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A list of completely ridiculous benefit sanctions people have experienced | Blog | False Economy

"The number and length of benefit sanctions has risen hugely under the coalition.

Two and a quarter million JSA claimants have had their money stopped, and since October 2012 sanctions are for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of three years.

ESA claimants can have 70% of their benefits stopped indefinitely. Imagine being without any income for a month, when your annual income is less than £4,000 a year – no chance of savings to fall back onto. Claimants go into debt, go hungry and use foodbanks, go into rent arrears or don’t turn on the heating when it’s cold.

Now imagine being without any income for three years and what you’ll do then.”

British Move Toward Censoring “Unsavory” Internet Speech

questionall:

March 21, 2014
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Source: Jonathan Turley
220px-JamesBrokenshireHomeOffice

I have repeatedly written on the alarming erosion of free speech in the United Kingdom, particularly as a result of hate speech and anti-discriminatory regulations (here and here and here). Now, Security and Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, has stated that the government is not content with censoring language viewed as terroristic but wants to remove “”unsavoury” content.” He acknowledges that such content is not illegal but express a desire to sanitize the web of such speech. Brokenshire is an example of the insatiable appetite for censorship that develops once you allow the government to control speech. You can almost hear the “harrumph” and “here, here” to get the diminishing measure of free speech in England.

Brokenshire is quoted as saying that the government must do more to shape the dialogue of citizens by censoring content that is objectionable: “that may not be illegal but certainly is unsavoury and may not be the sort of material that people would want to see or receive.” He also wants more private censorship from media sites to keep nasty material from appearing.

Brokenshire is the new face of authoritarian measures in the post-9-11 age. New demands for censorship are now cloaked in expression of tolerance and pluralism. It is an appeal to the majority in asking citizens to impose limits on their own freedoms. It brings new meaning to the comment by Ralph Waldo Emerson that “Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.”

Censorship is a horrible thing to see. I hope that the U.S. government doesn’t get the same idea about this.

Food banks set to feed a million people this year

‘The number of Britons using food banks to survive is set to top a million this year as a record number of families ask for the emergency handouts.

The shock figure comes after 41 church leaders blamed the Coalition’s benefits regime for forcing people into starvation and called for it to act.

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank network, fed 738,000 people last year – and bosses expect numbers to soar again.

Boss Chris Mould said: “We could easily hit a million this year, and that’s really distressing. Somebody in a food bank is at the end of their tether. They have run out of resources.”’

Feb 7

U.K. Bill Would Allow Secret Courts to Confiscate Journalists' Notebooks

priceofliberty:

Even in the digital age, the U.K. isn’t giving up on good ol’ notebook confiscation. A proposed bill contains a provision that would allow authorities to ditch transparency and demand journalists’ notebooks through secret courts. Monday, ministers decided to engage in further consultation on this provision of the bill before sending it to committee.

Currently, requests for journalists’ notebooks, hard drives, and other physical possessions must be made in a public, open court. But Clause 47 would permit officials to request them through secret channels.

The Newspaper Society, an organization that watches over Britain’s local media, told the Guardian:

The deregulation bill’s provisions could enable the current statutory safeguards to be removed completely, reduced, weakened or otherwise radically altered at any later time, without prior consultation of the media affected nor detailed parliamentary scrutiny of the effect.

On the other hand, a Cabinet Office spokesperson told the Guardian, “Every measure in the deregulation bill is intended to remove unnecessary bureaucracy.” Unless by ‘bureaucracy’ they mean transparent courts, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Some argue that the protect-us-from-journalists mentality stems from the British News International phone hacking scandal. After widespread, shameless phone tapping of celebrities, politicians, the victims of bombs, etc. surfaced in 2011, the judicial Leveson Inquiry was tasked with advising about future precautions against journalists. According to Politics:

The report on media regulation said steps needed to be taken to ease the process by which authorities can get their hands on reporter’s books and files.

Phone tapping was already an illegal practice. But the Leveson Inquiry recommended developing an independent agency responsible for regulating the media.

Negative media attention has led politicians to, maybe, reconsider. After a second reading of the bill on Monday, Minister Oliver Letwin said to the Commons, “It would make sense to do some further consultation in case there’s anyone out there who’s got views who’s not come forward.”

Interview with a Job Centre Advisor: sanction targets & corruption revealed

tardissr:

mugglepolitics:

I truly suggest that you read the whole thing. 

‘I have never in my time seen one customer ask to see the papers as to why they have been sanctioned. not one. the unfortunate thing is the general public is too trusting of jobcentre staff. ’

I genuinely believe this is why they stopped sanctioning me. One minute it was ‘we’re not going to give you anything for 3 months’, the next I had a letter telling me I’d be getting back- and regular payments again, all because I asked for a written reason why I was sanctioned. Wow. Cameron’s Britain.

