Category Archives: Fighting Back

Keep The Jobcentre Out Of The NHS – The Fightback Against The Health And Work Programme Starts Now! #donoharm

do-no-harm

Job coaches in GP Surgeries? No!

We call on GPs to #‎DoNoHarm.

Join DPAC, Boycott Workfare, Mental Health Resistance Network on

4 March, 3pm at the City Road Surgery, 190-196 City Road, London EC1V 2QH.

Groups supporting benefit claimants and disabled people are uniting for a protest on the 4th March following the news that Employment Coaches from shadowy US outsourcing company Maximus are to be stationed in GP surgeries in Islington.

The demonstration will take place outside City Road Medical Centre, one of six GP practices in the borough who have opted to take part in the DWP funded pilot scheme.  These surgeries will now have their own Employment Coaches drawn from the welfare-to-work industry who will provide the kind of Jobcentre harassment that disabled people and those with health conditions are already all too familiar with if they are unable to work.

The scheme has been devised by Islington Clinical Commissioning Group who oversee healthcare in Islington and is backed by the local Labour Council who say on their website that this service will create ‘jobs on prescription’.  Many claimants fear the reality could be benefit sanctions on prescription, as doctors are turned into a weapon to impose labour market discipline and bully unemployed, disabled or unwell people into low paid or unsuitable work.

GP referrals to Employment Coaches will not be compulsory to attend – yet.  But this pilot scheme forms part of a national strategy by Iain Duncan Smith to bring Jobcentres into the heart of the NHS.  A new Health and Work Programme is being planned, with the aim of slashing spending on already meagre sickness and disability benefits.  Even those with the most serious conditions may soon to be forced to prove they are constantly looking for work whilst the government are examining the possibility of compulsory treatment for some health problems.

Campaigners warn that any attempt to merge healthcare with the vicious benefit cutting agenda of the DWP will demolish the trust that exists between doctors and patients.  An activist from Disabled People Against Cuts warns that “many disabled people already feel they have to watch every word they say when seeing their GP in case it is used against them at some point to stop their benefits.   Placing Jobcentre funded staff in doctor’s’ surgeries could destroy the doctor/patient relationship and may lead to some people not accessing vital healthcare when they need it most.”

Perhaps most appalling is that the Employment Coaches in Islington are set to come from Remploy – once a government run service that provided jobs for disabled people – now sold off and turned into a privatised welfare-to-work company responsible for sanctioning disabled people’s benefits.  Remploy have become a subsidiary of Maximus – the same company who run the despised Work Capability Assessment used to declare that disabled people or those with a long term health condition are ‘fit for work’.  Maximus are also providers of the Work Programme, a Jobcentre scheme which involves compulsory training or workfare with brutal benefit sanctions inflicted for ‘non-compliance’.

At a time when some claimants have been driven to suicide by the constant bullying, assessments, threats and sanctions that now form part of the UK’s benefits system, there must be no place in the NHS for Jobcentre busy-bodies.  Disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters can and will defeat this appalling attack on the fundamental principle that healthcare professionals should ‘first do no harm’.  Join campaigners from DPAC, Mental Health Resistance Network and Boycott Workfare outside City Road Medical Centre, 190-196 City Road , London, EC1V 2QH on Friday 4th March from 3pm.  Please spread the word and make this huge!

An online protest will also be held for those unable to attend in person.  Watch this space for further details and in the meantime please tweet using hashtag #DoNoHarm

See the Facebook Event Page for more details and please support the Thunderclap – timed to go off just as the protest begins

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To The Fucking Streets – Protesters Bring Traffic To A Standstill In Spontaneous Housing March

rich-graveyard

Whitehall was briefly blockaded and a smoke bomb let off outside Downing Street today as over 100 people took to the streets in protest at the Housing Bill being debated in Parliament.

The new laws, which will mean mass social housing sell offs, vicious rent hikes for families on even modest incomes and the scrapping of lifetime tenancies have been called the end of genuinely affordable housing in the UK.  Tenants, housing workers and campaigners have vowed to fight the bill which will lead to growing numbers of people living their entire lives without ever knowing what it is like to have a secure home.

Today’s protests began early this morning when the vile Policy Exchange and Localis were evicted by housing activists who blockaded their offices preventing staff from entering.  These two so-called think tanks – both stuffed with chinless fucking Tarquins – were responsible for proposing several of the measures in the housing bill.

