Reports on resistance to public sector cuts.
See also UK Indymedia - Public sector cuts
On Monday 2nd of March 2015, there were demonstrations in over 30 towns and cities around the UK (plus Toronto) against Maximus, the US based health insurance corporation that has taken over the contract from the French IT Company Atos to administer the Work Capability Assessment on behalf of the Department Of Work And Pensions. Atos announced its exit from the contract in early 2014 following an intense period of direct action against the company by groups such as Disabled People Against the Cuts.
The day of action was timed to coincide with the first working day of the new contract, with the spotlight turned on Maximus as well as the continued use of Work Capability Assessments and the life-threatening consequences of the ongoing government attacks on the sick and disabled.
In central London, to the chorus of "David Cameron is a W*****" (YouTube) activists from DPAC hit the streets, taking direct action to block traffic and at one stage bringing traffic to a standstill on Victoria Street in the shadow of Big Ben.
The demonstrations across the UK on the streets were complemented with an online Twitter campaign using the hashtags #Maximarse and #ScrapWCA, the latter trending for a number of hours. This gave the opportunity for those unable (including through sickness and disability) to make it to demonstrations to vent their anger and frustation around the Work Capability Assessment and at a government hell-bent on targeting the sick and disabled.
Protests took place outside stores across Britain on 3rd March 2012 as campaigners stepped up their opposition to the ConDem workfare slavery scheme, (started under Labour,) by taking the online campaigns, which have resulted in many firms pulling out, onto the streets .
In Edinburgh two Tescos were 'invaded' and pickets were mounted outside a Poundland and British Heart Foundation store. The Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty delivered a letter to the BHF store insisting “that BHF withdraws completely from the Work Programme and all workfare schemes”
Bristol cops arrested two protestors at a picket of a McDonalds, and a solidarity action was held outside Trinity Road cop-shop later in the day. In Birmingham about 50 campaigners stopped off at Sainsburies and Superdrug to congratulate them on pulling out the scheme, whilst pickets were held at Poundland and McDonalds. In Sheffield campaigners who were chucked out of a Tesco on West Street, continued their tour with visits to stores which included Marks and Spencers, McDonalds and Primark. Nottingham campaigners picketed Wilkinsons before moving on to other stores
In Lewisham, McDonalds, Boots, Greggs, BHS and Primark werre targeted by a group of about 30, whilst Oxford Street saw a few dozen campaigners target outlets including McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Holiday Inn in a game of cat and mouse awith the police. On Friday Ian Duncan-Smith was challenged by protestors as he arrived at a conference in Tottenham. He insisted that "workfare is a brilliant scheme".
Newswire: Workfare conference cancelled due to protest | Workfare Unravels | 'It's exploitation and it's repellent' | Tesco’s Secret Workfare Slaves | Demo shuts Westminster Tesco | GMB Union Promotes Workfare as Answer | DWP Locks Down FOI Responses | Legal Challenge to Government’s slave labour scheme
After the ‘March for the Alternative’ in London on March 26th, thousands of people joined the TUC ‘Birmingham for the Alternative’ march on the Lib Dem conference on Sunday September 18th. There was a wide range of trade union participation, especially from public sector unions who recently announced a new wave of national strikes for November 30th. Student activists were also present, with a banner drop by the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts reminding conference delegates of Nick Clegg’s broken promises of opposing rises in tuition fees.
Plans for a third TUC demonstration, the Manchester ‘March for the Alternative’, are underway for the first day of the Conservative Party conference on October 2nd. Tens of thousands are expected to march past the conference centre and the ‘ring of steel’ around it, protesting against an agenda of cuts and austerity for the benefit of the rich. A coalition of anarchists, socialists, trade union activists, student unions and democracy campaigners, dubbed Occupy! Manchester, are also calling for an occupation of Albert Square, outside Manchester Town Hall, to create an assembly of protest on the doorstep of the Tory’s conference, and a place for real debate and discussion about the alternatives.
Plans for occupations and assemblies in Britain have been inspired by the large and vibrant student protests that took place last winter and by the popular demonstrations elsewhere. In New York, people’s assemblies were held on Wall Street on September 17th, the occupation there is on-going with a 24 hour camp in Liberty Plaza. a ‘March to Brussels’ has so far reached Paris. In London, another national student demonstration has been called for November 9th.
On June 30th thousands of strikers and their supporters gathered in Sheffield for a protest against the governments cuts to public sector pensions and public sector cuts in general. following a rally in Barkers Pool there was a short march down the Moor and back up to Division Street and back to Barkers Pool for a second rally.
Earlier in the day there was a Sheffield Uncut action and there is a Uncut - 'Teach In' planned for Saturday 2nd July, 12pm, City Hall steps.
On June 30th over 800,000 public sector workers will be on strike against attacks on their pensions. This is a key fight for everyone who wants to defend public services and oppose cuts to pensions, benefits services and our communities. Strikers and anti-cuts campaigners from across South Yorkshire will be marching through Sheffield, please join them.
Thu 30 Jun 2011, 12 noon assemble at Peace Gardens; 1pm rally Barkers Pool, organised by Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance, supported by Sheffield Trades Council.
