Day One: National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts Round Up
In response to the Condem Government’s savage attack on benefit claimants a network of autonomous claimants, anti-poverty groups and other local groups around the UK held the first National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts on December 15th 2010.
Organised at short notice the event featured protests, meetings and direct action around the country in what promises to be just the beginning of resistance to the cuts directed at the poorest in society.
In Edinburgh activists stormed an office of poverty pimps A4e, distributing leaflets about benefit rights to those forced to attend largely pointless job search and training courses. Elsewhere in Scotland, Citizens United Against Cuts held a stall outside Lidl in Glasgow distributing information to a highly receptive public.
Oxford Save Our Services held Uninvisible People, a Speaker’s Corner style event where disabled people, parents, job seekers, teenagers and young people facing an insecure future were able to publicly voice their concerns. The event drew coverage from the local BBC television station and was featured as one of the day’s top stories.
Brighton Benefits Campaign held a rally, despite pouring rain which was featured relatively positively in the local press. They promise further action in the New Year. Rain was also a feature in London although didn’t stop over a hundred people attended the Housing Emergency Demonstration outside Downing Street. Later in the day Disabled People Against Cuts held a Christmas Nativity under the tree in Trafalgar Square, despite the combined efforts of the weather, Heritage Wardens and the police to stop them.
Norfolk Community Action held a public meeting in the evening of the 15th discussing how to defend Council Housing and fight the welfare cuts.
Earlier in the week the Squattastic Day of workshops and discussions about the Condem threats to ban squatting was well attended and a second event is planned for the new year.
Events were also held in Newcastle, Lancaster and possibly elsewhere, please contact us with any details. Finally the National Troll a Tory Day held online saw Nick Clegg’s and David Cameron’s facebook pages awash with righteous anger.
A second day of action has been called for the 24th January 2011 targeting Atos Origin and the rest of the poverty pimps who see these cuts which will devastate so many lives as a way to make a quick buck.