What is #WelfareRebellion and why do we need it?
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On average 48 people die a day because of austerity, that’s roughly 16,000 a year. To me, even 1 death because of a political choice is too much. That’s why I’m calling for what I am calling a Welfare Rebellion. The #PeoplesVote march proved that A to B protests matter little to the government. Therefore, we need a more proactive campaign.
You may have heard of the climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion (ER) and their highly public campaign in London over the past few weeks. Through peaceful non-violent acts of civil disobedience, they have gridlocked central London and blockaded government buildings amongst other things. People are talking about it.
Climate change is an extremely important issue that governments across the world need to do more to address and I support ER wholeheartedly as long as it remains non-violent.
We need a Welfare Rebellion
Please note; do not take any action yet. It must be carefully planned and everyone fully informed.
Since 2010 approximately 120,000 deaths have been linked to austerity. That’s 16,000 a year or 48 a day. In the time it has taken me to write this article, at least 2 people have died who didn’t need to. At least.
Everyday people are dying and we are talking about how bad it is. Talking about it. The United Nations, The National Audit Office, CPAG, JrF, Resolution Foundation, The Trussell Trust, MPs and many more can’t get the Tories to change their policies. What are a few thousand more articles going to do? I’ll tell you, nothing.
I put out the idea of conducting a similar campaign to Extinction Rebellion to force the government to act on austerity. However, there are some very distinct differences to the Welfare Rebellion.
This campaign has and won’t ever have, any political bias.
Anyone is welcome to take part. That may seem tough for some people however, austerity doesn’t discriminate. Are Tory voters less affected? Possibly, but some will be and their voice is just as important as anyone’s.
So learn to get along for the greater good. We can argue about politics afterwards.
I am proposing UK wide action. Sure we could disrupt central London a few times, but that won’t do much plus many people simply cannot afford to travel or take time off work.
If we can conduct actions all across the UK,
- More people can participate
- It can last longer, as there’s no travel involved
- It will cause much more than a few blocked roads in London
- More people will have to take notice
What am I proposing?
First and foremost any actions taken MUST be non-violent. I do not, nor will I ever, condone violence. It is counter productive.
#WelfareRebellion isn’t just about acts of civil disobedience though. We need to educate people on why we are acting, what the effects of austerity are and why they should care.
I am proposing causing severe disruption to people’s lives so they have to know why. Plus not everyone feels comfortable disrupting people which I fully understand. It is VERY important that you do what you feel you can. Everything is important from educating, feeding or acting.
Here are a few preliminary ideas of actions that can be taken. ALL of them are important.
- Peaceful AND non-violent civil disobedience
- online campaigning
- telephone campaigning
- maybe you have your own idea?
What do you mean by “civil disobedience”?
The thought of civil disobedience has already put many people off. That’s fine. It isn’t for everyone.
When I say we need to have UK wide civil disobedience here is a brief idea of what I mean but I won’t list everything.
Please note everything must be peaceful AND non-violent
- Disrupting rush hour traffic and train stations
- Blocking postal and delivery hubs – eg Amazon or Parcel Force
- Jamming up government phone lines with mass calls – eg HMRC
- Pop-up protests
- Mass online campaigns – eg emails to MPs or government departments
- Slowing fuel depot deliveries going out
I am NOT calling for anyone to break the law. Despite having the protection to assemble enshrined in law, Police can and WILL use various laws and powers to circumvent this. Therefore, there is an obvious risk of arrest when taking action.
Also, I’ll add that nobody should act alone. Groups will be set up to help direct and advise people. Safety in numbers is very important.
When will this happen and what to do in meantime?
The short answer is soon. People are dying every day and we cannot afford to hang around. What we do need to do though, is plan properly and ensure we have good numbers.
A failure to plan will lead to a failure to force change. Just keep your eyes peeled on this site and by searching #WefareRebellion on social media.
There is already a lot of support but we need more. Start telling your friends, writing to your councillors, MPs and even local businesses. I will upload a document shortly outlining Welfare Rebellions aims and rules.
