Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty organises to encourage resistance to Universal Credit, austerity and the whole profit-dominated exploiting system.
The recent Action Against Austerity gathering in Glasgow agreed on plans to broaden the resistance to Universal Credit, and we hope to announce initiatives soon.
Effective resistance means making oppressive policies unworkable. We need to build a movement. A movement – strong enough to stop evictions due to rent arrears caused by Universal Credit – strong enough to stop sanctions caused by Universal Credit – strong enough to stop sick and disabled people being forced to job-seek under Universal Credit. The anti-bedroom tax movement showed that the threat of physical resistance to evictions can win concessions – the Scottish government put in money to cover the bedroom tax.
Austerity is attacking on many fronts but there is also a fight-back, including here in Edinburgh. Community activists from Pilton, Muirhouse, Drylaw and the north of the city are opposing cuts to vital local services. Also in Muirhouse local tenants are organising in Living Rent about to insist on an end to dampness and to demand decent housing in the Council high-rises.
In this time of Brexit and xenophobia it is vital that working class people do not fall for the divide and rule lies of racists. The Scotland-wide Action Against Austerity network pledges “full solidarity with the struggles of migrant workers and claimants, and of asylum seekers and refugees” and advocates “international solidarity across and against state borders. The working class has no country.” ECAP works together with groups like Oficina Precaria who advocate for the rights of migrants and like ECAP are based in The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh.
The ECAP drop-in runs every Tuesday 12 – 3 pm to organise support for people facing problems with benefits, housing, debt etc. We practise mutual aid and solidarity and urge all claimants and low paid to support each other, for example by accompanying each other to benefits appointments. Our aim is for daily resistance to grow, become more collective and act as a counter-power – we have to make the Jobcentre more scared of us than we are of them!
ECAP works with the other groups based in The Autonomous Centre because the fight against poverty and austerity is part of the struggle to overthrow all oppression – capitalism, racism and patriarchy all have to go! Claim What’s Ours – The World!