The police get the tools they want, Britain loses the liberties it holds dear

mylittlerewolution:

There are two striking images of modern Britain in this week’s news. The first is the story that crime in Britain is at a 32-year low, which confirms evidence in statistical trends that, like most western countries, we are becoming a more orderly and law-abiding society.

The second is provided by the police, which, while suffering a thoroughly deserved collapse in their own reputation, seeks to draw a picture of chaos and misrule that demands ever harsher and more invasive policing techniques. Five years after the financial crash, the police are making the case for deploying water cannon to deal with expected “austerity riots”, when it is blindingly obvious that Britain has passed through a very difficult period without widespread disorder (the riots that began in Tottenham two years ago were mostly a failure of policing, not a response to economic conditions) and, moreover, the economy and employment have both picked up.

But the far more worrying development is the unscrutinised rollout of the police automated numberplate recognition system (ANPR) for tracking vehicles, which, according to Nick Hopkins’ report, currently stores 17bn images in its archive and is set to increase its capacity by 2018 to read and store 50-75 million separate vehicle sightings a day.

This is a very powerful surveillance system and the important thing to remember is that the decision to cover Britain’s motorways and town centres with cameras that track the movements of innocent citizens is that it was never debated by parliament.

The system was cooked up between “twinned” committees from the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers, which, incidentally, was a private company and immune from FOI requests, then deployed with constabularies footing the maintenance bill. Not one minute of parliamentary debate preceded the installation of the system; politicians of all parties went along with the police assertion that this was a necessary and proportionate tool of modern policing.

'Goveadder': the education secretary meets his fate in the trenches

class-struggle-anarchism:

bobsavage:

class-struggle-anarchism:

Thirty seven million people slaughtered worldwide and the parasite class still feel like they can stand up and say that the first world war was a good idea. I just can’t believe they’ve kept to their script of patriotism and glory from then until now….say what you like about the British ruling class, ideologically inconsistent they are not.

Let’s also watch the part where they fail to mention the two worker revolutions - Russian and German - that were fueled by the bleakness of military conflict and helped to end the war.

yeah, and the threat of revolution literally everywhere else….I wonder if maybe a small, repressed part of guys like Gove knows that their class deserved to be wiped off the face of the planet for what they inflicted on the world back then, and all this desperation to make everyone forgive them for it is just fear of the people’s judgement they so narrowly escaped somehow catching up with them…

Jan 8
mylittlerewolution:

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-tory-war-on-justice.html

mylittlerewolution:

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-tory-war-on-justice.html

Torture case against UK rejected

tombomp:

A tortured Libyan man’s bid to sue the UK government for allegedly colluding in his rendition cannot be settled in a UK court, the High Court rules.

The judge said Abdul-Hakim Belhaj had a “well-founded claim” but pursuing it would jeopardise national security.

Mr Belhaj says that, in 2004, the UK helped the US to arrange his rendition from China to Libya, where he says he was tortured.

so we did it but we can’t say so because ~national security~ of course

thepeoplesrecord:

London’s biggest university bans student protestsDecember 9, 2013
The University of London - a body representing London universities including University College London, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Birkbeck and the London School of Economics - has banned protests on its campus for the next six months.
Students who hold sit-in protests in an area in Holborn, central London, including the Senate House, the student union building, and the buildings of SOAS and Birkbeck, can be imprisoned.
The president of the University of London student union, Michael Chessum, told Channel 4 News it was a “draconian” reaction and “a sign that the university had lost the argument”.
The court order obtained on the 4 December by the University of London bans “occupational protest” in the area for the next six months. Anyone breaching the order can be charged with contempt of court.
Chris Cobb, Chief Operating Officer at the University of London said: “This is a regrettable but necessary step that we have taken in order to prevent the type of violent and intimidating behaviour that we have seen by protesters at Senate House recently.”
Protest ‘ended in violence’
The University of London obtained the court order just after a sit-in protest at the student union on the 4 and 5 December. It was ended by police in violent scenes which resulted in 41 arrests. So far one protester has been charged with common assault, and the remaining 40, including three members of the union leadership, have been released on bail pending further investigations.
The protest had a series of demands calling for the university to pay sick pay to cleaners and asking the university to take a stand on the “marketisation” of higher education. It was supported but not organised by the student union.
The Metropolitan Police said that three police officers suffered minor injuries in the events that unfurled on the 4 December. The Met described what happened that evening this way: “The officers became aware of a large group, of up to 300 people, gathered and making their way along Malet Street. Some had their faces covered, others carrying home made shields. Smoke bombs and other unknown objects were thrown at police.”
Mr Chessum said that police behaviour in dispersing the protest was “at a level of violence beyond anything I’d ever seen before.”
Mr Chessum described the behaviour of some officers and security guards as “like a pub brawl”. He said: “I’ve seen people having their teeth punched out. The police were not turning up with horses and batons they were just swinging punches.”
An official statement from the student union reported violent scenes: “Initial reports indicate that protesters were assaulted by both police and security: thrown to the ground, kicked and punched, and dragged to the ground by their hair. When supporters gathered outside to show support for the occupation, they were beaten back and assaulted.”
Mr Chessum said that the union were also looking into the role that university security staff and administrators played in ending the protest. The union were compiling evidence with a view to making complaints he said.
The police said they have received no complaints regarding the behaviour of officers from anyone involved in this week’s protests and so are not investigating anything. But they have added that they will review what happened.
"As with all large public order incidents, a range of material will now be subject to review in order to establish the full facts," a statement said.
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

