Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Merseyside Claimants Action Group launched

Wednesday's leafleting session outside Hordan House in Birkenhead may have been a small event, but if the anger expressed against the dole is anything to go by, it could be the start of something big.

The Merseyside Claimants Action Group is modelled on groups like the London Coalition Against Poverty, who successfully combine casework with legal but disruptive action - things like turning up at Job Centres en masse and refusing to leave until problem claims are sorted.

Anyone who has dealt with the dole know that getting the money to which you are legally entitled can be like getting blood from the proverbial stone, to say nothing of the other ways job centre workers harass claimants. With the government stepping up attempts to force even the sick and disabled into low paid work, and a recession apparently on the way, it's way past time for a bit of working class self defence.

I had one conversation in particular which illustrated why this action is needed. It was with a mother whose young daughter has been intimidated by the Job Centre system, to the point where she feels afraid to collect the money she needs to survive. Not surprisingly, the mother was frantic with worry. The system is set up to make us feel isolated, and guilty for taking a tiny part of what has been stolen from us by the capitalist state. It is by acting together in solidarity that we can and must stand up to the bullies, and take what should be ours.

If you want to get involved with our group, please email merseyclaimants@yahoo.co.uk, or write to Merseyside Claimants Action Group, Next To Nowhere, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HY
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