It was the final day of a week of action against Atos.
Homemade banners paid tribute to Cecilia Burns, who died on Monday.
Cecilia had spoken out against Atos when the Government contractor had declared her ‘fit-for-work’. Despite being treated for breast cancer, Cecilia’s sickness benefits were slashed.
The Atos Games have brought serious pressure to bear on the Government and their pet contractors.
Disabled occupiers of the DWP demanded to speak to Ministers and Senior Management. Instead the police were called.
The police waded in with such force that one man in a wheelchair was hospitalised with a fractured shoulder and a woman was tipped from her wheelchair.
Inside the occupation, the police used the opportunity to arrest a protester in the lobby.
It is clear that the Government have no other answer to the growing anger against their vicious policies than to use their thugs in blue to use violence to intimidate protesters.
But if they think that terrorising disabled activists will weaken the protests, they have another think coming.
Back Remploy Strikes From Monday
Members of the GMB and Unite unions staged two successful days of strike action against the threat of closure at Remploy sites across the country last month.
The strikes were solid and picket lines were well supported by other trade unionists.
But at Chesterfield and Springburn, workers face a sell-off and are striking to protect their terms and conditions. At present there are no guarantees that new owners will respect the workers’ pension and redundancy payment rights. Workers could lose huge sums if they are laid off after a takeover.
- Rush messages of support to the Remploy workers via Kevin Shand (GMB Chesterfield) and Phil Brannan (GMB Springburn). Give them your backing as they start their five-day strike.
Lecturers, members of the UCU, at London Metropolitan University have called a protest against the UK Borders Agency’s decision to revoke the university’s licence to teach non-EU students.
Scenes of overseas students in despair and in tears and anger were shown on news programmes when they learnt that they had 60 days to find a new university or face deportation.
Mark Campbell, chair of the London Met UCU union, said, “We’ve called this lobby to defend our students. We need as many students as possible to join us, from London Met and elsewhere.”
Anger at the UKBA decision has spread quickly. In less that 24 hours over 2,500 people have signed a petition defending London Met students and calling for an amnesty for them.
Boris To Mete Out More Misery For Young Londoners
The Standard reported on an announcement made by Employment Minister Chris Grayling and London Mayor Boris Johnson that they would launch a pilot workfare scheme involving 6,000 unemployed young people
The pilot scheme will start in 16 London borough’s “including the riot-hit areas of Croydon and Haringey.”The Government plans to roll-out the scheme across the country.
Instead he told the newspaper that the scheme would improve young people’s career prospects.
Being Not in Employment, Education or Training is a hazard for young people in Cameron’s Britain and one of this Government’s making.
Small drops in the unemployment figures in the last few months can’t hide the fact that there are still more than 1 million 16-24 year-olds out of work.
And with many more just left school priced out of education and training and now left to compete with 9 jobless people for each vacancy – many are going to be fodder for these rotten workfare schemes.
Every opportunity to mobilise against these parasites that are trying to punish the poor for a crisis the rich have created must be grasped with both hands.
Jobs Not Sanctions -Unite Community Protest from 9am, Weds 12 September at DWP, Caxton House 6-12 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA – nearest stations Westminster & St James Park
Young Punished Again With GCSE Downgrades
Teachers, members of the NUT, protested outside the Department of Education against the changes in GCSE grade boundaries.
The moving of goalposts driven by Education minister Michael Gove, meant a raising of the bar for those who sat English exams in June, thousands of whom received a ‘D’ whereas had they sat the exam in January they would have got a ‘C’.
This has had a terrible impact on these young people.
Many have had college places and job offers withdrawn on the basis of these results.
Headteachers said evidence suggested the downgrades had hit pupils from poor backgrounds and ethnic minorities hardest.
Unite to stop attacks on council housing
Councils will be a focus for united opposition to fixed term tenancies, un’Affordable’ (up to 80% market) rents and evictions due to Housing Benefit cuts. Each council landlord has to agree a Tenancy Strategy by next January.
A Shelter report sets out useful arguments and questions – see here .Council housing is a much-needed alternative to the failing private housing market.
With 4.5 million people on housing waiting lists and homelessness soaring, with millions more trapped in insecure and inadequate housing, what we need is investment in a new generation of first class public, affordable, secure and accountable council housing.
What you can do
Organise local campaign meetings with tenants, trade unions, politicians and housing campaigners – contact DCH for help and speakers, leaflets
Email to order copies of the new DCH newspaper out in September (£20 for 100/£120 for 1,000) or new Right to Buy – Warning and other posters (10 for £1/100 for £7). Dates and events
DCH@TUC Brighton 9-10 September – email if you can be there
London activists meeting – Housing for the 99% 7pm Camden Town Hall WC1H 9JEARCH (Assoc of Retained Council Housing) Tenants’ conference Kettering Conference Centre 19 September see details here
Labour conference Manchester from 30 Sept, with DCH fringe meeting Friend Meeting House 6pm Tue 2nd October
Unite The Resistance Conference