( For previous blogs on this site on this issue check out relevant tags ).This copied from my facebook page #DansLaMerde.
** SANCTION APPEALS VICTORY DAY +122 ; 1 FEBRUARY **
( A REMINDER – THE FULL STORY CAN BE VIEWED ON THIS PAGE )
( OUTLINES OF A PRACTICAL CASE STUDY DETAILING HOW HARD IT IS TO BEAT THE DWP/JCP BASTARDS .)
I’m fundamentally opposed to the concept and practice of state-approved forced labour.Immediately upon getting referred to Interserve -( the MWA providers in my region ) I raised my objections by phone and email.After Interserve “placed” me with Wakefield & District Health & Community Services Ltd. at their Flutterbuys charity shop. I repeated my objections to them and the shop manager.It was clear that the “work” they wanted me to do over 4 weeks ,30 hours per week,was work that ordinarily they would have to employ someone to do. After taking legal advice ,I informed both Interserve and Flutterbuys that I would despite my personal objection report for my MWA placement ; I also concurrently in anticipation of a 4 weeks placement,set up a dedicated facebook page – ” DansLaMerde – My Mandatory Work Activity Placement -which of course served and stills serves as a social media campaign . So I showed up on on April 22 to start MWA and then it went downhill from there. Officially sanctioned on May 20 after an exhaustive round of emails,phone calls and letters to JCP,DWP,the charity etc. I finally won my Appeal at HMCTS,Wakefield on October 1. 2) As regards my personal circumstances ,docked 13 weeks JSA circa £ 910 replaced by 11 weeks hardship circa £ 440 ;I received support and solidarity from a number of sources and contacts across Wakefield that I had developed over many years as a Community and political campaigning activist. Members of the Church I attend ,Destiny Christian Church were exemplary in this respect and Wakefield Trades Union & Socialist Coalition held a leafletting session and demo outside the Flutterbuys shop in June on the “Boycott Workfare” theme. My perspective is that nothing worthwhile can ever be achieved without pain and sacrifice. To have remained silent and compliant would have meant succumbing to Political blackmail. There is absolutely any chance this side of Armageddon of me ever agreeing to kow-tow to a tyrannical regime’s Austerity measures. I did actually goad Interserve and the Chief executive of the charity with ” I’d rather eat strychnine than do your forced labour scheme,which part of that don’t you understand ?”. The social media campaign has been amazingly penetrative , a twitter storm in June . consistently 200-300 reached on fb with one post got over 5,000 reached.There is a meticulous record of what I went through in order to win my Appeal. Campaigns such as Boycott Workfare depend on those affected by sanctions to come forward and share their stories. The Class enemy relies heavily on people feeling isolated and hopeless. I was gobsmacked to discover that the DWP routinely issues 1 million sanctions every year and that only 2% make it to Appeal. And when you learn on social media that the Austerity Policies and Welfare Sanctions regimes are virtually identical in Germany and Australia and other ” advanced industrialised democracies” then clearly this is a War. La Lotta Continua.This Kafka-esque lunacy can be best summed up when in the first instance the DWP refused to tell me why they were considering sanctioning me ! I had to give them a good reason in writing for them not to sanction me!
Anyhow,hope this is useful,