Tag Archives: Tory Conference 2012

Remploy Demonstration At Tory Party Conference – 8:30am Wednesday

Sacked Remploy workers are going to demonstrate outside the Tory Party Conference from 8:30am on Wednesday over the closure of 36 Remploy factories with compulsory redundancy for 1,752 people of whom 1,518 of these are disabled.

8:30am
ICC, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EA

Accessibility information: Demonstration will be held outside. I’m afraid I don’t know how long it is expected to go on for. There is level access to the demonstration area in Centenary Square, and accessible toilets within 500 meters in Paradise Forum and Brindley Place restaurants/bars.

New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill Train Stations are all around the same distance from the ICC and have level access. Five Ways train station is slightly closer but does not have level access.

One of the many attacks on disabled people that this government is carrying out. Remploy supports disabled people into work and one of the main things it does is provide workplaces where disabled people are fully supported.

Remploy being the largest and the oldest employer of disabled people in Britain is not only a workplace but a way of life for thousands of disabled people who want sustainable employment of their choice.

Remploy was established after the Second World War to provide employment for those brave men and women in the armed forces injured in the pursuit of freedom. Remploy quickly developed into the biggest and most important employer of disabled people in Britain, and still continues today to provide sustainable employment for those men and women returning from active service.

Employees now face the threat of closure after the Government accepted the recommendations of the Report prepared by Liz Sayce and opened a three month consultation period finishing in October 2011.

The Sayce Report aims its javelin against the employment of disabled people, Remploy, residential training colleges and other organisations supporting the disabled and other vulnerable members of our society

36 out of 54 sites are closing, leaving 1,500 disabled people out of work. 85% of Remploy workers laid off in previous closures are still looking for work and with the economy in the state it’s in, this is likely to be repeated for any workers losing their jobs here. What awaits them is cuts in disability benefits and the ATOS assessment process which doctors say is driving people to commit suicide.
With advice services looking to be “overwhelmed” by disability benefit casework, the future does not look bright for Remploy workers.

Please sign the petition against the closures and come along to the demo on Wednesday.

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Some Photos From Today’s Tory Conference Demo

Just a quick report as it seems none of the mainstream media are reporting the demo today, but we’ll have more pictures and a proper report early next week.

Birmingham NUT and Birmingham Against the Cuts gathered on the High Street to ensure that anyone who hadn’t heard of the change of location would still be able to take part in the demo, and we were joined by students from BCU, Aston and the University of Birmingham on the way to Victoria Square which made this a little education feeder march of around a hundred people with “No Ifs! No Buts! No Education Cuts” ringing out along New Street.
We joined up with the TUC to march to Broad Street and back, as always the police had 10ft solid steel barriers erected to prevent anyone coming anywhere near the conference itself, with a rally held in Victoria Square.

You can see some photos from today on our Facebook and we’ll put a post up here next week when others have sent their photos in – don’t worry if you’re not on facebook you’ll see them all here soon 🙂

On now to October 20th demonstration in London – coaches are available from Birmingham and hope to confirm some good news at our meeting tomorrow about transport, so if you’re thinking of going down be sure to check back here tomorrow evening for details.

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Join Us Next Week To Welcome The Tories To Birmingham

On Sunday 7th October we’ll be welcoming the tories to Birmingham for their annual conference, with a TUC organised demonstration marching through the town centre to a rally at St Marks Place:

Please note the assembly point and time has changed:
Assemble: 10:30am, Victoria Square, B1 1BB.
March from 11:00am going to Broad Street and finishing back at Victoria Square for a rally

The tories are leading the neo-liberal charge to destroy the gains won through class struggle over the past century, with benefit cuts looking to take us back to the victorian age of workhouses and poverty, the NHS being run down in preperation for being flogged off or outsourced to tory donating private health companies, free schools and academies combine with budget cuts to undermine our education system and legal aid cuts remove access to justice for civil cases from any ordinary person.
Austerity is sold as being a solution to the deficit problem, but the deficit is rising as double dip recession it created causes tax income to fall and welfare payments to rise. Alongside the destruction to our economy it destroys our communities and our lives.
The neo-liberal’s answer to this is more cuts of course, and to get rid of employment rights and health and safety legislation, next up will be the minimum wage (already undermined by £2.60/hr apprenticeships and workfare) and more restrictions on trade unions.