London’s biggest university bans student protests
December 9, 2013

The University of London - a body representing London universities including University College London, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Birkbeck and the London School of Economics - has banned protests on its campus for the next six months.

Students who hold sit-in protests in an area in Holborn, central London, including the Senate House, the student union building, and the buildings of SOAS and Birkbeck, can be imprisoned.

The president of the University of London student union, Michael Chessum, told Channel 4 News it was a “draconian” reaction and “a sign that the university had lost the argument”.

The court order obtained on the 4 December by the University of London bans “occupational protest” in the area for the next six months. Anyone breaching the order can be charged with contempt of court.

Chris Cobb, Chief Operating Officer at the University of London said: “This is a regrettable but necessary step that we have taken in order to prevent the type of violent and intimidating behaviour that we have seen by protesters at Senate House recently.”

Protest ‘ended in violence’

The University of London obtained the court order just after a sit-in protest at the student union on the 4 and 5 December. It was ended by police in violent scenes which resulted in 41 arrests. So far one protester has been charged with common assault, and the remaining 40, including three members of the union leadership, have been released on bail pending further investigations.

The protest had a series of demands calling for the university to pay sick pay to cleaners and asking the university to take a stand on the “marketisation” of higher education. It was supported but not organised by the student union.

The Metropolitan Police said that three police officers suffered minor injuries in the events that unfurled on the 4 December. The Met described what happened that evening this way: “The officers became aware of a large group, of up to 300 people, gathered and making their way along Malet Street. Some had their faces covered, others carrying home made shields. Smoke bombs and other unknown objects were thrown at police.”

Mr Chessum said that police behaviour in dispersing the protest was “at a level of violence beyond anything I’d ever seen before.”

Mr Chessum described the behaviour of some officers and security guards as “like a pub brawl”. He said: “I’ve seen people having their teeth punched out. The police were not turning up with horses and batons they were just swinging punches.”

An official statement from the student union reported violent scenes: “Initial reports indicate that protesters were assaulted by both police and security: thrown to the ground, kicked and punched, and dragged to the ground by their hair. When supporters gathered outside to show support for the occupation, they were beaten back and assaulted.”

Mr Chessum said that the union were also looking into the role that university security staff and administrators played in ending the protest. The union were compiling evidence with a view to making complaints he said.

The police said they have received no complaints regarding the behaviour of officers from anyone involved in this week’s protests and so are not investigating anything. But they have added that they will review what happened.

"As with all large public order incidents, a range of material will now be subject to review in order to establish the full facts," a statement said.

Source

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

Dec 8

thinksquad:

Police officer ‘punches’ student at University of London protest

A police officer appears to strike a protester in the face during a student occupation at the University of London’s Senate House on Tuesday. The video uploaded in www.theguardian.com

Dec 7

Summary of all the crazy shit that’s been happening with university workers and students lately in Britain

officialmarx:

