Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2494

Demonstrators block roads against Tory benefit attack

Around 100 people protested in Islington, north London, on Friday of last week against a trial plan to put “job coaches” in GPs surgeries.

These advisors will be funded by job centres but employed by Remploy.

Remploy is now a subsidiary of Maximus, the firm carrying out the government’s hated “fit for work” tests on sick and disabled benefit claimants.

The protest was called by groups including Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac).

Protesters gathered outside one of the surgeries where the trial is taking place, then blocked roads at the busy Old Street junction.

One activist dressed as hated Tory axeman Iain Duncan Smith in a doctor’s white coat giving out bogus prescriptions.

Groups including Dpac and the Unite union have called a day of protests against benefit sanctions for Wednesday of this week.

Sanctions can snatch away people’s benefits for weeks or even months.

Gill Thompson’s diabetic ex-soldier brother David Clapson died starving and destitute after his benefits were cut off for missing a meeting.

She is to hand in a petition to the Department for Work and Pensions calling for an inquest.


Over 100 come to SWP dayschool

One solution: revolution

One solution: revolution (Pic: Andy Bukswarn)


Some 130 people took part in a Socialist Workers Party dayschool for new members last Saturday.

It saw enthusiastic debates about Jeremy Corbyn, the EU referendum, imperialism, the battle against oppression and much more.


Asylum action in Huddersfield

Socialists, activists and asylum seekers in Huddersfield staged a protest vigil against the Tories’ Immigration Bill on Thursday of last week.

The bill threatens to snatch housing, money and health care from rejected asylum seekers and their families.

The vigil, organised by Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield, got a sympathetic response.

Martin Jones


Keep Dearne Valley free from fracking

Frack Free Dearne Valley’s first public meeting in Wath on Friday of last week attracted nearly 50 people including many ex-miners.

There was anger that fracking licences have been granted for the whole of the Barnsley and Dearne Valley.

People plan to spread the campaign to other villages.


Bristol debates the EU referendum

Some 65 people met in Bristol on Thursday of last week to debate the left and the EU referendum.

Labour MP Thangham Debbonaire and Green Party councillor Anna McMullen argued for a Yes vote.

Greek socialist Terry Karampini and Joseph Choonara from the Socialist Workers Party said the left should vote No.

Huw Williams


UCU Left wins seats in election

UCU Left supporters Sean Vernell, Julia Roberts, Sean Wallis, Rachel Cohen, Margot Hill, Dawn Livingston, Elaine White, Sue Abbott and Julie Hearn have been elected to the union’s national executive committee.

Mandy Brown, UCU Left candidate for vice president, won nearly 40 percent of the vote.


Health workers vote for strikes

Health workers in south London fighting outsourcing giant Aramark for £10 an hour have voted by 97 percent to strike.

The GMB union members work in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s Maudsley, Lambeth, Bethlem and Ladywell hospitals.


Cops couls face charges over Sean Rigg's death 

An inquiry into the death of Sean Rigg in 2008 could lead to cops facing perjury charges.

Sean died of a heart attack at south London’s Brixton police station.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission passed the investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service last Friday.

Police arrested him on an estate in Balham. They claimed they used minimal force. A court heard that cops knelt on Sean’s back, punched him repeatedly and held him down with elbows and fists.


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