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BEDROOM TAX PROTEST & RALLY March 16th PUBLIC MEETING March 20th

March 1, 2013

rally-meeting

facebook event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/449552485116401/

For decades our public services have come under attack from successive governments intent on cutting & privatisation. Since the bankers’ crisis began this assault has become an all-out war on the welfare state, under the guise of reducing debt.

In reality the brunt of the cuts has fallen on those most in need. Sick & disabled people, even the dying, are put through  repeated tests intended to force them onto the dole queue. Lone parents sign on when their children are younger, older people have seen their pensions vanish out of sight. As austerity bites, unemployment has soared, but instead of taking action the government treats the jobless as an army of unpaid labour, imposing workfare schemes which are not only an attack on the unemployed, but on all workers; threatening jobs, rights, pay and conditions.

To justify their actions, government propaganda paints  everyone on benefits as work-shy scroungers, conveniently  ignoring the effects of the recession which have actually been intensified by the cuts. The assault on welfare has nothing to do with benefit fraud (minimal compared to tax fraud) It is not about sorting out the ‘genuine’ sick, not about forcing the ‘lazy’ jobless to get up in the morning.  It is not even about saving money, because ever larger sums are thrown at private companies to do a worse job of providing services than the public organisations they supplant.

It is an all-out attack on the entire working class. Its policies threaten those in work as much as those without. Cuts to housing benefits lead to a direct increase in poverty and homelessness. Many working families will be hit by the capping of child benefit and tax credits. With the introduction of Universal Credit part-time workers also face the threat of workfare, as benefits become conditional (ie. dependent on whether claimants perform any tasks imposed on them) rather than based on need.

Millions of families currently surviving on the edge will be pushed into poverty, with massive social consequences.  Yet while benefit claimants are being turned into forced labour & threatened with destitution, vast sums of public money are being redirected into the pockets of the wealthy.

Private companies are paid millions to provide reduced  services, most failing to reach targets yet their contracts are renewed & the money keeps flowing.  Far from being ‘all in it together’ the wealthy have been  rewarded with tax cuts, and big businesses like Vodaphone allowed to make billions without paying anything. It is clear that the assault on welfare is nothing to do with reducing debt. It is all about profit.

In the face of such a comprehensive assault by those in power, it is easy to despair.  Yet we have seen that fighting back achieves results, especially where profits are affected. Campaigns against workfare are having an effect, because when workfare exploiters are named & shamed by Boycott Workfare, picketed by groups like ourselves or damned on social media, it’s bad for business. It cuts profits – & profits are, after all, what workfare is all about.

There is an increasing mood of resistance.  This is clear from the rising tide of anger against the bedroom tax, which has united groups all over the country. The ‘tax’ is actually yet another cut to housing benefit, this time for anyone in  social housing seen as ‘under-occupying’ their home. The penalties will be imposed by councils, already expected to do central government’s dirty work of cutting local services.

We are under attack but with solidarity we can win. We all have an interest in fighting cuts. The media encourage division & a culture of blame, targeting those most in need, while the millionaires in government & their wealthy friends get away with daylight robbery.  This crisis was not caused by the poor, the sick, the unemployed, immigrants, public service workers, trade unions, single parents, students, pensioners or working people, but by the greed of those who control our economy & our society purely in their own interest. Why, then, are we paying for it?

Join us in fighting back!

The assault on welfare

This event is organised by local activists, not affiliated with any political party

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6 comments

  1. http://www.twitter.com/brightonbedtax just set this up, to spread the word!


  2. david cameron does not care about the poor. goverments sold off our council homes in the first place and failed to build new homes why should i and others pay the price for goverments mistakes they created the problems they cannot solve the housing crisis by putting a tax on being poor there is no jobs and no homes to downsize why do they not understand that. they are passing the buck on to the poor its discrimination at its lowest


  3. was disabled thirty years,got cured by a miracle worker from atos,,i have been cured by pen,was this the second coming,a miracle perhaps?well i still got pain and am a cripple.so i am only cured on paper.brighton atos,you are wonderfull,in theory,


  4. […] is a rally against the bedroom tax on 16th of March at 12pm at the Clock Tower organised by the Brighton Benefits Campaign. For more information see their Facebook Page and follow them on […]


  5. A few years ago I commented on my experience whilst lg-term
    unemployed of the then New Labour ‘New Deal’ scheme.

    It was a pretty humiliating time and I stand by the view that I expressed then that these type of welfare measures are essentially de-humanisation programs designed to finally break the will of
    the poor in our society and direct them to taking up the more
    ‘dead-end’ jobs that ‘are’ currently available on the jobs market at
    the present time

    I mentioned that I had been unemployed then for 3 yrs, the truth
    is that its closer to 30yrs that I had ‘officially ‘been out of work
    in total – the norm I hasten to add for many black men, myself being
    of duel-heritage.

    I think and reflect upon current Tory welfare policy such as the
    recently announced bedroom tax and steps to make welfare
    claimants pay council tax contributions and I balk at the still lack
    of imagination and bullheaded continuation of sheer ‘utilitarian’ economics when it comes to dealing with essentially rich human resources and their waste and unemployment.

    I guess things are’nt quite as bad as unemployment policy in America at the moment, a policy that concerns not only black men but also appears to apply to ‘poor’ whites , a solution that appears to be to simply to remove them all, the whole generation of unwanted, un-needed, surplus labour, to warehouse them. to incarcarate them.


  6. Nb This is directed not only to black brothers who might be reading this but to all progressive minded people of the world.

    In my opinion of course I believe there is hope in the ‘new’ global social movement for the empowerment and advancement of black people which stands every chance of success, at least in making significant strides to promoting , a yes actualising the progress of today’s generation of yg black people.

