Welfare, workplace and repression news: Mid-January round-up.

Just a quick overview of a few recent developments: in welfare news, claimants have won a notable victory over Atos by pressuring the Co-op into not renewing their contract with the company. Claimants are also currently fighting Atos in the courts at a judicial review of the Work Capacity Assessment process, although I’ve not been able to find anything about the outcome yet. Resistance to the DWP’s new snooping system has been boosted by the launch of universaljobmatch.eu, a resource giving the key facts on Universal Jobmatch for benefit claimants, and the PCS union have confirmed that at the moment jobcentres can’t force people to sign up.
On the workplace front, HMV Cruises Street and HMV Crescent in Limerick are both currently being occupied by staff, and they’ve now been joined by the St Patrick’s Street store in Cork. These brave actions, reminiscent of last year’s Game occupations, are an inspiring response, and worth publicising. I don’t want to overstate the importance of the relatively small number of workplace occupations that have happened so far, because it’s not quite May 1968 just yet, but Irish workers do seem to have had some success in normalising occupations as a tactic that hasn’t happened here yet. It’s an approach worth trying to imitate: HMV won’t be the last chain to close its doors, and shop occupations can only strengthen the position of laid-off workers demanding redundancy pay. In other workplace news, the sacking of four UCU activists at Halesowen College is a worrying development, and the campaign for their reinstatement is worth keeping an eye on.
Broader anti-cuts campaigns seem to be picking up a bit in terms of militancy and momentum at the moment – following on from the example set last month by library campaigners in Newcastle, Liverpool Against The Cuts have now occupied Liverpool Town Hall.
Finally, a round-up of international stories about state repression and anarchist resistance: in Portland, Oregon, Kerry Cunneen has been subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury investigating anarchists, and has pledged not to co-operate in any way. Maddy, Matt and KteeO, the three comrades currently in prison for not informing, are now being held in solitary confinement. In Greece, the situation has heated up after police raids on a number of squats led to clashes and over 150 arrests in a single day; large demonstrations have taken place across the country in solidarity with the arrested. And finally, a speaker from the Belarus Anarchist Black Cross will be touring the UK in February and March to spread news about the situation there, keep an eye here for more details.

About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
This entry was posted in Anarchists, Disability, Occupations, Repression, Unemployment/claimants and welfare and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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