Later in the day over 200 people gathered outside Parliament in a protest that was well-attended despite coming so soon in the new year.  After an hour or so of speeches many of those present occupied the road and then began a spontaneous march through the streets of central London accompanied by a sound system.  As police scurried to keep up traffic was brought to a standstill by the boisterous crowd who defied attempts to herd them off the streets and onto the pavement.

A place to live and sleep is the most basic human need and now the bastards even want that.  The time for politeness and asking for permission to protest is long over.  Disobedience, disruption and disorder are all that governments understand – and for all their bluster they are fucking terrified of it.  So that is what it will take to smash this new bill and every other attack on our homes.  Anything else is just consent to carry on as usual.  Don’t consent.  Fuck shit up.

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Fuck The Rich. Let’s Shut Down the Ripper Museum And Start Taking Our Communities Back

class-war-ripper-protestThere is nothing that the grasping rich won’t try and turn into money.  Not one thing that is sacred, that can be left to just be, that is too treasured, or even horrifyingly grotesque, for capitalism to plunder.

Whether it’s our schools, or hospitals, our communities or our homes, the rich are always there, on the edges, looking for a way in.   When we walk down the street we see each other – we see human beings – but the monied entrepreneur class just see livestock, to be exploited in our work and fleeced in our play.  Even our triumphs are repackaged and sold back to us, as if the struggle for the vote, or against racism, the right to strike or popular protests were concepts invented by some Oxbridge twat with a clipboard and a second class marketing degree.

So it is no surprise that the murder of working class women 100 years ago is now being turned into just one more way for the rich to plunder our history for their own enrichment.  The vile Ripper Museum, situated in Cable Street, East London, is not wanted by anyone who lives in the area and those behind the project know it.  That is why they lied in the planning application that this building would be turned into a museum championing the history of women in East London.  What they have built instead however is a blood-stained celebration of the murder of East End women, a gaudy, misogynist tourist trap where you can buy Jack the Ripper themed rape whistles or have a selfie taken with some dickhead dressed up as a Victorian serial killer.

That dickhead is likely to be Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, the creepy owner of the museum and who is unrepentent about deceiving both the council and community of Tower Hamlets to bring his woman-hating serial killer fetish to life.  Astonishingly Edgecumbe was a former head of diversity at google where he obviously did a shit job because almost eveyone in a senior position at the company is posh and white.  But diversity doesn’t mean a real commitment to equality anymore, it is just a marketing tool.  Racism, misogyny, homophobia – there’s money to be made there.  And that’s what Edgecumbe does, sitting on Diversity Advisory Panels where rich white people hand out plaudits to rich white businesses to celebrate the fact that half their cleaners are black and they’ve got one of those new transgenders working in the post room.

Meanwhile the community of East London is being both socially, and racially cleansed, to make way for these gentrifying parasites.  Genuine diversity, which the East End was famous for, is being replaced by glass and steel ghost towns as every last brick is turned into an investment opportunity for the global super rich.  Tower Hamlets desperately needs housing, but the people who live there have no say in what happens to the streets they walk down.  Even when there is some pretence of community involvement, such as in planning decisions, the rich just lie about what they intend to do and no-one holds them to account.

No-one until now anyway.  Class War have been holding boisterous protests outside the Ripper Museum with the support of local residents and feminist groups.  Their demand is simple, the Ripper Museum needs to close.  We get to decide what goes on in working class areas, not corrupt councillors or nauseating spivs like Palmer fucking Edgecunt.  Join them outside The Ripper Museum, 12 Cable Street, London E1 this Saturday 5th December at 2pm.  Please help spread the word and share the facebook page.

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Workfare Abandoned! Mandatory Work Activity and Community Work Placements Both To Be Scrapped

workfare-partyIn a major victory for campaigners, two of the main workfare programmes are to be abandoned the DWP has quietly announced today.  Private sector contracts to run Community Work Placements and Mandatory Work Activity will not be renewed says the department in their response to George Osborne’s spending review.

Community Work Placements involve six month’s forced full time work for the long term unemployed, whilst Mandatory Work Activity is a four week short sharp shock of workfare used to punish claimants who were judged not to have the right attitude by Jobcentre busy-bodies.

Hundreds of charities have pulled out of both schemes or boycotted them completely after furious campaigning from Boycott Workfare, Keep Volunteering Voluntary and claimants across the UK.  Recent performance figures showed that only half of those referred to forced community work actually started a placement.  Eighteen months after Community Work Placements began the DWP is still avoiding telling us whether anyone has actually found a real job through the scheme.  The department is claiming the programmes will not be renewed to save money.

