Sanctions – ¡ya basta!
Raging against the government’s power to take away our primary means of survival, people are coming together to smash sanctions for good. Inspired by the daring direct action tactics of the hunt saboteurs (as well as the added benefit of alliteration) and the darn right rowdiness of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty’s sanction smashing successes, Sanction Sabs have formed to escalate the fight against sanctions across the UK. Organising together and supporting each other, along with our mates and fellow sanction smashers Boycott Workfare, we will fight every sanction.
The welfare state has nothing to do with our welfare and is, as Silvia Federici points out, instead a way of making the state seem benign – although it is arguable whether it is even bothering with this anymore. It is solely concerned with forcing everyone to work, something which we utterly reject. No one should be forced to work. Instead Sanctions Sabs will create our own welfare through solidarity, mutual aid, caring, and friendship whilst taking what is rightfully ours back from the state.
The situation of the welfare state has always been intolerable but this has intensified over the last couple of years as sanctions are put on us with relish:
The number of sanctions has soared with welfare to work providers including A4e, G4S, Serco etc. referring even more for sanctioning than Job Centres.
Sanctions have been targeted at those of us who are most vulnerable; those with mental health issues or those who have English as a second language.
Despite the government’s own research showing that sanctions result in people being unable to heat and light their homes and buy food, the government increased the length of sanctions last October with the minimum sanction of 3 months and the most severe sanction of 3 years.
Enough of this shit. Smash sanctions. Smash the state.
Start organising at a job centre or ‘welfare to work’ provider near you!
Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you’re doing in your local area. Send us your action reports and photos for the blog!
Since writing this call out, the news that the government are changing the law so as to deny claimants their benefits that had been illegally sanctioned has emerged. We are full of RAGE.