From pensions to youth centres, sure start to libraries, forests to street cleaning, the cuts to services affect us all, so if you’re out this weekend and friends are moaning about the government, about the economy or the services they’ve lost, make sure they are coming out on Sunday 7th to march with the rest of us plebs calling for the alternatives to austerity.

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As Austerity Drives Us Back To Recession, The Rich Get Richer – For a Future That Works – Mass Demonstration London 20th October

UPDATE: Free coaches are available from Birmingham for unwaged and low paid people, and there are spaces available on union coaches for ununionised people. Click here for details.

Does austerity work? It would appear that if you are already very rich, it does. The Sunday Times rich list for 2012 it shows that last year, the richest 1,000 people got richer, taking their wealth to a record £414bn. In the past 3 years this tiny group of people have amassed an additional £155bn in wealth – enough to cover the annual deficit with some £30bn to spare. In Birmingham, the Birmingham Post does a local rich list of 50 people, and the 2012 list also showed them getting richer – by £3.37bn in the past year alone..

Meanwhile, austerity has put the economy back into recession, public sector pay has been frozen and overall average pay rose by just 1.4% – a real terms pay cut with inflation running between 3%-5%. Unemployment has increased, and workfare is supplying this pool of labour to companies for free. Ever rising fuel and food prices are hitting hard, not helped by rises in VAT. Meanwhile, the richest 1% – those earning over £150,000 a year – see their tax rate fall.

Pregnant women in Birmingham are getting their meals from foodbanks, and across the country hundreds of thousands depend on charity for food. People with disabilities are having benefits cut and withdrawn, and housing benefit caps are going to force hard working families with low incomes to leave their homes and community – not just in London, as a recent report highlights Birmingham as somewhere that is expected to have problems with homelessness following the implementation of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) that will replace housing benefit. The government is criminalising squatting of empty, unused residential buldings, creating a new group of criminals amongst this vulnerable group.

Our schools are being portioned off as academies to for-profit education firms; our NHS is being handed to Virgin and Serco piece by piece; fraudsters A4e and killers ATOS rake in the profits by failing to help benefit claimants; G4S, responsible for deaths in custody, are in line to take over policing duties. How long before Blackwater are being contracted in to run our armed forces?

We have a cabinet of millionaires, who have no understanding of what living on an average wage means, let alone on minimum wage or benefits. They do not know the price of milk, or when they last had a pasty. They have no connection to anything other than the world of the 1%, the group of people who are doing rather nicely right now. Bankers and lawyers, the sons and daughters of bankers and lawyers. Is it any surprise that they think austerity is working?

We need a future that works, an alternative to austerity and ultimately the demands for growth and consumption of capitalism that is environmentally unsustainable. We need to invest time and money now in creating a zero-carbon future, and housing and living environments suitable for a post-oil world.

It is clear this government is failing to deliver economic recovery, and are only calling for more of the same set of failed policies that have driven Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Italy to depression and the Euro to the brink of collapse. It is up to us to demand change – and we cannot wait for the next election in 2015 and the hope that Labour policy evolves into a true alternative to cuts.

(c) Geoff Dexter Sherbourne PublicationsThe TUC have called a mass demonstration in London, on Saturday 20th October. Trade Unions are organising coaches from Birmingham and we will be seeking pledges from them to provide spaces for benefit claimants, pensioners & unionised workers and to ensure that coaches are booked with wheelchair spaces. As details of coaches are confirmed, we’ll collect them here.

You can find out more about the demonstration on the TUC Website dedicated to it: AFutureThatWorks.org

Two weeks before that, the Tories are in town for their conference and there is a demonstration on Sunday 7th October.

In March last year over 500,000 people took to the streets to demonstrate against cuts, long before the effect had begun to be felt. In November, 2 million went on strike around the UK. By October we could see unemployment topping 3 million and a full year of recession, pay freezes and price rises continuing to squeeze everyone’s household budgets.
The work to make October the biggest month of demonstrations and resistance to austerity begins now. If you are in a trade union, start putting motions to your branch asking them to book coaches. Start asking friends if they are going. Print off an A4 poster for the Birmingham demo and stick it up in your workplace, local shop or window. Read about the alternatives and why austerity won’t work.

Only through mass action, on the streets, in our workplaces, job centres and public services, can we change the course of this government.

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