Block the Bridge, Block the Bill legal tips

Posted on Mon 3rd Oct 2011, 10:40am
To those first time activists who may feel a little nervous… here is some advice.

First of all, you are in good company. Many people have had their first experiences of direct action and civil disobedience with UK Uncut, and had a great time. You only need to have a look through the photos and videos in our gallery to see what our actions are like. There haven’t been many instances of arrests at UK Uncut actions. But, as we have learned, it is still impossible to predict the police’s reaction. So it’s best to be prepared.

The fantastic Green and Black Cross legal support group will have teams of legal observers there on the day checking police behaviour and will run an offsite legal support line. Here are a couple of things you can do:
  • Take a look at this advice card, and keep one in your pocket on the day of the action. Use the recommended solicitor and support numbers provided if necessary.
  • Bring a friend with you. Make an agreement to look out for each other throughout the day. Go up and chat to people already there too!
You may also want to have a look through the legal briefings produced by the Activists' Legal Project and Green and Black Cross. You can get in touch with with any further questions.

Now that you’re prepared, we’ll see you on the bridge!

Green and Black Cross are running a fantastic free training event this Saturday for people wanting to learn how to act as a legal observer

Raise £1000 for the Brighton 9

Posted on Tue 27th Sep 2011, 11:28am

On 4th December last year, members of Brighton Uncut glued themselves to the inside of a window at Topshop in one of the most audacious and widely read about actions to date. They were using the example of Topshop boss Philip Green's £285m tax dodge to highlight the now well-publicised link between tax avoidance and public spending cuts.

Friday saw the culmination of their two-week trial, which featured Caroline Lucas MP, tax expert Richard Murphy and Dr Ron Singer called as expert witnesses by the defence. Caroline Lucas offered her full support to the Brighton 9, who she says "put the ethics back into politics".

In a front page story, the local paper branded the £100,000 trial a "waste of money" and noted that defendants were actually cleared of most charges. Nevertheless, five were found guilty of accidentally damaging two mannequins which toppled over when they entered the window display and handed £200 fines each.

In a show of solidarity, and encouragement for those planning on taking action in the future, we're attempting to cover the £1000.

You can donate via bank transfer (drop us an email to afterwards with your donation amount) or Paypal. We'll update this page with details of how the fundraising is going!

Update 28/09 10am: We raised £80 in the first day. Just 92 more people donating £10 each would cover the whole amount!

Update 28/09 11am: We're now over a third of the way through!

Update 28/09 1pm: We've now raised over £500! Keep going for the superglue stars.

Update 29/09 11am: £830, we're almost there! 17 more people donating £10 each would cover the entire amount.

Update 29/09 12pm: WE MADE IT! What an inspiring show of solidarity! We'll have a guest blog from Brighton Uncut up soon!

Brighton Uncut will be helping to Block the Bridge, Block the Bill on 9th October!

Guest post: Occupy Atos! Join the National Day of Action on 30th Sep

Posted on Mon 26th Sep 2011, 3:50pm
This is a guest post by Damien Joyce, a UK Uncut supporter

If you think it’s wrong for a multinational company to make profits by stripping severely ill and disabled people of their benefits, and driving some to suicide in the process, then on Friday 30th September you should Occupy Atos.

To help push through its welfare cuts programme the government is paying Atos, a corporation that specialises in IT services, £300 million to re-test 1.6 million people who are on incapacity benefit. Anyone who fails the test has their benefits cut or is forced to find a job.

Before Atos got its hands on our welfare system, sickness tests were done by real doctors. But Atos has shareholders to please, and doctors are a cost that cuts into its profits. So to make sure it can process 11,000 people a week with maximum efficiency, Atos uses a seriously dodgy computerised testing programme that even the government admits is flawed.

The test is so dodgy, 40% of appeals against decisions to cut benefits are successful, and this rises to 70% when claimants are represented by experts. According to the Guardian and the Scottish Herald, some people have died from their illnesses soon after the test has found them able to work.

Leading mental health charities say the prospect of being re-tested is having “devastating effects on hundreds of thousands of people,” and that there have already been cases where “people have taken their own life following problems with changes to their benefits.”

Despite its horrific consequences the testing continues and thousands of people who shouldn’t work – some of them severely disabled, or with major illnesses like lung cancer and cerebral palsy – are being declared fit, stripped of vital benefits and told to get a job.

All this in the name of paying down the deficit. Yet the financial crash and the hole it blew in our public finances were caused by super-rich City boys and the politicians who let them spin out of control. It had nothing to do with people on incapacity benefit, the vast majority of whom want to work but are forced to live in poverty because of their medical conditions.

So why should sick and disabled people be made to pay for the bankers’ crisis when clearly the culprits can afford to?

The coalition is cutting our welfare system by £4.5 billion a year. This compares to the £14 billion that bankers paid themselves in bonuses last year, the £20 billion that would be raised by a tiny Robin Hood Tax on the City each year, and the £70 billion a year that could be reclaimed by stopping companies like Barclays and HSBC from dodging their taxes.

Atos has testing centres all over the UK, so this Friday 30th September link up with disability campaigners and join an action, or why not organise one yourself if there isn’t one near you? They’re happening at lunchtime so people who are working can take part. You could even get creative – how about turning the tables on Atos and performing a ‘computer says no’ test in its offices, or transforming them into a shrine that miraculously cures sick and disabled people...?

However you want to do it, be sure to go and Occupy Atos!
Displaying posts 181 - 183 of 281 in total

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