Last Friday was May Day, and as working class agitators we wanted to celebrate it with some action. Having dedicated much of our time to the Bookfair, Anti-Election Campaigning, SolNet, workplace organising, and producing Organise!84 we didn’t have quite as much time to plan and mobilise as in 2012/13. A call out for a week of action against workfare made it easy to choose what to do though. Afterall the DWP listed us as a threat to the workfare scheme – and we want to disappoint our fans. Continue reading
The last week has seen two more victories in the ongoing battle against the governments workfare scheme!
Homebase & Argos (both owned by the ‘Home Retail Group’) have ended their involvement. Homebase was only exposed for using the scheme in April, and originally boasted it was getting them ‘750 hours (work) with no costs’. Turns out there was a cost after all. Bristol Anarchist Federation launched a week of action targeting their online presence and branches of their stores. Along with members of the Solidarity Federation, Boycott Workfare, and thousands of angry folks on twitter/facebook we managed to get their attention.
The big weekend! Homebase have been quiet since Wednesday, when they released a frankly lame statement about maybe suspending further commitment to workfare. They’re probably waiting to see what happens so lets make sure we get their attention.
If you can, get down to a protest, listed on facebook and indymedia (Bristol Bath) or grab a friend, print some of the boycott workfare leaflets and head to your local homebase to talk to staff/customers!
If neither is possible call them on 0845 077 8888 or try 0800 0850565 (always be polite to ppl who work in call centres).
You can also drop them a fax for free using Continue reading
Boycott Workfare have called for a week of action against workfare – the infamous government scheme to force benefit claimants to work for free. It has been shown to be corrupt, expensive, illegal and immoral not to mention useless at finding people jobs. It does help line the pockets of the rich though!Previous actions and public pressure have forced dozens of companies and charities to drop out of the scheme, and its about time those still in it were persuaded to rethink their position.
In Bristol there will be a Demonstration and rolling picket of workfare providers around broadmead on Saturday the 23rd meeting at 2pm at the Castle Park bandstand, everyone who opposes the scheme is welcome. See the facebook event.
Anyone who wants to get creative can join us for banner making, placard painting and last minute scheming on Thursday 21st in the Art Room at Kebele Social centre in Easton from 7pm! We have lots of paints and materials but bring some of your own if you can do!
All week there are online blockades of charities using the scheme, see the boycott workfare website for details! If you’re not going to be in Bristol or Bath this weekend get along to one of the other national actions or call your own!
See you in the Streets!
On Saturday dozens of Bristolians joined more than twenty towns around the uk and responded to a call out from local anarchist & left organisations to target companies profiting from the workfare scheme. Whilst many of the ‘usual suspects’ were absent (worn out from four demos on the Friday!), 36 people attended and it was no less loud, fun or effective than the last. Plus it was nice to see some new faces!
(but so far any attempt by George Osborne to impose VAT on them has failed).
This Saturday in Bristol (1pm at the bandstand in castle park) people will demonstrate against companies that profit from workfare. They will join a total of twenty+ protests (scroll down for full list) across the UK. Workfare has taken a battering, its time to finish it off!
Workfare is the term applied to government schemes that force people to work for free or loose their benefits. It has been shown in its official report not to reduce unemployment, it costs millions in taxes, forces down wages, hurts small businesses, is corrupt, and only benefits (wait for it) big business and the rich!
Media reports, pulic outrage and a string of protests have resulted in dozens of organisations dropping out, and caused the government to lie on national TV to try and calm us all down. Well, we haven’t calmed down. It’s time to finish off workfare for good. Here’s our list, click for more details: Continue reading