Workfare on the ropes, occupations spreading: resistance to austerity is taking off.

The success of Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson’s legal challenge to workfare schemes is a big victory. But, while this news is important, it’s still not quite enough. Apart from anything else, Mandatory Work Activity remains legal, making it all the more important to support Boycott Workfare’s week of action from the 18th-24th of March. Hopefully, the narrowing down of workfare schemes to just Mandatory Work Activity should allow for this week of action to be very well targeted – MWA relies on charities to keep it going, and pressure on charities so far has been very effective, so much so that the DWP is desperately fighting another court battle to keep the names of MWA providers secret, on the grounds that protests are likely to cause the scheme to collapse. That case is due to be heard on the 26th of March, so there’s every possibility we’ll see the DWP humiliated in the courts again next month. If we can put enough pressure on providers so that the Mandatory Work Activity scheme collapses before the DWP find a way to re-legalise their other workfare schemes, then workfare will well and truly be on its last legs, and the government as a whole will start to look increasingly weak and impotent. They’re on the defensive now, time to step it up.
Other than the legal victory against workfare, the other really encouraging thing I’ve noticed recently is the increasing popularity of occupations as a tactic. We’re still not seeing enough workplace occupations along the lines of the brilliantly effective Irish HMV occupations, but the last few days have seen an occupation of Liverpool Mutual Homes as part of the growing fightback against the bedroom tax, an occupation of Sussex University against privatisation, and an occupation of Levenshulme library, which is threatened with closure, in Manchester. Hopefully we’ll see many more in the days and weeks to come.
Internationally, the workers of in Thessaloniki, Greece, are currently taking part in an even more impressive occupation, having restarted production under workers’ control. And, while the emergence of the Egyptian black bloc has rightly attracted a lot of attention, something that seems to have gone relatively undiscussed is the formation of the Tunisian Disobedience Movement, an explicitly anarchist group hoping to take their revolution forward. The re-emergence of libertarian currents challenging new and old regimes in the region is a very important development, and one which deserves our full solidarity.

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, Occupations, Stuff that I think is pretty awesome, Unemployment/claimants and welfare and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Workfare on the ropes, occupations spreading: resistance to austerity is taking off.

  1. rainbowwarriorlizzie says:

  3. I’ve just posted my take on the whole issue on politicoid if you wanna take a look. I haven’t nearly finished what I really think though!

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