Disabled People Against Cuts are serving an eviction notice on Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in the front garden of his mansion! Protests have also been carrying on at David/Lord/Baron Freud’s (Welfare Minister and architect of the recent reforms who switched from Labour to the Tories around time of election) with UKUncut ‘Millionaire eviction specialists’ white van and many activists on foot paying him a visit.
Full story, photos and video links: http://www.afed.org.uk/blog/society/363-on-the-lawn-at-iain-duncan-smiths.html
The latest Nottingham Indymedia feature shows smiles all around,
and the festivities carried on from 5pm on Monday 8th April until 6am the following day.
UK on the day (many photos and video): http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-video-cheering-1818888
Elsewhere this week …
Leicester (yesterday): http://leicestershiresg.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/jelly-and-ice-cream-post-thatcher-party.html
Everywhere else, and London again on Saturday:
Street parties welcomed by PM
Meanwhile, Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead from the Wizard of Oz has hit no. 10 in the mid-week official charts … it currently sits at number two in the iTunes download chart and is already number one on Amazon.
Saturday afternoon with Occupy Nottingham, photos via Nottingham Indymedia:
It’s hard to believe but Margaret Thatcher is really gone for good. A long standing plan to celebrate this joyous occasion will be enacted in Nottingham today starting at 5pm in the Market Square and will go on for some time so come whenever you can. We won’t forget the rest of them but that can wait for one day (part 2 is supposed to be in Trafalgar Square on Saturday). Bring banners, placards, bells & whistles.
Update 9/4/2013: Celebrations… [ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-video-cheering-1818888 ] were had across the land. In Nottingham the Old Market Square festivities featured anti-poll tax banners from 1989-90, red and black flags and party poppers, plus a contemporary alert about Council Tax benefit changes. Partying continued at the Stage and impromptu event at the Chameleon Cafe Bar.
Update 9/4/2013: Leicester Solidarity Group will be celebrating today:
Here are photos of the anti-workfare demo in the snow, that took place in Nottingham City Centre yesterday to highlight the continuing scandal of forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare. Four shops were visited that are involved with workfare (Burton, British Heart Foundation, Debenhams, Poundland). Leaflets were handed out and shops were entered to speak with workers and customers. Workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst threatening the poor by taking away welfare rights if people refuse to work without a living wage.
The Boycott Workfare campaign, which is acting as an umbrella for actions such as the Nottingham one organised by Notts Against Workfare, has compiled a list of workfare providers including the four visited on Saturday in Nottingham and is also asking for information about any other shops or companies who are using workfare (they may be local independent businesses as well as the more well known high street names). You can contact Nottingham Against Workfare by emailing nottsagainstworkfare [at] riseup.net and visit the Facebook page to find out more (details here: http://nottssos.org.uk/2013/03/01/burton-blockade-against-workfare-saturday-23rd-march-2013-2-00pm/ ).
Also read this shocking evidence of a ‘league table’ amongst Job Centres who are competing over targets for getting claimants ‘referred’ for supposedly not complying with precise rules for job searching etc., showing that the attack on welfare is concerted and ongoing with the complicity of Job Centre managers who are doing the government’s bidding and who are making hitting targets a performance measure for staff who work there:
Jobcentre was set targets for benefit sanctions, The Guardian, 21/3/2013.
Brief report from a participant on the Nottingham Anonymous anti-cuts action yesterday:
Up to one hundred demonstrators assembled in Old Market Square and proceeded to blockade tax-dodging firms such as Starbucks, Vodafone, banks, etc. People passing by responded very positively. Some joined in the fun. The police followed the demo around but kept a low profile. The mainly young people participating were very lively and positive. Anonymous are to be congratulated for organising this direct action.
Update: longer report and more photos: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/5393
Another photo on Notts Indymedia, outside NatWest: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/tumbles/5379
Good news from Boycott Workfare and all over the news.
Today, the Court of Appeal quashed the government’s workfare schemes, which have seen tens of thousands of people put to work without pay and many more put at risk of destitution through sanctions.
Of the numerous workfare schemes introduced by this government, only Mandatory Work Activity remains lawful. With immediate effect, those on the controversial Work Programme, Sector Based Work Academies, Community Action Programme or other workfare schemes may leave without risk of sanction. Sanctions currently in place must immediately be brought to an end.
The government has however threatened to swiftly lay new regulations which may make the schemes mandatory and subject to sanctions. The impact of the ruling remains substantial, since unless the DWP wins the right to appeal in the Supreme Court and succeeds in that appeal, everyone who has been sanctioned on the schemes to date should be entitled to be paid back and all referrals to date will have been unlawful.
The viability of the remaining ‘lawful’ workfare scheme, MWA, is under question due to campaigners’ success in persuading charities and companies to withdraw. A DWP evaluation of Mandatory Work Activity in December 2012 noted that “The high profile withdrawal of placements from a number of larger charities meant a sharp reduction in placements.”
Boycott Workfare’s UK-wide week of action on 18th-24th March will go ahead with the aim of bringing Mandatory Work Activity to an end and ensuring the government don’t bring workfare back. The campaign will do all it can to ensure all those who have been sanctioned on the schemes are repaid, so watch this space.
Full article: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=2020
In the face of protests both on and offline, The Co-operative Group have ditched poverty pimps ATOS as their occupational health provider.
The Co-op posted the following on their facebook page this afternoon:
“Hello everyone, here is an update as promised on our occupational healthcare provider, many thanks for your patience on this matter.
The Co-operative Group can confirm that a robust procurement process considering, amongst other factors, cost, operational efficiency and geographical capability is currently underway for our occupational health services provider. Having been scored against an agreed set of parameters and against other bidders, Atos Healthcare have not progressed to the later rounds of that process and our intention is to have a new provider in place when the current contract terminates.”
Source 14/1/2013: http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/co-op-ditch-atos-keep-up-the-pressure-it-works/
Action against ATOS in Nottingham:
Nottingham Defense Campaign: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/groups/nottingham-defence-campagin
‘Too much of this sort of thing’ Atos Two pamphlet: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/zines/2548
The subject of ATOS is currently receiving House of Commons debate:
Guardian 17/1/2013 Atos comes under attack in emotional Commons debate: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/17/atos-attack-emotional-commons-debate
Before it even starts, the Boycott Workfare ‘Week of Action’ has had a major success: Holland & Barrett who have been using workfare on a huge scale (1100 placements a year amongst a workforce of 3500) have said that “the 60 people currently undertaking the work experience scheme will be the last to complete the eight week placement. After this time Holland & Barrett will not participate further in that scheme.”
H&B pull out – http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1265
Workfare facts – http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=663
Week of action 7th-14th July 2012: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1258
Companies involved with workfare: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1284. See also: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16