Bringing in the New Year, DWP Style

scottish unemployed workers' network

stormy weather ahead

The first stall of 2020 took place against the backdrop of Baltic weather conditions and the recent disastrous re-election of the Tories, which means that groups like our own will find ourselves, yet again, back on the active front line of the ruthless and never ending class war being waged against the poor and disabled in the name of ‘welfare reforms’. Whilst this very real prospect did not exactly fill us full of joy, particularly when we started to lose the feelings in our fingers, we are also aware that the situation we face at Dundee buroo is not nearly so desperate as it is at many other job centres. After nearly six years of advice stalls and constant pressure we have succeeded in reducing the number of cases we deal with from a torrent to a trickle, as local DWP managers have introduced a whole series of measures in…

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Repression against workers’ organising in London: police break up UVW picket, IWGB member prosecuted for sound waves

Cautiously pessimistic

London’s militant grassroots/base union movement experienced two different kinds of state harassment today: police attended a picket of striking security guards organised through the UVW, ordered them to move, and then arrested a legal representative for talking back, while James Farrar, a trade unionist involved in the IWGB’s attempts to organise cab drivers, faced his first day of a court case where the police are claiming that his use of a megaphone constitutes assault. The UVW are now calling for a mass presence at St George’s University on Tuesday morning for the second day of the strike to show that the strikers will not be intimidated.

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A short report from the UK

Angry Workers of the World

article-2233386-160a81ca000005dc-754_634x411.jpgWe wrote this short report about the elections and the aftermaths for comrades abroad…

Johnson won the election with the easiest of all promises: if you get me a majority I will get Brexit through parliament within weeks and after that I will spend money on hospitals and the police. This manifests a populist turn within the conservative camp. The Tory’s strategy worked out, but their success is based on drawing a new political boundary around the English nation, to the disadvantage of other regions of the United Kingdom. Johnson’s Brexit Deal sold out the integrity of the United Kingdom and thereby also helped the Scottish nationalist SNP to their election success. The SNP benefits from Johnson’s announcement that there will be no second referendum on independence – the whole thing might turn into a lamer version of the Catalan national dispute. The fact that shortly before the election Johnson…

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Urgent: Protect Kevan Thakrar from racist violence

This evening prisoner Kevan Thakrar called to inform IWOC that a known racist attempted to take his life this afternoon.

Kevin McCarthy stabbed Kevan more than four times while Kevan was at the food servery. He used a wooden shank and shouted “die, die, die!” whilst stabbing Kevan. Kevan has four puncture wounds on his back and bruises and scratches after also being hit on the head. Kevin walked past two prison officers neither of whom intervened to prevent or stop the attack until Kevan turned round to defend himself. Even then, no officers put their hands on Kevin or restrained him. No alarms were pressed/no shouting for help. Kevin McCarthy actually walked back into his own cell and locked himself in. The prison failed to take him to hospital but he was treated by two nurses on the wing.

This is the second attack Kevan has experienced in HMP Full Sutton in recent months. Kevan’s solicitor had raised a complaint about Kevin McCarthy prior to Kevan being moved onto the CSC because Kevin has perpetrated racist attacks against other prisoners before. Kevan is shaken and in need of support to demand the prison move him to a safer location and take action to stop further racist attacks on his life. Feel free to use your own words as well as the sample scripts below.

Call script:

Hello, I am calling on behalf of Kevan Thakrar who is currently in the CSC at HMP Full Sutton. Kevan was stabbed four times yesterday by a known racist prisoner. Two prison officers were present and did not act to prevent or stop the attack until Kevan turned around to protect himself. This is the second attack Kevan has experienced in HMP Full Sutton in recent months and yet he is still held in the CSC.

I am really concerned about Kevan’s safety in the CSC and I am calling to demand that he is moved out of the CSC and to a safer location immediately.

Letter template:

I am writing as a concerned community member on hearing of a physical attack against Kevan Thakrar (A4907AE) that occurred yesterday, 23rd December at the Close Supervision Centre, HMP Full Sutton.

As I understand it, two prison officers were present and did not act to prevent or stop the attack until Kevan turned around to protect himself, the officers did not restrain the person attacking Kevan and no alarms were raised.

This is the second attack Kevan has experienced in HMP Full Sutton in recent months. Kevan has made complaints about threats of violence from known racist prisoners but no action has been taken. The person who stabbed Kevan is known to have racist views, and shouted ‘die, die die’ while stabbing Kevan. Kevan’s solicitor had raised a complaint about the person who stabbed Kevan before Kevan was moved onto the unit, as this person has made racist attacks on others.

In addition I believe that Kevan has not been seen by a Doctor and the person who stabbed Kevan remains on the same unit as him.

I am extremely concerned about Kevan’s safety and wellbeing in the CSC. Kevan has PTSD and these acts of violence add further traumas and I imagine he must be fearful for his life.

The environment created in the Close Supervision Centre makes it more likely for these acts of extreme violence to occur, and Kevan is at risk of further attacks there.

As per the Adult Safeguarding in Prison policy (National Offender Management Service 2016) Point 1.5 states that ‘All adult prisoners are protected from abuse and neglect, and prisons effectively discharge their duty of care towards them. Reported incidents of abuse and neglect are managed appropriately’.

I am urging you to move Kevan out of the CSC and to a safer location immediately in order that HMP Full Sutton adhere to their policy obligations.

Write to Governor Gareth Sands at HMP Full Sutton (gareth.sands@hmps.gsi.gov.uk) or phone the prison on 01759 475100.

Email the Executive Director for High Security & Long Term Estate for HM Prison and Probation Service, Richard Vince demanding Kevan be moved from the CSC to a safer location: Richard.Vince02@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

Email Sir Greg Knight, MP for East Riding: sothcottt@parliament.uk

Keep Kevan updated with all your actions by email through emailaprisoner.com or letter to:

Kevan Thakrar, A4907AE
HMP Full Sutton
York
YO41 1PS

UVW STRIKES HAVE FORCED IMPERIAL TRUST TO TERMINATE RE-TENDERING PROCESS AND NEGOTIATE MAKING ALL FACILITIES STAFF NHS EMPLOYEES

This is from the United Voices of the World Facebook page

We have just been informed by Imperial Trust, the Trust that runs St Mary’s hospital, that they have terminated the current process to re-tender their facilities management contract that was due to expire on 1st April, without awarding the contract to a new company.

This is huge news, and means that in-housing all facilitates staff at St Mary’s hospital and Imperial Trust and making them NHS employees, as demanded by UVW, is now firmly on the table.

Negotiations have already begun and will conclude by 31st January 2020. These negotiations commenced in response to UVW’s members (cleaners, caterers and porters) taking 9 days of strike action with 6 more originally planned for this year, and an all out indefinite strike declared for the New Year. The strikes have been suspended pending negotiations.

If our members are made NHS employees…

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