisation was treated as a menace, to be eliminated by fair means or foul.

“We are all creatures of circumstance; we are what we have been made to be. This truth is becoming clearer day by day …

… My children — well, their father had better die in the endeavor to secure their liberty and happiness than live contented in a society which condemns nine-tenths of its children to a life of wage-slavery and poverty.” – Albert to Lucy Parsons, in his final letter.

So what’s changed?

Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, Oscar Neebe, and Samuel Fielden are brought back to life every May Day by the actions of militant workers across the world. (And not a fucking tank in sight!)

“If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labour movement… the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil in misery and want, expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread on a spark, but there and there, behind you – and in front of you, and everywhere, flames blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out”. – August Spies.

Take to the streets this May Day! What are you waiting for?

The Anarchist origins of May Day  – a leaflet by the Workers Solidarity Movement (pdf)

1erMayo

Roundup from Stop MFE Brighton 2013.

brighton

On the other side of the road are several hundred of us who don’t care for cages.

As you all know by now, a neo-nazi front group called March For England comes to Brighton every year to incur the wrath of the inhabitants by shouting fascist slogans in a police kettle; in addition to the pathetic spectacle above, a handful of portly fashion victims called casuals united, NWI, CFX, ETC, etc went off-piste (off pissed?) to incur some proper wrath. After all their secret discussions we earwigged on, the best strategy they could come up with was dressing up as anarchists(?) Given that we all know them, and each other, this was clearly going nowhere… Oh, I’m bored with this.

Here’s a collection of accounts from participants and observers:

March for England 2013 – UK Indymedia

Brighton 24th April 2013 – Something For Everyone!!! – ANTI-FASCIST NETWORK

boneheads battered in brighton – East Midlands Anti-fascists

MOBS AND COPPERS ..an anti-fascist day out by the seaside. by Schnews

MfE battered and humiliated on the streets of Brighton – EDL news

Snapshots from Brighton – amilabosnae.

ENGLISH FASCISTS TOOK THEIR FIRST BEATING OF THE SUMMER IN BRIGHTON THIS WEEKEND – Vice Magazine

Fascists mistake Brighton Pavilion for a mosque and bleat about it on twitter.

Police satisfied with March for England operation – Sussex police defend the most expensive fuckup in their entire history.

Autonomy Films for International Workers Day presents on Sat 4th May in Bridport:

Click to enlarge7.00pm for 7.30pm Saturday 4th May 2013
W.I. Hall, North Street, Bridport
Entry £3 (less if you can’t afford it) + Vegetarian soup for sale from 6.30 pm
Also…

 
Some other interesting local events organised by others:
Friday 26th April 7.00pm Unity Hall, opp. Bus station, Yeovil
Banner Theatre’s entertaining live show ‘Fighting the Cuts’ presented by Yeovil Trades Council Entry free

 

Friday 26th April 8.00pm Town Hall, Bridport
‘Or, the Whale’ talk on the economic and mythic significance of the sperm whale by Philip Hoare. 42nd Lecture on Everything
£6, under-18s free

 
Monday 6th May 7.00 pm for 7.30pm The Corn Exchange, High St Dorchester
Ken Loach’s film ‘Spirit of ’45’ presented by Dorchester Trades Council Entry by donation

 
Thursday 9th May 8.00pm (venue to be confirmed)
‘Art practice, natural sciences and ecology to address issues of future sustainability of the planet’ talk by Angela Cockayne 43rd Lecture on Everything £6, under-18s free.

Press Release. Bournemouth Uncut responds to reaction over its ‘Who wants to evict a millionaire’ action.

Bournemouth UncutFor immediate release: 19/04/2013

On 1st April the government introduced the bedroom tax, making 670,00 people worse off for having a spare room, even if it’s for a disabled partner or child, or foster children to sleep in at the same time as giving 13,000 millionaires a tax cut [1]. In reaction to this and in response to a national call-out from UK Uncut, Bournemouth Uncut took our creative civil disobedience straight to the people who are directly pushing and benefiting from these cuts.

Bournemouth Uncut is a local group part of UK Uncut, a grassroots movement using direct action to fight the cuts and highlight alternatives to austerity. On Saturday 13th April 2013 a group of activists took action as part of UK Uncut’s nationwide “Who wants to evict a millionaire” that saw actions round the country, including London, Manchester and Chelmsford against the governments changes to housing benefit dubbed the “bedroom tax”.

We are disappointed at Cllr Mike White’s decision to brand our actions sick, and feel that what this government of millionaires is doing to single-mothers, disabled people and low-earners up and down the country is what is actually sick.