Background

  • Two key points of focus for what’s happening at the moment: the privatisation of the student loan and a 13% pay cut in real wages to university staff.
  • The privatisation of the loan is pretty similar to how mortgage debt is sold off: private companies buy the student debt for a fraction of its value and charge the student for the full amount. This impending sell-off represents a retrospective change in contract between students and the SLC (student loan company, a public organisation). It will basically mean bailiffs, retrospective addition of interest to the student loan, retrospective increases in fee repayments, and a lowering of the earnings at which you start repayments (£21,000 currently to something like £17k).
  • The way the pay cuts have worked: the government basically offered a 1% increase in pay to university staff unions (lecturers, but also cleaners, maintenance, service staff, etc) which translates to a 13% cut in wages for various economic reasons. Meanwhile, the vice-chancellors of many universities have given themselves salary increases as well as bonuses. At my own university, Exeter, our vice-chancellor earns around £1million pounds a year with salary and bonuses together. He’s given himself a 13% increase in salary every single year since he became VC. As well as this, he has a chauffeur drive him everywhere, takes a huge entourage around the world all on first-class plane tickets, and owns two houses in Exeter (one is in the city which he rents out, and the other is this huge monstrosity on campus which the staff were telling me is paid for entirely by the university expenses, including all bills and tax). All of this is on university expenses and it’s the same story elsewhere. Students are paying for the bonuses of university management, not for the front-line service they receive from the staff.
  • So the protests are basically part of student-worker campaign against privatisation, with staff running strikes and picket lines on the edges of campus initially and students taking mass direct action on the inside. One thing that separates this from previous student actions (such as tuition fees) is that there’s an overwhelming rejection of the NUS (the national union of students, which functions very much like a careerist trade union you find in most big workplaces). All actions have taken part outside of the NUS, with syndicalist student groups organising departmental assemblies covering staff and students in the same department. Perhaps more importantly, there’s an increased focus on the interests of staff and students being one and the same, and they are uniting against university management against corporatisation of the university.

What’s happened so far

  • Tuesday was the date of  the second university staff strike in 6 weeks. Spontaneously, student groups from around 9-10 universities (including London, Sheffield, Sussex, Birmingham, SOAS, Ulster, Edinburgh, Exeter, and others) carried occupations with various degrees of success in solidarity.
  • Birmingham students had been occupying for about 3 weeks, so they just sort of carried on. Two or three of the occupiers had already been served charges of £10,000 each, with the university holding them personally responsible for all actions taken. Their occupation began with 150 students. 
  • Sheffield Autonomous Students (a new nationwide anarcho-syndicalist student initiative) occupied the tallest university building in the country overnight. Sheffield uni gained the legal powers to pull out an injunction within an hour on any student protest, and students must ask permission before taking part in any protest. 
  • Sussex autonomous students and other groups had been occupying for quite a long time as well. There, 5 students were suspended for taking part in the peaceful occupations, where no criminal damage was carried out. They have also been banned from campus. This news came yesterday, and resulted in a 500-person spontaneous demonstration made up of staff and students outside the occupied building.
  • The one that’s currently making the headlines is the University of London. Initially, they had occupied the huge building at Goldsmiths college, which used to be a town hall and now houses the financial offices. They got dispersed on Tuesday, and then moved to Senate House, an even bigger eyesore at UCL. Ironically this was the day of the national ‘cops off campus’ demonstrations, and saw huge police brutality at the occupation.  Outside the occupation, staff and students battled against police, who arrested journalists, confiscated and smashed student laptops and phones, and beat students. They even brought in the territorial support group, yknow, the ones that killed Ian Tomlinson.

The future

  • There has now been a national call for a day of action next Wednesday on all university campuses against the universities basically using police to prevent any sort of outcry against the agenda of management and investors. Things are escalating incredibly quickly, and, with time to step back and organise over the Christmas break, the students and staff are only going to return in bigger numbers and more well-organised in time for the national week of action against fees and cuts in universities in February.
  • shit’s kicking off we might see another May 1968 stay tuned
Dec 6

anarcho-queer:

anarchosyndicalism:

Brutal Repression of Students in UK Amid Mainstream Media Blackout

An independent network of over 100 students occupied the headquarters of the University of London at Senate House, demanding that ”the University of London Union (ULU) remain in student hands – democratically run by students – and has its block grant returned, that all outsourced workers at the university are awarded a pension, that the ULU oppose the privatization of student loans, and that the financial statements of the University’s academic departments and non-academic services be published so that they can be scrutinized so that the University’s decisions can be properly held to account by the community.”

Here are two videos provided by The Guardian. One shows an officer punching a protester in the face during Wednesday’s demonstration. The other shows a cop trying to hit protesters (on the other side of a gate) with his baton.

As coverage for the protest decreases, the police brutality and suppression continues to increase. It’s up to the public to spread this info.

Britain burnt 'embarrassing' documents of colonial crimes - The Times of India

awkwardandrobot:

wocinsolidarity:

kelleykerplunk:

badass-bharat-deafmuslimpunkstar:

They want us to FORGET what they did to our peoples and lands, they want to keep us ignorant of what crimes they committed against our ancestors.

they did this shit to Kikuyu history in east Africa too.ughhh

-_- britian aint low….we all still know you aint shit

Reasons why I don’t understand why ANYONE could be an Anglophile.

That fucking culture and empire you glorify was the cause of some seriously gross shit.

(Source: badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)