Monthly Archives: March 2013

Photos of the anti-workfare demo in Nottingham City Centre on 23/3/2013


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: https://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:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/21/jobcentre-set-targets-benefit-sanctions
Jobcentre was set targets for benefit sanctions, The Guardian, 21/3/2013.

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Boycott Workfare week of action 3rd day report – Nottingham event forthcoming on Saturday 23rd March, Market Square


Boycott Workfare have reported on the first three days of action against workfare (compulsory work for benefits) which started on Monday 18th March:

  1. A4E Communications Blockade – Day 3 of the Workfare Week of Action
  2. Contact workfare exploiter Salvation Army – Day 2 Workfare Week of Action
  3. 24 hours to stop IDS rewriting history and robbing £130 million – Day 1 in the Workfare Week of Action

Nottingham event on Saturday 23rd March 2013

The Nottingham campaign encourages everyone to show their opposition to workfare by coming on the Burton blockade against workfare – Saturday, 23rd March 2013, 2.00pm.
Meet at the left lion in Nottingham City Centre, Old Market Square.

Facebook event page for the Burton blockade:

http://www.facebook.com/events/341132549339550/

Council Tax Benefits information meetings in Nottingham – Every 2 weeks starting Thursday March 21, 7pm – International Community Centre


Unable to pay your Council Tax Bill?
Worried about getting into council tax debt?
Want to build solidarity with other claimants to fight these cuts?

CTB Information Meetings
information, support, campaign
Every 2 weeks starting Thursday March 21, 7pm

Download flyer, or read on.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign is running regular sessions in the city centre from Thursday 21 March to monitor the impact of Council Tax Benefit cuts, provide information to people who may not be able to pay their bills and invite them to join the campaign.

The Government has scrapped the national Council Tax Benefit scheme and from 1st April this year local councils have to start their own scheme with less money. Under Nottingham City’s new Council Tax Support Scheme, council tax benefit is being cut by 8.5% for all working age claimants and from April 2014, Nottingham City Council proposes a cut of 20%.

Council tax bills are arriving on peoples’ doorsteps this month causing anger, anxiety and distress as many claimants already on the breadline are being asked to pay amounts they can’t afford. The cuts affect people on low incomes, in part time work, unemployed or unable to work because of sickness (pensioners are not affected at the present time)
This is not an individual problem for claimants, we need to build solidarity to support people who can’t pay and build a campaign to fight these cuts.

The sessions are:

7pm Thursday 21 March and every alternate Thursday
International Community Centre
Mansfield Road
Nottingham

For more information (and to check re holidays etc.) contact Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign on 07505 135 807 or defendcounciltaxbenefits [at] yahoo.co.uk, http://defendcounciltaxbenefits.blogspot.co.uk/ , http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/450355785005204/, https://twitter.com/defendbenefits tweet us defendbenefits

Bedroom tax protext in Bootle, Merseyside shows the way + Nottingham protest on March 16th


Update 2 – Nottingham protest report and photos: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/5463

Update1 – Nottingham protest announced:

Saturday, March 16, 2013.1:00pm. In Nottingham alone, 4746 families will be affected by the Bedroom Tax. We oppose the Bedroom Tax in principle & in detail. Not one person should be forced to pay it. This is a peaceful demonstration to protest against the injustice of the Bedroom Tax that penalises the disabled, single parents, families of those recently deceased, foster parents and the parents of children in the army or at university: This will be a static demonstration rather than a protest march.

Twitter: @BedTaxNotts
http://www.facebook.com/events/613425092006763/

Many hundreds of people raged through the streets of Bootle, Merseyside yesterday (28th February 2013), in protest against the ‘Bedroom Tax’, which is just one month away from implementation. The ‘tax’ is actually a housing benefit cut if you have any spare rooms in a council house or other social housing. The mass demonstration had been organised by grassroots resistance group Stand Up In Bootle, which only sprang up a few weeks ago. Full story:
http://infantile-disorder.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/explosion-of-class-anger-at-bootle.html

Meanwhile Nottingham City Council have mounted a petition to central government against the tax, a move that is being backed by the local voluntary sector: http://www.nottinghamcvs.co.uk/news/article/nottingham-cvs-backs-campaign-re-think-bedroom-tax

It will be interesting to see which approach is successful. Nottingham City Council have a long way to go to convince City residents it has their interests at heart, having cut many services that affect housing and homelessness over the last few years and is also poised to implement the government’s council tax benefit reform which will result in some council tax being due if you are on certain benefits.

See also: ‘Bedroom tax’ is ‘appalling’ says paediatrician:
http://www.channel4.com/news/bedroom-tax-is-appalling-says-paediatricianI

Burton blockade against workfare – Saturday, 23rd March 2013, 2.00pm


Nottingham against Workfare have announced a local action during the Boycott Workfare week of action.

Saturday, March 23, 2013. 2:00pm until 5:30pm.
Burton Mens Clothing, 11-13 Beast Market Hill, Nottingham NG1 6FB

NaW say,

As part of the workfare week of action
http://www.facebook.com/events/517491058274105/ Nottingham against workfare will be taken action against Workfare scummers Burton’s. Part of the Arcadia group notoriuous for their tax doging way, Burtons have been using those forced into workfare to stack their shelves and clean their floors for quite some time without ever paying them. We plan to close down their shop amd let them know how disgusted we are with them and others like them who continue to abuse the working class.

Facebook event page for Burton blockade: http://www.facebook.com/events/341132549339550/

NaW facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/nott.workfare

Background to the week of action

Workfare Can Be Broken – Join the Week of Action on 18-24 March and help make it happen

The Government is pushing ahead with increasingly savage workfare policies despite the fierce resistance to the scheme causing many high street names and national charities to pull out.

Unemployed people can now be sentenced to six months compulsory unpaid work as part of the Community Action Programme. On December 3rd last year – International Disabled People’s Day – the DWP introduced forced work for sick and disable…d claimants.

Companies such as Superdrug, Argos and McDonalds, who have all been quick to take on unpaid workers on government schemes, have seen a year of boycotts, pickets, demonstrations and occupations due to their involvement in the scheme. Many national charities have pulled out as a result of protests, but some, such as The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), Salvation Army and Sue Ryder Foundation are unrepentent about their army of government subsidised unpaid workers. Many of the new workfare programmes depend on charities like these to provide placements.

Workfare can be broken by showing these organisations that the public have clearly rejected unpaid work. Evidence has shown that mandatory work has no impact in actually helping someone find a job, the stated aim of the scheme. Instead workfare is used to replace real jobs, with some companies even caught taking on unpaid workers to fill temporary Christmas positions.

Join Boycott Workfare on 18-24 March for a week of action against workfare exploiters everywhere. Take action in a town or city near you, join in online and show all those who profit from forced labour that we mean it when we say “if you exploit us, we will shut you down”.