Anti-workfare protestors blockade and occupy Superdrug and British Heart Foundation

Protestors blockaded and occupied both British Heart Foundation and Superdrug in Edinburgh today Saturday 8 December, in opposition to their participation in the government's workfare schemes.

A huge banner declaring IF YOU EXPLOIT US WE WILL SHUT YOU DOWN blocked the entrance to the BHF furniture store in Leith's Kirkgate centre as demonstrators occupied the shop.  Impromptu speeches were given inside and out, explaining that although BHF had claimed to be "moving away" from workfare, they were still taking on new compulsory placements.

After half an hour inside BHF, protestors moved round the corner to blockade Superdrug.  Many stopped to listen to spokespeople for the protest who gave speeches through a megaphone, stressing that this action was part of the wider resistance to the attacks by the rich on the poor.   Hundreds took leaflets denouncing workfare and in particular the new imposition of workfare on the sick and disabled.  Many people came up to the stall outside the occupied stores and joined ECAP's solidarity network for mutual support against the authorities. 

Demonstrators then moved inside Superdrug, where a protestor gave a speech explaining that this action was against workfare and in solidarity with Superdrug workers whose wages and conditions were being undermined by the company's use of workfare.  In Brighton Superdrug are not taking on Xmas staff but are using workfare conscripts instead.

The coming Bedroom Tax

The attachment here is a letter we received about the coming bedroom tax, and we'd like to pass it on.

TAKE PART IN A WEEK OF ACTION KICKING OFF ON 8 DECEMBER

Many companies and charities have pulled out of the government’s workfare
schemes when met with pickets and direct action that put these
exploitative schemes in the spotlight.

But charities including British Heart Foundation, Scope and Barnardos and
many companies like Poundland, Argos and Superdrug still subscribe to
schemes which force the unemployed to “work for their benefits”. That’s
why Boycott Workfare network are calling A Week of Action against
Workfare, focusing especially on the charities involved.

EDINBURGH ACTION - DEMONSTRATE AT BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION AT THE KIRKGATE SHOPPING CENTRE AT THE FOOT OF LEITH WALK, FROM 12 NOON ONWARDS SATURDAY 8th DECEMBER

HELP MAKE SURE BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION GO THE WHOLE WAY
- together lets do it

A few months ago, British Heart Foundation was proud to say that “Around
1,000 of [people working in their shops] are on placements with us through
Work Programme schemes and 600 [people working in their shops] are
placements on Mandatory Work Activity.”

But since September's day of action against charity workfare, more and
more volunteers, customers and members of the public have been speaking
out against their exploitation of the unemployed. Comedian Mark Thomas
even added his voice saying “BHF involvement in Workfare has undermined my
trust and commitment to them as a campaigning group.”
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1564

Our efforts are paying off and last week British Heart Foundation
announced "Currently we are moving away from involvement in the mandatory

GOVERNMENT ADMITS WE CAN MAKE WORKFARE COLLAPSE

The DWP has admitted it is scared to publish names of workfare users
because "Previous targeted campaigns had resulted in the withdrawal of
providers" and it could result "in the collapse of the MWA scheme".

Read the Guardian article here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/09/mandatory-work-activity-names-witheld

Don't share your data with the job pimps.

Check out the 'IMPORTANT INFORMATION' button on this site. You do NOT have to share your data. A4E have been caught out trying to force a claimant to do this, and have had to apologise.

BHF charity shop in Leith closed by anti workfare protest

Anti workfare demonstrators in Edinburgh shut down the British Heart Foundation furniture store at the Kirkgate shopping centre for over two hours on Saturday 8 September. The Leith store closed its doors as demonstrators arrived before noon, and didn't attempt to reopen till after 2pm. Protestors blocked the shop door with a giant banner IF YOU EXPLOIT US WE WILL SHUT YOU DOWN.

 

Demo organisers Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty condemned BHF’s participation in the government workfare schemes.  These programmes mean unemployed people are compelled to work for their benefits - or their benefit is cut.  “These schemes punish the unemployed, attack all workers' wages and conditions and actually cause more unemployment, due to the replacement of paid workers by unpaid labour,” say ECAP. Opposition to workfare has grown and many major companies and charities such as Oxfam, Marie Curie, Shelter, TK Maxx, BHS, HMV, Sainsburys, Waterstones, Boots, Holland & Barret no longer participate in the schemes.

 

Protestors also stood with banners right across the entrance at another nearby BHF shop on Great Junction Street, defying police orders to move, and causing custom to be greatly reduced.  “Many people turned away when BHF's participation in slave labour schemes was explained,” stressed ECAP.  

EDINBURGH WORKFARE PROTEST: Sat 8 September 2012

 - ACTION TO STOP WORKFARE -   

Britain-wide day of action against forced unpaid labour..

SATURDAY  8 SEPTEMBER:
MEET 12 NOON KIRKGATE SHOPPING CENTRE, FOOT OF LEITH WALK, EDINBURGH

To take action against the British Heart Foundation charity who continue to use workfare conscripts.

All welcome, bring banners, placards, whistles, drums.

NO TO WORKFARE - Protestors picket Primark

Anti workfare protestors descended on Primark in Edinburgh's city centre on Saturday 14 July.  The Princes Street store was picketed by protestors declaring their opposition to the government's work-for-your-benefits schemes.

The demo, organised by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, was part of a UK-wide week of action against workfare co-ordinated through the Boycott Workfare network.  The week has already seen a major success with “health” food shop Holland and Barrett  announcing their withdrawal from workfare the day before their stores were set to be targets of demonstrations all round Britain.

Thus the Edinburgh demo was re-located from Holland and Barrett to Primark, a fitting target as not only are Primark involved in exploiting unemployed people through workfare, they are notorious dealers in sweatshop-produced clothing, and heavily involved in tax evasion schemes

NO TO SLAVE LABOUR Demonstrate at Primark

NO TO SLAVE LABOUR

Demonstrate at
PRIMARK,
90-93 Princes Strreet
Edinburgh EH2 2ER
12 noon Sat 14 July
UK-wide week of action against workfare
Targetting Primark due to their large-scale use of “work-for-your-benefits” schemes across the UK

Organised by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty
www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk  ecap@lists.riseup.net

Boycott Workfare network www.boycottworkfare.org

Leaflets can be picked up from ACE, 17 W Montgomery Place EH7 5HA tuesdays 12-3pm, thursdays 6-8pm, sats 12-4pm (best to ring first on a sat if coming long way - 557 6242)

Contact us at ecap@lists.riseup.net if you would like to help leaflet job centres and/ or stick up posters and/or if you would like us to send you electronic copies of the flyers/ posters

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