In reaction to Poole MP Robert Syms statement to Bournemouth Echo where he claimed direct action would make him and his government “more determined to make sure [they] make fairer policy in terms of housing” [2] Bournemouth Uncut say that they will continue to work with other direct action groups locally and nationally until the “bedroom tax” is added to the ever growing number of coalition u-turns [3].

###ENDS###

For more information and interviews:
Email BournemouthUncut@riseup.net
Call 07596 388 848

[1]http://www.labour.org.uk/torymillionairesdayshare
[2]http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/10367079.John_Beesley_to_Bournemouth_Uncut__not_all_councils_are_the_same/
[3]http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/may/31/coalition-u-turns-full-list

Thatcher’s Funeral – From the Most Vulnerable of All

Reblogged from Diary of a Benefit Scrounger – Sue Marsh.
Welfare reform. Much needed shake up of a system out of control or cruel and ignorant attack of some of the most vulnerable people in society? Most have an opinion.

Many like me, were fighting the welfare reform bill way back in 2011. We know every last detail, every twist and turn, every sweeping change and every technical detail. Believe me, it’s cruel.

On the whole, I think the cruelty is in the details. Oh, not the headline grabbing Benefit Cap or Universal Credit. They’re largely PR stunts that won’t save any money at all. Universal Credit could have been rather clever if only ministers had understood the details. If only they’d really understood the people they were legislating for. Their lives, the difficulties they face, the traps in the system, the precarious fear of a life on the margins of society.

One of the most sickening details of all still grates with me almost daily. It was so cruel sounnecessary. It overturned decades of cross-party consensus and decency. It picked on a group so vulnerable it takes my breath away. And it stripped that group of basic rights despite ministers not actually understanding the policy at all. How cavalier can you be? How arrogant and out-of-touch?

It was called the “Youth Premium” It only related to children who were born so profoundly disabled that they would never work as adults. Forget your Work Capability Assessments and your Scroungers, these children would never take part in society like you or I. Many would never talk, self feed, walk, play, laugh, fall in love. But they could still lead independent lives. Because we were a society that believed they should have a right to if they chose to.

The Youth Premium treated these children as though they had paid National Insurance. For a cost of just 11 million pounds, on becoming adults, these children were treated as though they had “contributed” through work and because of that, they were entitled to contributory benefits, they did not have to be means tested.

Such a simple thing, but what did it mean in practise? What did it mean to the people behind the numbers? The lives being toyed with? It meant they were entitled to live independently if they chose to. They were entitled to benefits in their own name, not as a means tested part of their family. Often, such profoundly disabled children had considerable compensation to see them through lives damaged beyond recognition by accidents. This compensation was just that. Money for an expensive future of care, adaptations to homes, aids to independence. For a lifetime, this money would have to pay for support just to make their lives as manageable as society could achieve.

No more. Any money would be part of the means test. They would have to run down reserves of cash or savings before the state would step in. Compensation is not income. Nor should it be. From the passing of the welfare bill, any security or savings put aside by families terrified what life would hold once parents or siblings had passed, would have to slowly seep away, leaving insecurity and hunger a shadow away before these few profoundly disabled neighbours and daughters and brothers could rely on any help or support from the state.

Our elite cabinet talked of how “unfair” it would be if “these people” “inherited” money but were still entitled to support from our social security system. No, they would simply have a little security to underpin the often modest state income someone with profound disabilities might expect. And how many of us can rely on generous inheritances anyway? Is that real life? A likely scenario? Of course not.

You might be wondering why I bring all this up again today. The law passed (you can see me pointing out to Chris Grayling why he didn’t understand his own policy on Newsnight, here :

Well, it’s that 11 million pounds. £11 million. In Westminster terms it would barely pay for the DWP’s paperclips. It is a drop in the ocean of a welfare budget spanning 10s of billions. It only applied to a few thousand of the most disabled children in society (children just like Ivan Cameron, had he lived into adulthood.) But Lord Freud, failed investment banker and Minister for Welfare Reform, insisted that we could “no longer afford it” We could no longer afford to allow such profoundly disabled children lives of dignity and independence. No more security. No relief for worried families that they would be safe once they were gone. A cross-party consensus of decades, stripped away by ministers who didn’t even know what they were doing.

