Despite officials from Unite The Union trying to cancel Unite involvement in the protest at HIgh Riggs jobcentre – reportedly due to a request by the local PCS who said one of their workers had been threatened earlier in the week by an individual – the 30th March Day of Action against sanctions went ahead with two successful demos in Edinburgh.
25 – 30 folk from ECAP, We Are All Daniel Blake, Unite the Union Community branch and other organisations gathered at High Riggs Jobcentre in Tollcross for an hour and a half, leafleting and talking to claimants signing on there. Claimants signing on stopped to talk, tell of their experiences with sanctions and being disqualified from ESA – and express support for the demo.
We then moved to nearby Argyle House on Lady Lawson Street where Maximus carry out the degrading Work Capability Assessments, and ATOS do PIP assessments. The notorious “If you exploit us, we will shut you down” banner was proudly on display making a much welcome return. And Rhythms of Resistance made a powerful and catchy appearance.
ECAP and We Are All Daniel Blake broadened out the day of action calling attention to the WCA, cuts to ESA, workfare and other attacks on the disabled and unemployed. An attack on the unemployed and disabled is an attack on the rest of the working class- those in employment, migrants, lone parents…
- Stop Sanctions Now
- No cut in ESA
- Scrap the Work Capability Assessment
- Defend the Right to be accompanied
- The Scottish Gov must halt the DLA – PIP transfer while the devolution of welfare powers occurs.
The disgraceful behaviour of PCS and Unite officials is yet another example of how the official unions are deeply integrated into the capitalist system. In and out of the workplace we need to organise autonomously, rejecting the dead hand of bureaucratic leadership.
We put no faith in the supposed good will of politicians whether at Holyrood or Westminster. Only by building a counter power and organising ourselves from below will we be able to support each other in the spirit of solidarity and make austerity measures and these welfare attacks unworkable. It’s our world lets take it back!
Info on how to resist sanctions
Info on how to deal with the Work Capability Assessment
The Edinburgh demos were part of a Britain-wide Day of Action, with protests from Dundee to the south of England…..