This is not the complete end of workfare, with some claimants still facing forced work on the Work Programme, at least for now.  The ever growing number of  unpaid work experience schemes such as Traineeships – which are officially voluntary but often coerced in practice – are also not likely to be abandoned yet.  And of course we may yet see mandatory unpaid work return under another name, whilst this news doesn’t help those currently serving workfare sentences or those who may be referred before the schemes are wound down.

Ominously the DWP are also announcing a new Work and Health Programme aimed at the long term unemployed along with sick and disabled people.  The fight is far from over, but the scrapping of the two key workfare programmes shows the power of collective action to frustrate and even destroy the Government’s mass workfare ambitions.

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Not All Terrorists Carry Guns, But The Deaths From Osborne’s Cuts Will Be Just As Real

osborne-littleIt is hard to conceive how a Chancellor can look at people surviving on just a few pounds a day and decide it is them who must have their incomes cut to pay for a financial crisis caused by the rich.  What kind of fucking human being would do that?

These are people who may be struggling with a serious health condition, newly unemployed steel workers, the precariously self-employed or those on the lowest pay. These are to be the likely victims of the latest round of economic terrorism that George Osborne is set to inflict in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.

Be in no doubt, this is terrorism.  Millions of people are now living in a state of stark and permanent panic as reckless Tory cuts strike randomly, demolishing lives, putting homes at risk, endangering health and tragically driving some to suicide. The callous assessments for disability benefits alone have led to 590 people taking their own lives researchers recently revealed in a report that should have brought this Government down.  Yet it was greeted with little more than a murmour.  The UK establishment, in all its guises, cares no more about the lives of the poor than the Isis death cultists cared about those they mercilessly gunned down in Paris last week.  A welfare state that destroys lives whilst masquerading as a safety net is the perfect weapon of class warfare.  The victims kill themselves, or disappear without trace under the burden of desperate poverty.

Such is the carefully constructed poverty trap that there is now almost no chance of escape.  There are just under 2 million people in the UK who are unemployed, and a further two million who don’t have a job and want one but do not meet the strict criteria of official unemployment.  Add to that a couple of million sick and disabled people or lone parents who are now being ordered to endlessly search for jobs. There are just 740,000 vacancies according to the Office for National Statistics.  If every one of those was filled tomorrow there would still be millions looking for work.

Not that finding a job will help the poorest as housing costs soar and in-work benefits are demolished.  Only if you can climb to the ranks of the so-called squeezed middle will you perhaps be able to grab some quality of existence, and even if you get there you’d better not get sick, become disabled or lose your job.  And you won’t ever get there.  Try walking into a Jobcentre and saying you’d like to re-train as a plumber or take an IT course that will actually get you a job rather than just teach you how to turn on a fucking computer.  When they’ve stopped laughing they will point you in the direction of a private training company, who want thousands of pounds, and for which there are no students loans available.  Even then, if you manage to raise the money, the Jobcentre may order you to leave to attend full time workfare instead.

Those who have had benefits sanctioned for missing a meeting, or failing to attend workfare, now survive on around £41 a week – and only then if they qualify for Hardship Payments. Those under 25 who are looking for work will fare little better with a weekly income barely over £50 whilst the older unemployed receive just £73.10.  Some of these claimants will be paying the Bedroom Tax, as well as Council Tax out of that sum.  Others will be frantically trying to make up rent payments to cover Housing Benefit shortfalls as private rents soar and benefits intended to pay them are capped and frozen.

Any further cuts to Housing Benefits will be devastating and could plunge some into a negative income as unavoidable costs like rent, water and Council Tax leave them with no money at all, just a steadily increasing debt.  This will include the working poor who have little more to live on than those on the dole, making a mockery of Iain Duncan Smith’s claims that his reforms are making work pay.  Whether Osborne cuts Tax Credits, Housing Benefits, or child benefits this week will make little difference to those affected.  Their lives are earmarked for economic destruction however the Chancellor chooses to cut.

In the face of such an onslaught we have no choice but to fight back.  There is no slack in the social security system left at all – in fact there never was any to begin with.  Street homelessnes is already at record levels and the full impact of the last round of cuts has not yet been truly felt.  Gideon Osborne is playing a dangerous game that could leave millions with nothing left to lose and no futures to plan for.  The rich may sleep comfortably in their mansions tonight.  But there will be consequences, there must be, because one death was too many and we cannot allow this to continue.