    Yes I believe that it is possible for todays struggle to capitalize on the hard won success of 100’s of years of costly and toilsome struggle by earlier courageous black people willing to stand up for themselves and say no to racism and oppression.

    However, I believe wholeheartedly that if the progress of black people in the world is to be assured we must all of us ( all us black people that is! ) avoid one major pitfall that has put stead to many hopeful projects and well meaning political and human rights endeavors on behalf of black people and that is to avoid outright hatred of the white-man.

    In my opinion in lifes fair field their are 2 big potential malevolent forces we inevitably have to contend with both as a people and simply as human-beings 1. the enemy ‘without’ and 2. the enemy ‘within’. Our ‘outer’ enemies are easy to identify and target eg. institutional racism, a skewed justice system, Bourgeoise decadance and complacency, working class and peti-bourgeoise petty mindedness and zenophobia. Our ‘inner’ enemies are tho’ all to often and ‘tragically’ much harder
    to spot, face and effectivel deal with and have in reality led to more hardship, more pain and suffering, more humiliation and death for ourselves.

    The simple fact of the matter is that whilst black people have a specific ‘outer’ enemy to fight namely the malevolance of ‘certain’ sections of the white community, like all human-beings black people have the more generalised problem of dealing with their ‘inner’ demons, again demons that beset us all not only as a people but as human beings. The important thing to be recognised being that if not checked theis inner all too human ‘flaws’ can and inevitably will lead to our own downfall. What I’m talking about here are the common and universal human weaknesses such as laziness say or ‘irrational’ fear.

    Of course the Devil ( I’m speaking metaphorically of course! ) in myth and/or religion is above all defined evil incarnate not necessarily beacaus of his direct confrontatioal threat to our being and existance but in the sense of being an incompassionate, selfish being that feeds off human weakness. Don’t expect the Devil to guide a wayward tho’ largely naieve child to the path of righteousness No! , don’t expect the
    devil to intervene in a mans personal tragedy to show empathy , a way out, pity or any positive human emotion no! the Devil just sits back and with a smirk and a grim satisfaction simply watches that man fall. Yes the Devil is the ultimate exploiter, he’s the archetypal passive aggressive.

    Some of Black history’s more reflective, more aware, more intelligent leaders of black struggle in the past have always recognised this power of the devil of course, the uncanny abiltiy and capacity of the Devil to defeat a person , a cause, a struggle from within. As such The ‘first’ Black Panthers ( some say the only ‘authentic’ gp to merge out of Black Culture of this nature ) always managed albeit just about and clingingly, resisting by the skin of their teeth, to avoid the all too human emotion of hating all white people.

    Theirs was a world revolutionary struggle and as such the Black Panther movement was very much inclusive of ‘progressive’ whites. They only just avoided that very human self-destructive state of generalised hatred of course and this malevolant force did find expression in the very real splits that did occur in the party. Note that even Malcolm X that rhetrotician of Black Nationalism eventually conceded that it may be possible to assimilate with white people, the perhaps more ‘mature’ Malcolm X the later identity that emerged just before he was murdered by his own people.

    Considering in hindsight and having the advantage and privelage of historical perspective I argue that it is a given , that at all costs we as black people must ( I label myself black here, in this context – I usually reserve the term dual-heritage for myself – because it was’nt a ‘half-breed’ I was called by
    white scally’s while being brought up on a w/c newtown estate nr Liverpool , I was abusively named a ‘nigger’ ) , we must not only fight the enemy ‘without’ clearly seen out there in malevolent white Society but we must just as vehemently just as devotedly fight the enemy, the ‘demon’ within that is our own natural tendencies to laziness and wanting the easy way out and our all to human ‘irrational’ fears, our paranoias and our tendency to want to blame all others for our plight , to want to hate all white men.

    In todays struggle what we’re looking for is not necessarily ‘martyrs’ this is not an all out battle of life and death in the military battlefield in a situation where the the odds are devestatingly pitted against us, no we can take greater faith and comfort than that. our battle is part of a struggle out there that has much worldly support, it is more a moral, ideological battle in the world of ideas and a more restrained democratically orientated political battle out there in the field of Post Modern affairs. Ours struggle today can be carried out as essentially a moral war, a war of common-sense and a struggle for human justice which if carried out properly and due caution and with some dignity and nobility we can expect to garner huge international cross support.

    I recognise that maryrdom and the martyr may and has played a significant part in some hisorical struggles and clearly acted out by beleagured peoples in various stages of history. Indeed societies , cultures under threat and facing great odds
    will create them – the martyr that is! – and if none voluntarily come forward will invent the conditions that will make them a reality ( whether those conditions be essentially ‘rational’ or ‘irrational’ ).From the Greeks ‘ Band of Thieves’ to Wellingtons ‘ Forlorn Hope’ the concept of the suicide mission and societies heroes fighting to the death in impossible situations has always been with us and so has the generalised hate of the objectified ‘other’ a necessary emotional pre-requisite for the individial who is not only expected to without feeling kill the enemy but also destroy themselves in the process – all in the name of and for
    the love of the group, the tribe .

    No for us to fight and win victorious over the enemy ‘without’ – to become a winner in the race against our oppressors we must first learn self-discipline, a self mastery that will keep those painful, deep, a real feelings of hate in check so that we can be dominated and lead by a self that is driven by the more positive emotions of ‘righteous’ anger and ‘rational’ justice. Its only then and by recognising the truth of the common humanity in us all that black and white alike can carry out the hard-work
    necessary, the graft, the toil to courageously bring about real progress, the human progress so necessary for black people today and in the future.



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