ECAP are encouraged that people came out in the rain on 28 November to demonstrate at Leith jobcentre against Universal Credit. Sisters Uncut, Oficina Precaria and other groups supported the demo too.
Universal Credit increases poverty, homelessness and misery. It massively increases the scope and length of sanctions. It attacks the disabled, young people, women, workers, migrants. Research shows the majority of claimants will be worse off.
The fact that new claimants have to wait many weeks for their first payment causes huge hardship and plunges many into rent arrears, from which many never recover, losing their homes.
Its all part of the Government’s austerity attack, designed to undermine everyone’s wages and conditions and force people to accept low paid insecure jobs.
Demonstrators today proclaimed a Declaration of Resistance to Universal Credit, multiple copies of which were fixed to the Leith Jobcentre wall. This reads:
“We declare we will take direct action against any employer involved in Universal Credit workfare. We declare we will take direct action to defend people sanctioned under Universal Credit. We declare we will take direct action in solidarity with all under attack.”
We talked to several fellow-claimants about their experiences, including yet another claimant who was failed on the Work Capability Assessment, we urged him to visit our Tuesday drop-in to get support to challenge the decision.
ECAP aim to increase our regular stalls outside Jobcentres to combat Universal Credit through solidarity – claimants have the right to be accompanied to all benefits appointments and our advice is “Never meet them alone”.
We have no faith in politicians to change the system, our aim is to help build a counter-power from below.