As ever Class War are taking te fight direct to the pampered elite calling for a picket of George Osborne’s family business to coincide with his speech on Wednesday.  Meet outside Osborne & Little, 204 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 from 12-2pm on Wednesday 25th November. Spread the word.

Apologies for the extended absence.  Back to normal now hopefully.

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The Temperature Is Rising, Let’s Show Them We Fucking Mean It

two-days-of-rageThey will keep coming back for more and more if we let them. They will come for our homes, our pensions, our benefits, our health service, everything they think they can grab. Everything that working class people have won.

Don’t think having a job will save you. As the bungled attempts to cut tax credits shows, they don’t give a fuck about that anymore. If your wages are low, then tough shit, you obviously aren’t working hard enough is the new mantra from the rich. To be poor now, whether working or not, is a sin in itself and the only way for redemption is to be poorer, to teach us a lesson. They think this will make us like them – grasping venal capitalist scum, exploiting at every turn, fucking over our neighbours in a desperate scramble to hoard wealth for ourselves whilst around us bodies huddle in shop doorways. That is what they mean by being a striver. It is the morality of thieves, the worship of the worst of human nature. And it must be stopped.

None of this has happened by accident. The working class had to be broken before this capitalist coup could be enacted. This destruction of organised labour, the endless succession of petty laws, an obedient and ever ready to be violent police force, the erosion of living standards and housing, all of these were necessary to eradicate the kind of collective action of the scale that is needed to resist this attack. But the truth is that the class war is far from over. We are not broken, not by a long way. It is the pampered rich, who think their privilege is safe behind the walls we built, who are the real vulnerable ones. Their entire cosseted existence depends on us remaining compliant. That is why even the most trivial act of political disobedience or rebellion terrifies them. They are as scared of us building the level of resistance necessary as we are cynical about whether that can be achieved. But it can be done, history shows us that. And it will start in the fucking streets.

On Wednesday (4th November) students will be taking to the streets demanding free education. Thousands are expected to attend what promises to be a lively demonstration. The march will depart from Malet St, outside the former University of London Union, at 13.30pm. For more info visit the organiser’s website.

The next day (bonfire night, Thursday 5th November) will see the annual Million Mask March take place in cities across the globe with Class War promising to drag an effigy of Tory London mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith in chains down Whitehall.  This event was huge last year and begins at 18.00 in Trafalgar Square.  More details on facebook.

Finally on Saturday 7th November the Class War Women’ s Death Brigade will be back outside the vile and unwanted Ripper Museum on Cable Street, E1.  Meet at the Cable Street Mural at 2pm and help drive this creepy bunch of gentrifying wannabe psychopaths out of the East End for good.

Please help spread the word about all events.

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Oh Ros, You’re An Embarrassment We Can’t Ignore #DontIgnoreIt

WorkieThe last time the DWP used the word workie they were encouraging young people to tweet pictures of themselves whilst they were being exploited on unpaid work experience schemes. It was a predictable disaster that was roundly ignored by the nation’s youth.  Now they have decided that a Workie is actually a giant multi-coloured monster like the one pictured.  Really.

This is Pension Minster Ros Altmann’s big idea to encourage small employers to sign up their staff to Workplace Pensions.  The Workie will debut on prime time televion tonight in a series of ads accompanied by a twitter campaign using the hashtag #DontIgnoreIt.

It is astonishing that the (unelected) Pension’s Minister should attempt to treat the public like small chldren. This is what the government thinks of normal people.  That we are fucking idiots who can be persuaded to do as we’re told by a giant furry kid’s TV character.  At a time of so-called austerity latte slurping wankers at some advertising agency have been paid real money for this embarrassment.  Our money.  £8.5 million pounds of it.  According to a gushing DWP press release Ros Altmann was personally involved in designing the character.  You can tell. It’s shit.

There are lots of things currently taking place that shouldn’t be ignored, besides workplace pensions.  Like Ros Altmann’s idea that we should work until we die.  Or record street homelessness.  Or the growing number of deaths linked to welfare reforms.  This bungled pensions campaign is a good chance to let everybody know just how far the chaos and carnage dealt out by the DWP has gone.  #DontIgnoreIt

Disabled People Against Cuts are also calling on people to tweet using the hashtag #PMQs to highlight the human rights violations of disabled people: http://dftr.org.uk/Songbird.php?TweetFile=PMQs

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