Yesterday, on Thursday the 15th of December we held our annual Christmas demonstration.
We chose the theme because of the similarities between life for the poor in Victorian times, and life for the poor in present times. Also comparable are the attitudes of the government and employers.
Sanctions and ESA failed medicals are being handed out like smarties it seems, and for those affected its horrendous. They can’t see their way out.
Many hide away, give up or commit suicide, and of course the government don’t care. Teresa May, our unelected prime minister views these draconian methods as ‘Value for money’ which only goes to prove that once again, we are seen as a commodity to be used at any cost, and thrown away when your usefulness has diminished.
In Victorian times, the Workhouse was a place that was only visited when at your most desperate. A choice had to be made whether to have a short death on the streets, or a longer more arduous one in the workhouse. Many chose the workhouse because they got fed a basic amount of food and shelter. Neither good quality and no one thrived of it.
I view the Jobcentre as the modern day workhouse, they farm people out to the work programme and workfare which is profitable for the DWP. When a person becomes too sick, they throw them out of the system, leaving them unable to cope and deal with life in many instances.
It took a few months of planning, costumes made by a friend and some bought by myself. A wreath was made, speakers arranged, a PA system borrowed from Rick from DPAC.
We also sang a few specially arranged carols arranged by the Rev David Grey. I made carol sheets also so that people could take them home.
We handed about 15 food parcels out, as well as help information and solidarity. Also we had postcards for people to fill in to be sent by Unite Community to the government.
We also laid a wreath in respect of everyone who has passed away as a result of the governments awful regime. It was taken to a safe place afterwards due to the DWP throwing away previous ones.
Everything was going peacefully as always, around 30 peaceful members of the public and supporters turned up. But our enjoyment was cut short by a group of lads intent on causing trouble.
They had been watching us for a while and picked their moment to push a disabled lady and then started to shout abuse at us all. They were very aggressive and were shouting things like “Get a job” ‘Disabled people are scroungers” etc etc.
Now we are sadly very used to name calling, it’s part of the territory, but their aggressiveness concerned me. We had done nothing to provoke them. The police arrived, left, then the lads returned but were eventually led away.
It’s a sad state of affairs when a group of people who are spending their own valuable time stood in the cold helping others cant do this in peace. Its also a sad indictment of the influence that the right wing media has on young people if they are susceptible.
I can understand why they were angry. There isn’t alot of options for young people these days, that makes me sad too. But it wasn’t appropriate to target a group of peaceful, law abiding people like ourselves.
Please can I reassure anyone that supports our demos, that this isn’t a regular occurrence and I am doing everything in my power to prevent this from happening again.
It’s vital that we are outside the Jobcentre next Thursday, handing out food parcels, help and advice at the time of the year when they are most needed. I’m determined to be there, and I won’t let them stop me.
This time of year is the worst time of the year for many of us. I had to visit a supermarket today and I rushed through avoiding the christmas stuff. The pressure that Christmas has put on myself and thousands of others has made me feel anxious and I can’t wait until its over.
I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support, because without this I’m not sure that I would have had the strength at times to carry on with the demos. When I get a nice message or have a conversation with a friend, it enables me to carry on. Can you imagine not having that?
Please can I thank everyone who contributed towards the Christmas demo, my comrades over at DPAC and the guys from We Shall Overcome in particular. There’s too many to mention, but our costume lady was amazing.
Many thanks to my anti fracking nana friends, and the essex nanas. You are all AMAZING. Doing a fantastic job of preventing fracking.
The team are the best team in the world. So supportive, and are all from different left wing political parties. Its amazing because we don’t argue, we just get on with fighting the Tory parties evil regime.
Also on Christmas Day I will be lighting a candle in remeberance of everyone who has passed away as a result of this heinous Tory governments decisions to punish the poor. I am determined to get justice for them, and for everyone who has suffered at their hands.
We will be retuning next Thursday, we won’t be bullied out of our spot. Please come and join us in solidarity. We are very peaceful. And have been for over 2 1/2 years.
Please donate if you can, every penny helps. Running this campaign is a full time job, a very hard one at times. But the joy of helping someone is immense.
Sorry for the delay in writing this, I was exhausted. Back to normal soon I hope!