Our Christmas memorial service. 

Today was a great day. We held our now annual Christmas rememberence service outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

Despite a lot of planning you never quite know how it will go and how many people will turn up. But we had a very good turnout which was fantastic.

Word has got round about our weekly demos and we get a lot of support from the public these days. But it’s taken a long time to get that support. We’ve worked very hard doing this and we will continue to do so.

Of course, whilst setting out we were “welcomed” by the police. There was quite a few of them. We are a peaceful lot and have never been a bother to them, but they feel that they have to give us this attention. I do feel that some of them actually support our campaign which I’m very thankful for.

We set out our table which had warm hats, gloves and scarfs on. Also we had mince pies, biscuits, some savoury biscuits and most importantly warm drinks that a member of our team had brought up in a large drink.

We also had a gorgeous wreath which was made by a member of The Green Party. I’ll put a photo of it below. It was stunning.

We started off with a speech by myself. I’m asked to speak publicly on occasion but I do get nervous. I explained why we were there and then I invited our guest to speak.

Our guest today was the Rev David Grey. He’s an amazing man, he doesn’t judge anyone and believes in peace, love and non judgement of people.

He gave a very moving speech that I will place below for you to watch. We then had the fantastic Eliza P Singer singing some very appropriate songs that she has wrote herself. She’s extremely talented.

I then spoke again and we carried on with the memorial demo. A fantastic man called Steve who is connected to a local pub The Station in Ashton spoke. They do such a lot for the homeless and anyone who needs help. He spoke about the amazing work that the landlady Pauline does. She’s amazing.

We then continued with our memorial demonstration handing out leaflets etc. I decided to speak again and a few members of the public joined in. They were disgusted at the way they have been treated. One of them a single mum with 3 kids had been sanctioned for months without anything. We all agreed that sanctioning people should never happen. Cutting off a persons only means of survival is never acceptable.

Whilst speaking I spoke about the evils of sanctioning, WCA assessments, workfare, ESA fit for work assessments and the obscene work programmes that the Jobcentre force you on. No one benefits on these except for the company providing them.

We decided that we wouldn’t leave our wreath outside the Jobcentre. They threw last years in the bin, so we had a procession up to the war memorial nearby. We placed it on the back of a memorial so not to break any rules and it is slightly hidden. Much like the poor who are dying everyday as a result of this governments actions.

We then returned to our homes. Weary, cold but feeling satisfied that we had managed to pay tribute to those that have passed as a result of this governments war against the poor.

Many thanks to everyone that came along today. I didn’t have time to thank everyone it was just too busy.

Please look at the videos and the photos. There’s some amazing people in them. Thank you so much.



6 thoughts on “Our Christmas memorial service. ”

  1. Reblogged this on Sasson Hann and commented:
    Thank you for your tireless work. It gives hope to people that not all humans are selfish and cruel.

    To even think that we even need a day to remind us of these deaths is disgusting. I still shake my head in disbelief that we have a government who is liable for these deaths, but that they remain unpunished.

    If these things had happened 30 years ago, like when Thatcher removed housing benefits and brought in poll tax, there would have been a public outcry (and there was under Thatcher). Now the public have not only swallowed the propaganda, but ‘show them the bodies, and they still don’t care’.

    I listened to a novel on Radio 4 set in the 1800s with themes of poverty and other things, and it may as well have been written today. We could have come so as a society by now; this is not the 1800s.

    As a person of faith I know that I must not judge, but it becomes increasingly harder as even more hardship is foisted on the poor, when people are dying every day, more than British soldiers have lost their lives since the 1990s.

    One thing for sure is that all of those perpetrators – from the simple DWP clerk, to those in power – will eventually face judgement for these crimes; I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes when they’re facing their God. Not all are like that of course, there are still those in the DWP fighting for the rights of the poor and refusing to punish people who have done nothing wrong. Some of them have really helped me over the years. Many of those lose their jobs eventually and new more ‘suitable’ staff are trained.

    History will condemn this government: we must never forget all those who have lost their lives, and the families who remain devastated.


  2. Although it’s tough listening to the difficulties people are faced with when they are sanctioned, like the women, who spoke up at our memorial Thursday demo, it always brings it home just how courageous and determinedly proud she, and others are
    showed up to be. Giving vent to her feelings and just how unfair the situation is. Thanks to Charlotte and many, many people who contributed in many ways the day was in order to value the lives lost through bad political decisions made to stigmatise the poor of us. It was also uplifting and a day of sharing particularly a feeling of solidarity with each other. As one man said “We shall overcome” I would add – this rotten state of enforced illogical austerity cuts.


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