Anti workfare demonstrators blockade Salvation Army shop in Edinburgh

Demonstrators opposing workfare and sanctions blockaded a large Salvation Army charity shop in central Edinburgh on 7th December.  The approximately 40 protestors included some unemployed people who had themselves been press-ganged to work for nothing in Salvation Army charity shops.

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Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty Meeting

7pm Mon 30th September 2013                                              Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, 17 West Montgomery Place, EH7 5HA.

The coming ECAP monthly meeting comes at a very important time. In the last few months the situation for claimants on JSA and in the WRAG group of ESA has dramatically worsened, claimants’ treatment in the job centres is becoming increasingly brutal. Continue reading

Demonstrators target Leith Jobcentre in protest over benefit sanctions

Demonstrators besieged Leith Job Centre in Edinburgh on 11th July to oppose the 30% sanctions target set by a new manager there.  Police manhandled protestors who entered the building and announced that the Public Order Act was in force.  Part of the Boycott Workfare Week of Action Against Workfare, the demo denounced all work-for-your-benefits schemes, and proclaimed opposition to the whole austerity programme.
Organised by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty and supported by Greater Leith Against the Cuts, the demo Continue reading


Gather 10am onwards at Leith Job Centre, 199 Commercial Street, EH6 6QP
Part of the Boycott Workfare Week of Action against Workfare

The Department For Workfare and Punishment (DWP) have set up a ‘Hit Squad’ in Leith Jobcentre to target Work Programme returners and harass them. A new manager at Leith Jobcentre has told staff that 30% of claimants are not meeting the conditions for receiving benefits – the clear implication is that these claimants should be sanctioned.  In reality this is a return to the supposedly outlawed practice of setting sanctions targets, and is totally unfair and unjust. Continue reading

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty Meeting

7pm Monday 24th June 2013                                               Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh,                                                        17 West Montgomery Place EH7 5HA. Open organising meeting. All welcome.

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Anti bedroom tax groups demand justice for Margaret

Edinburgh Council tenant Margaret has been denied an exemption for bedroom tax by City of Edinburgh Council despite being clearly entitled – she has overnight carers stay every night.  She wrote to the CEC as early as February applying for an exemption.  Instead of granting the exemption the Council have been phoning her up threatening she could be evicted if she didn’t pay her rent.  This is clearly against the Council policy of no evictions for bedroom tax arrears.  The stress of this situation has now led to Margaret giving up her tenancy, as she was becoming very ill.

Muirhouse and Pilton anti bedroom tax groups called for people to attend Councillor Cammy Day’s surgery at Muirhouse Library on 17 June to support Margaret and other tenants with bedroom tax problems.   Around 20 people turned up at short notice, an excellent show of solidarity.  Continue reading

Number of Scots reduced to poverty after having their benefits taken away on the rise

A rising numbers of Scots are being pushed deeper into poverty by having their benefits stopped. More than 200 people had their jobseeker’s allowance suspended every working day this time last year – plunging struggling Scots into an instant financial crisis. Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith rapped by watchdog for misusing benefits cap statistic

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has been criticised by the UK’s statistics watchdog for misusing figures to promote the effectiveness of the coalition’s benefits cap on getting people into work.

In a press release issued by the Department of Work and Pensions last month alongside ‘ad hoc’ statistics, Duncan Smith was quoted as saying ‘already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. This clearly demonstrates that the cap is having the desired impact’.

However, in an open letter sent on Thursday, Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said this claim was ‘unsupported by the official statistics published by the department’. Continue reading

May Day protestors target Edinburgh workfare exploiters

May Day in Edinburgh saw anti workfare demonstrators touring companies and        charities using unpaid forced labour.  Starting with an excursion into the
giant Homebase at St Leonards the protestors from Edinburgh Coalition
Against Poverty
went on to visit no fewer than 7 exploiting employers.

At Homebase demonstrators roamed the store putting up stickers – THIS
EMPLOYER USES FORCED UNPAID LABOUR.   Special leaflets were given to
customers and workers detailing the large-scale use of workfare at the
Haringey Homebase where 21 workfare conscripts are working for nothing. Continue reading

Anti-Cuts Campaigners Heckle Iain Duncan Smith in Edinburgh

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, was called a “ratbag” as he was heckled by anti-cuts protesters who gatecrashed a speech in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Smith was about to deliver a speech on pensions reform when North Edinburgh Fights Back campaigner Willie Black began haranguing the MP, calling him a “parasite” and a “ratbag” for pursuing social security cuts that would leave “millions” of people homeless.

Click here to read the full article from the Guardian or here to see the video from BBC’s Reporting Scotland.