I hope to set up a dedicated site and resources but I will have to save for this first. Please keep your eyes peeled for more news and updates.
If you want to set up a local group please do! I’m one person and can’t do this alone.
Importantly, SHARE, RECRUIT AND SHARE some more.
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YES !!!! I AM TIRED OF SEEING OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS SUFFER.
NO MORE – IM IN !
CAN WE NOT GO AND PROTEST FOR OUR RIGHTS….. I Suffer from Brain tumours and had surgery 3 years ago. And I can not work as I keep on having seizures and constant appointments and scans every 6 months. I applied for disability Allowance and they put me on ESA. then they did their stupid touch your nose ,follow my finger , touch your toes Assessment and responded your fit for work and put me on Universal Credit.. and now I have to look for work when I cant as my seizures come when they want to and its dangerous. Now I have been told if I dont look for work they will cut my Universal credit because I’m not putting effort in looking for work. I have not worked for 5 years now. I’m scared about having seizure around office areas, details etc….. but I’m at least walking . People who are in wheelchairs who can barely manage talking and are partial impaired are being told to work with the same assessment… YOU CAN NOT ASSESS SOMEONES BRAIN FUNCTION TO SAY HIS FIT FOR WORK… OR TO SOMEONE WHO CAN WHEEL HIS WHEELCHAIR BUT HARDLY SPEAKS AS HIS WEAK AND HAS EYE SIGHT PROBLEMS..
COME ON PUBLIC LETS GET TOGETHER AND STAND FOR OUR RIGHT . WE HAVE WORKED SO HARD AND PAID OUR NI AND TAXES ON TIME … NOW WE WANT BACK WHATS OUR RIGHT
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Alec, The time is overdue but this, your call out is ..wonderful. You are correct to describe violence as counter productive most if not all actions for liberation for dignity, through history, have been scuppered by the violence believed necessary to forcing the rich to share, our resources and incomes.
My one quibble, is that there should be “..no political bias”. I get the idea, no, or less, internal divisions, but as we know, austerity and the miseries of poverty it augments, even creates, is a political choice- policy of politicians acting as they now do for the exclusive benefit of the rich . Unknown to most is how we might achieve our aims without elected implementation of them.
I offer that we understand and communicate to all that we act to re-establish a balance. For that, we might have people, who identify as left or right understand that this is really more a restoration than a revolution and thus no cause for fear or rancor unless one is for power and privilege, we are for truth and justice thus to live with dignity.
P.S. Supporting report; Right wing media; Britain’s free health care system on verge of “imploding”. Effective fact source.
find it at Real News Network.
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I like the idea, and in general I think that non-violent direct action is a very effective method of campaigning, along with concerted attempts to communicate with those who claim to represent us. However, what I don’t think needs to be lost sight of is that violence is sometimes justified, and potentially I think that should the need arise we must be prepared to defend ourselves. The idea that the state will back down is naive in the extreme, which is why the state has police and the army, and will use violence. But in general, the non-violent course is to be preferred. Ghandi didn’t use arms for the simple reason that he realised that the state a) had access to more weapons, and b) had a lot of people far better trained to use those arms than the general population. Violent methods were considered, but non-violent direct action was chosen because it would wrong-foot the British controlled state, which he correctly calculated would overreact. The state will use agents provocateurs if a movement seems to be becoming successful, as will some of the various political cults of both left and right, as we have seen in the recent example of the protests by the gilets jaunes in France. I applaud your idea, and will certainly try and get something moving here in Wales. I’m also generally of a similar opinion that any movement must involve as wide a cross-section of the population as possible. I’d be very cautious of welcoming active Tories, as they would likely be at odds with a movement aimed at disrupting society. But perhaps that is only a case of waiting a while until the turkeys that vote Tory yet claim things like Housing Benefit or Tax Credits have been transferred to UC. Then they might have begun to see the light. One crucial thing to ensure is that picketing of politicians constituency offices is something that is regulalry done, without prejudice, by which I mean that Tory or Labour, or whatever else, they get picketed as a constant reminder that we are out here and we aren’t happy.
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