Heard at…Benefit Justice Summit 2

kamsandhu —  May 13, 2013 — 3 Comments


Maybe it was a symbolic two fingers up, or more likely because the Jubilee line offers wheelchair access, but on Saturday 11th May, a 350-strong group of anti-cuts campaigners and union members from around the UK, featuring a reverend, a DWP civil servant and the odd MP, came together in Westminster, just around the corner from the Houses of Parliament. Their shared goal – to unite and get organised. Arranged by Campaign for Benefits Justice and supported by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and trade unions CWU and PCS, topics included the Bedroom Tax, the Personal Independence Payment and the housing crisis with greed and Capitalism as the backdrop. The result was a ten-point action plan and a steering group who’ll meet next month to enter the next stage of the resistance. The people are angry and it would seem they are mobilising.

Here’s some of what was said:

“It’s divide and rule. It happens in every recession because they don’t want people to know it’s the system that causes unemployment. That causes poverty.”

“Councils: Do your job. Say no to evictions. No to privatisation. Yes to a living wage.”

John McDonnell, MP

“We have to remember we live in the 7th richest country in the world.”

“£125bn was lost last year to tax avoidance and tax breaks… The 1000 richest people in Britain saw an increase of £180bn profit…..Enough to pay off the deficit.”

 Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary PCS

“We have failed healthcare workers using a failed system to find severely ill and disabled people fit to work.”

“Don’t become disabled……they’ll tax you for the privilege.”

Sean McGovern, Chair TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee and Disability Representative to Unite Executive Council

“I’m treating it like a WW2 situation – rationing heating, electricity and food. Because this government has declared war on its people.”

 Maria Brabiner, Manchester v. The Bedroom Tax

“I think what they’re testing on asylum seekers, they’re putting them on food vouchers, they put them, having no rights for accommodation for their living…They’re testing on asylum seekers and that’s what they’re going to test with the rest of the people in this country so it’s not a fight for asylum seekers or citizens or immigrants. It’s a fight for all of us and we should stand together.”

 Manjeet Kaur, Asylum Seeker

“It’s a calculated ideological assault by the government because what they’re doing is at the same time as attacking benefits and taking away benefits from people, they are also taking away your ability to challenge those decisions. So you have your benefits stripped and now you can’t challenge that in the courts and say ‘That isn’t right’ because you don’t get legal assistance for that any more.”

Mike Goold, Haldane Organisation of Socialist Lawyers

Speaking about refusing to evict people because of the Bedroom Tax: “Local councils are in a dilemma, and when you’re in a dilemma, you need to take sides.It’s time they took the side of the people.”

 Liz Kitching, Hands Off Our Homes (Leeds)

“We’ve got the people power and we intend to use it.”

Shirley Frost, Sheffield, Defend Council Housing

“One of the initiation rights info the Bullingdon Club. If you want to claim to be a Bullingdon Club member, you have to burn a £50 note in front of a homeless person. That’s what these people have done. And these are the people who tell us how to live our lives. These are the people that tell us when we’re right or wrong and how to bring up our families. And we are not going to take any more lectures from these people. We’re going to tell them how to spend our money.”

Angela McCormick, Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation

The Benefit Justice Summit has now declared a day of action for protest against Bedroom Tax and other welfare reforms on 1st June.
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3 responses to Heard at…Benefit Justice Summit 2


    Perhaps that nice ( Mr eco-fascist stock market parasite celebrity ) Lord David Freud was all along planning to put solvent low income people into debt with the banks ( its the same with genuine ESA cases having to go to appeal on the ATOS WCA ) so they can pay a private tax in interest etc. Even better if you can move them away from thier ” indigenous ” area and all the genuine friend networks they have built up over the years, so nobody to get a free lift to the cheaper shops with, or friends with a bit of spare cash to lend them for free untill the next benefit cheque comes in, Corporate-Nazi Banks ( as always with their puppet Lib/Lab/Con UK governments ) win again!


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