Other protests listed on j30strike.org are, a student march around the pickets, meet on Howard Street (Sheffield Hallam Uni main entrance) at 9am and Sheffield Uncut action, meet at tram stop outside the Cathedral at 10am.
Following the protests on the first day of the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Sheffield the second day saw 5,000 protesters gathering on Devonshire Green and marching to Barkers Pool outside the City Hall. Direct action against tax dodging corporations involved protest parties in Top Shop, Boots on Fargate and Nat West Bank on High Street [video].
A convergence space that was used on Friday night, a vacant shop next door to Debenhams on The Moor has now been opened as the 0742 Club and is appealing for people to get involved as residents [photos]. There are plans for art exhibitions, music nights, film screenings, workshops, talks and much more, there is a meeting to discuss future of the building on Tuesday at 5pm and and a workshop / talk on land reclaim, common law, and setting up eco communities on Friday, March 18th.
The first day of the Liberal Conference in Sheffield was met by protests [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] outside the Town Hall starting at around 4pm. At around 4:45pm the protest moved up to Barkers Pool and proceeded to chant at the conference delegates outside the City Hall. The protest then moved to the top of Barkers Pool, at the bottom of Division Street and got noisier. A critical mass later in the evening brought Ecclesall Road to a complete standstill. The Star reported that there were 800 protestors and has posted a video and a timeline of the protest.
A far bigger protest is expected tomorrow, assembling at 11am on Devonshire Green, however a warning that it might be kettled there has led to a call to meet outside the Town Hall instead. See the Massive Protests Expected at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference in Sheffield feature article for more details
Conference tweets are using #ldconf, so use this hashtag in titles of newswire reports to get the delegates attention, you can also follow the Sheffield Indymedia newswire via Twitter or indy.im and also ConDem Sheffield on indy.im
Newswire: Convergence Centre Open in Sheffield | so this is what 2 million quid of policing looks like - day 1 | Photos from the protest, 11th March, Sheffield city centre | Protests at the First Day of the Liberal Democrat Conference | Liberal Democrat Conference: Police State Sheffield
On 4th March, in the face of a trade union protest (audio) councillors voted for a package of £84 million of cuts in services and 273 redundancies. The Star has reported that "Lib Dems had their proposals approved after the opposition Labour group declined to put forward alternative plans, which could have been passed with support of the two Greens and [the] lone independent". The Sheffield Green Party reports that "The Lib Dem budget was passed because Labour refused to vote against the cuts. The Green Party Councillors were the only ones to vote against the cuts". The budget documents can be found on the Council web site.
For past coverage of the protests against the Liberal Democrat / Conservative cuts see the Sheffield Public Sector Cuts archive.
Sheffield City Centre has been turned into a virtual police state from 11th till the 13th March, as the Liberal Democrats converge on the City for their annual spring conference. The Sheffield Telegraph reported that there will be a six foot security fence, but now it's erected it's clearly higher (2.5m). The Sheffield Star has reported that there will be 1,000 police officers defending the conference with plans to use riot gear and kettling if necessary, at a cost of £2 million. Activists have reported Police surveillance in the run-up to the conference and there are section 14 and section 12 restrictions on freedom of movement in place from the Police. The official conference webpage links to the agenda and papers and delegates information, party members are registering at the Millennium Gallery, fringe meetings are taking place in the City Hall, Mercure St Paul’s Hotel, Jurys Inn and Leopold Hotel, see the listings for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The police initially told the media that they were expecting between 2,500 and 3,000 protestors but have now said they are expecting up to 10,000 demonstrators. Sheffield ConDem Resistance have produced a flyer for the weekend. On Friday 11th March at 4.30pm there will be a demo assembling at the Town Hall and on Saturday 12th March a protest has been organised by the SWP's Right to Work campaign with the support of the Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance with agreement with the Police — assemble 11am on Devonshire Green for a rally and a then a march to another rally. There are also other campaigns organising protests.
Newswire: Protests at the First Day of the Liberal Democrat Conference | Liberal Democrat Conference: Police State Sheffield | Liberal Democrats meet behind metal barrier | Information on planned protests in Sheffield 11-13th of March | Protest against Lib Dem Conference Organisers - Police surveillance actions
On Saturday 5th December 2010 students from the occupation of the Richard Roberts building at Sheffield University were joined by others in a protest against rise in tuition fees and tax dodging companies. Tax dodgers Vodafone and Topshop were targeted as part of the action with protesters blockading the entrance to both stores on Fargate and, as a result, the Vodafone store was forced to close.
Sheffield University have been granted a posession order but at Public Rally to support the Occupation, on Sunday 5th December, in the Richard Roberts Building, Paul White, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield University said they were not going to enforce the order (audio). Recordings of most of the speakers from the Rally and also from the Roy Bailey gig which followed the rally are available ( 1 | 2 ).
Newswire: Roy Bailey Set from the Sheffield University Occupation | Sheffield University Occupation Rally Against Cuts | Sheffield Occupation and Anti-Cuts Protest | Sheffield students protest against tuition fee rises and tax dodgers - Photos | Sheffield Occupation Marches Against Austerity | Sheffield Vodafone and Top Shop targeted in tax dodge demo
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