This week, William Hague assures us we can afford £10 million for a ceremonial funeral for Margaret Thatcher. Opinion polls show the public don’t want it, commentators from left and right are mystified, yet 2,200 people have been invited to a decadent funeral for a divisive PM who lies at the heart of many of the problems facing our society today. When I scanned the invitees yesterday, it felt surreal. A mish-mash of variety club has-beens, world leaders she shunned and elite aristocrats who shunned her when alive.

10 million for a dead PM, nothing for those living with some of the greatest barriers to society any of us will ever face. I actually feel a bit sick writing it down.

But perhaps, this is the most fitting legacy of all for a PM who assured us “there is no such thing as society”

Perhaps as she burns or rots (we will all do one or the other) every profoundly disabled life lived in chains of dependence because today’s government didn’t understand the details will haunt her. Perhaps she will see images of each and every one playing like a movie to her soul, wherever it ends up.

I hope so. Those children needed that £11 million. She doesn’t.

Bristol Radical History Group at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Saturday 20th April, 2013

Bristol Radical History Group will be holding a series of talks at the Radical History Zone which will be based in the Hydra Bookshop.

Sat 20th Apr 12:00 pm British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19 British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19: a radical history project for the anniversary of World War I BRHG’s very own Roger Ball… Roger Ball More
Sat 20th Apr 1:00 pm Three Minutes to Midnight: The Women’s Anti-Nuclear Protest at Greenham Common Elaine Titcombe. History PhD Student, The University of the West of England, Bristol. In 1984 the doomsday clock reached three minutes to midnight…. Elaine Titcombe More
Sat 20th Apr 2:00 pm Poor Man’s Heaven: The Land of Cokaygne and Other Utopian Visions “We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees that grow by a lake full of beer? The landlord well take and tie to a stake and we won?t have to… Alex (Past Tense) More
Sat 20th Apr 3:00 pm Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Race, Class and Gender in the 60s U.S. This talk is based upon a series of books that… Roger Ball More
Sat 20th Apr 4:00 pm Running down Whitehall with a black flag Running down Whitehall with a black flag. Memories of anarchism in the 1960s Di Parkin was a revolutionary activist from the early 1960s to the… Di Parkin More
Sat 20th Apr 5:00 pm Libres: Songs of the Spanish Revolution Pilar Lopez’s performance about the Spanish Social Revolution of 1936 aims to draw inspiration from these amazing times, sharing the beauty and… Pilar Lopez More

Day of action in memory of Dead Thing.

Trafalgar

A group of us travelled up to London to attend the ‘thatcher’s dead’ party called by Class War about a decade ago. During the day we divided ourselves between UK Uncut’s ‘bedroom tax’ action at Lord Fraud’s house and North London SolFed’s workfare pickets in Wood Green.

On the lawn at Iain Duncan Smith’s & down Lord Freud’s street – Report by Anarchist Federation

The workfare pickets continued both SolFed’s campaign against Poundland and supported Bristol AFed’s new initiative against Homebase; we were able to have some interesting conversations with staff and customers. The area is stricken by the government’s austerity programme with the crappiest jobs imaginable drawing hundreds of applicants. People here are in absolutely no doubt what is being done to them, why, and by whom. Homebase pickets were simultaneously conducted in Bristol and Bath.

I was going to buy something – but fuck it! Bristol Solidarity Federation.

Meanwhile in Bournemouth: Bournemouth Uncut took on the Tory MP’s and councillors of Bournemouth and Poole this weekend for their “Who wants to evict a millionaire?” action. Their homes were dressed as crime scenes with yellow markers, crime scene tape, evidence bags with ‘blood’ soaked cotton buds, and some lovely eviction notices. Some of the lucky recipients of our crime scenes were Robert Syms MP, John Beesley of Bournemouth Council, and other usual suspects like May Haines, Carol Evans, Ann Stibley, Mike White and Peter Pawlowski. At a time that people are facing losing their homes due to the bedroom tax, we thought it high time those architects of misery felt (for a few seconds) what it would be like to face eviction from their own homes. Very nice homes indeed…with plenty of spare bedrooms.

eviction 1-page1

On to Trafalgar square, a picture circulated on twitter showing the square fenced off and surrounded by police proved to be bogus, trying to put us off? Not a hope, even the rain couldn’t do that, the vibe was joyful and good-natured, and solidarity was palpable. During the course of the evening a steady 3000 revellers divided their time between the square and surrounding pubs. A few incidents of  police misbehaviour were swiftly and efficiently dealt with by the crowd, who had to clear them all out of the way from time to time; similarly, a smattering of fascists showed up to spoil the fun and got battered for their trouble. It’s worth pointing out that we can do this perfectly well without the ‘vanguard’ of press photographers that hurl themselves into the fray at the first hint of bother.

