More direct action victories: against workfare in Dorset, jobcentre repression in Edinburgh, and crap landlords in Seattle

A few notable direct action victories recently:

First, the comrades of Dorset IWW report that they’ve successfully pressured a Bournemouth branch of the Co-Op into giving up their involvement with workfare.

Secondly, the always-inspirational Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty report how, after High Riggs jobcentre management called the police and shut a whole floor of the jobcentre down to stop an ECAP member accompanying a claimant to their interview, even going so far as to threaten to arrest the claimant on aggravated trespass charges just for going to their own interview, they responded with a mass action at the jobcentre on September 14th, which quickly got jobcentre management to back down and allow claimants their right to be accompanied. As ECAP activist Esther McDonald explained: “We hope that this action will mark a growing counter-power through which claimants can make it increasingly difficult for the DWP to impose sanctions, workfare and other attacks.  Jobcentre management need to know that if they attack claimants, then we will take direct action to make jobcentres unworkable.

Solidarity and direct action from below is the way to fight against benefit cuts, against all austerity, and against the profit-driven capitalist society which produces these injustices.  Our message to all bosses is this – If you exploit us, we will shut you down.”

Good stuff, and they’re now building up to the national days of action on October 12th/13th in solidarity with Tony Cox and in defence of the right to be accompanied.


Finally, the long-running and highly successful Seattle Solidarity Network were able to use international pressure to force apartment mangement company Greystar to return money stolen from tenants. There’s more on that story in this interview with It’s Going Down, a new site that’s highly recommended if you want to keep up with US news from an anarchist perspective.

SeaSol members celebrating their victory

In all three cases, well-chosen direct action was able to lead exploiters and bureaucrats to back down. These kinds of victories don’t take superheroes, just a little planning, organising and solidarity. I hope to have more similar stories to report soon.


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

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