Of course this was not just about celebrating the death from natural causes of some demented old fascist (what was her name again?) who was admired in some circles for doggedly sticking to her principles of greed, self-interest and disdain for anyone who didn’t share her precise ethnic origins and social prejudices. Many present had their own lives blighted by the Dead Thing and had good reason to gloat; but far more importantly this was a positive affirmation of our determination to bury her mean-spirited ideology with her.

We, the working class will do this, we have no faith whatsoever in political or industrial representation, our future is in our hands, as the hangovers fade, let’s get organised!

That Trafalgar thing: Amila Bosnae

Thatcher Death Party, UK Uncut and DPAC Make It Personal – Johnny Void

Radical workers’ bloc at Tolpuddle 2013: Press release.

Press release, Download as: pdf pdf A5

Radical workers’ bloc at Tolpuddle; come and meet the Anarchists! Martyrs’ festival and rally 19th-21st July 2013

In 2011 an anarchist-inspired black bloc stole the TUC’s thunder and dominated the ‘March for the alternative’. For a couple of hours, as Miliband set out his vision for saving capitalism – surrounded by bodyguards in case anyone remembered the last Labour government – militant workers in Oxford Street made a little piece of the country ungovernable.

At that year’s Tolpuddle festival a lonely red and black flag fluttered over the campsite. A small group of anarchists, who had basically come for the music, decided to join the Martyrs’ rally on the Sunday, but not wishing to march under the hammer and sickle or the Labour Party banner, scrounged a length of garden cane and tied a piece of plain black cloth to it. This image appeared on the front page of the Tolpuddle website.

Tolpuddle2011

The following year we decided to do it properly; local troublemakers Wessex Solidarity put out the following call through social media:

“Calling on Anarchists, Anarchosyndicalists, Libertarian Socialists, Revolutionary Unionists, Platformists, Wobblies, non-aligned working class radicals and all those who want to celebrate 200 years of class struggle without marching under the banner of a political party or the business unions that affiliate to them. Bring your red/black/(A)/pirate flags and let’s start putting the libertarian left back into the consciousness of our class. We’re portrayed as a disorganised rabble – show ‘em we can get organised and march together as a group.”

The annual celebration of working class struggle is meaningless without us, and allows reformists and reactionaries to claim the union movement as their own. Despite initial hysteria from some of the organisers, we conducted ourselves with dignity, even behaving magnanimously towards a bunch of tankies who pushed in front of us, they have only the past; we’ll take the future.

On the day, we were joined by members of the Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, IWW, Class War and non-aligned Anarchist groups, from as far afield as Brighton, Bognor, Portsmouth, Thames Valley, Swindon, Bath, Bristol and the Midlands, many of us fresh from the counter – EDL action in Bristol. We also picked up some supporters along the way and got the thumbs up from quite a few people.

tp1

The 2013 bloc is going to be massive; this initiative has the formal support of AFed and SolFed and other groups are making plans to take part – with a bit of effort we could easily be the largest contingent there.

Stop by our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, or see us on the campsite for a cup of tea and a chat, and march with us on Sunday. If you or your group want to get involved, get in touch via the contact forms on SolFed or the Wessex Solidarity blog.

“Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!” – Otto von Bismarck

Take Action Against Homebase: Let’s Stop Workfare in its Tracks – From Bristol Anarchist Federation.

UPDATE: Homebase are feeling the heat, time to turn it up! Bristol Demo This saturday ( Facebook Indymedia ) Bath on Sunday ( Facebook Indymedia) and two demos called in London. More in the works… In the mean time keep up the pressure online!

BHGETJJCQAEZmqf.jpg large

Yesterday, sources including Tom Pride’s blog, revealed that Homebase had been recruiting unpaid workers via a ‘work experience program’. Even worse they were actually boasting about getting extra hours of work by exploiting job seekers and reducing their ‘payroll costs’.  A poster was spotted in a management office asking  ‘would 750 hours with no payroll costs benefit your store?‘.  Few companies are this brutally honest about their motivations!

Our first response was to ‘politely contact’ homebase online, and we were far from the only ones.  Angry comments on twitter & facebook were popping up faster than they could delete them. They managed to remove ours, only for a many of our facebook friends to repost it.  All these responses seemed to worry the management at Homebase and they quickly put out a couple of rushed statements including:

‘[..] The company has not signed up to the workfare programme, but, on occasions, works with local organisations to help unemployed people into the workplace. A number of unemployed people have recently joined our Haringey store through JobCentre Plus in a short, voluntary programme, to gain work experience. They are entirely under no obligation to participate, nor will non participation affect any benefits. Colleagues at this store also have not been impacted by this programme in any reduction of hours.’ and ‘Some of our best colleagues have joined us having previously been unemployed […]‘

Even on a first read through these statements seem to be full of double speak and blatant lies. They start by saying they haven’t signed up to workfare but then describe a workfare scheme they have evidently signed up to! They move on to say it is voluntary even though it has been repeatedly revealed that the job centre forces people onto so-called ‘voluntary’ schemes, by threatening them with sanctions,  telling them the only alternative is an even worse mandatory scheme,  illegally giving inaccurate information and not explaining to them their right to refuse.

Next they say that the workfare scheme has not impacted staff or reduced over time hours, boycott workfare quickly exposed this as an outright lie with a staff member reporting massive reductions in overtime. They also revealed that Homebase isn’t offering any of their unpaid workers jobs, hardly surprising given the fact that only 4% of people on the work program end up with steady job. As for their claim that some people who got a job with them were unemployed before hand?  Well surely this is true anywhere, its quite common to be unemployed before you get a job!

We’re calling on individuals and groups around the country to join us in taking action against Homebase. (facebook event)

Bristol AFed, SolFed and others at one of our previous boycott workfare demonstrations

Bristol AFed, SolFed and friends at one of our previous anti-workfare demonstrations

We propose that people keep up the contact and criticism via their twitterfacebookyou tube, customer email, media enquiries emailpost box,  and telephone.  Then, if Homebase has not 100% officially backed out of all methods of exploiting unpaid workers at the expense of their paid staff, we call on people to hold protests at their local homebase store a week from now, on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of APRIL. If there isn’t a Homebase close by, why not hold a protest at an Argos instead, seeing as it also uses workfare in the same way and is owned by the same parent company!

If you are thinking of joining in with the national days of action against Homebase, we highly recommend you speak to the staff working in the shop before hand. If you work their yourself, or know someone that does, this is ideal. Even if you don’t it is worth going down before your protest and politely talking to staff in a relaxed way. Make it clear that your protest is not aimed at them, but at the management and owners of homebase. Explain how if this isn’t stopped it could negatively affect their jobs.  Encourage them to get together and talk to other members of staff at Homebase, and consider joining a workplace group or union to fight to protect and improve their pay and conditions (we would recommend the IWW or Solidarity Federation, but the choice will depend on the local situation).

We will be calling for a picket and protest at our local Homebase, in the mean time we have set up a Facebook Event to help people network, share ideas, and advertise their local events. We also suggest using the Boycott Workfare and UK Uncut websites to help network with other people in your area.

Calling a protest doesn’t have to take a lot of time, print off some leaflets (feel free to copy anything from our last workfare leaflet – we will post links to other leaflets produced (send ‘em to us!) so people can copy them if they don’t feel like writing their own), make some placards and banners, text call and speak to your mates, then publicise the event online or on any community notice boards etc.

Additionally, this is the demand we’ve made of Homebase, what would be enough for you to call off your action may vary:

Release a binding statement that clearly states 1) you will never participate in any workfare schemes nationally or locally*1 2) Homebase will stop all current involvement with all schemes (including the ‘work experience program’) that equate to people working for you for no money*2  3) you apologise for the callous nature of the poster that was up in a management office (a picture of which is bellow) and will investigate the manager(s) responsible 4) You compensate anyone who has been on such a scheme with you, and if a paid position is available offer them a job should they decide they want one. Due to the circumstances of the job offer it should be completely acceptable for someone to refuse, homebase should work with the job centre to ensure this in itself does not lead to sanctions. This absolutely must not impact on hours, overtime or pay for current staff members.

*1with the definition of workfare being any scheme where unemployed people work for you without pay, including (but not limited to) so-called ‘work experience’ schemes operated by the job centre and private companies.

*2 Homebase will also ensure that no one suffers any sanctions due to the scheme ending, something they should actively pursue and check up on with the relevent job centres.

View original post on Bristol AFed

The UK’s biggest local authority has teamed up with greedy workfare provider Asda to rip off the poor.

Labour controlled Birmingham City Council, which represents around 1 million people, said that from 1 April it would force benefit claimants to use prepaid cards that could be redeemed only in Asda supermarkets. Purchases are restricted to a predetermined list of items excluding phone credit, fuel, tobacco and alcohol.

boycott asda