GMWRAG updates.

Please note that GMWRAG has deactivated our Facebook account with a view to deleting it permanently in due course. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • posts from this site automatically post onto our social media accounts but only Twitter has seen that information shared or commented upon.
  • Members have never approached GMWRAG for information via Facebook and there has only been one occasion when members offered apologies for attendance at a meeting via Facebook.
  • Non-members have repeatedly sought benefits advice and, whilst we have sought to direct and assist, this is untenable in terms of the amount of time it takes.
  • Facebook makes regular changes to its processes compared to other social media companies and this alone makes it difficult to keep up; difficult to manage correctly and so on. The introduction of a separate messaging application further complicated this.

Please accept our apologies if you have enjoyed following GMWRAG on Facebook but our priority has to be an up to date web site linking members into meetings, consultations and so on.

In the meantime we have also taken the opportunity to review aspects of how this site works and we have

  • done a hopefully thorough trawl of all the links posted on the right side of every page within the site and ensured that all broken links are updated or fixed.
  • reduced the post count and widgets (those little boxes of information on the right side of each page) on the home page to make it easier for members to locate currently relevant posts having had repeated comments that members could not locate information about the next meeting. No excuse now 🙂

Welfare Action Gathering – Saturday the 9th of July 2016 in Manchester.

Boycott Welfare poster for Welfare Action meetingBoycott Workfare will be holding its 3rd Welfare Action Gathering on Saturday the 9th of July 2016  at The Mechanics’ Institute, 103 Princess St, Manchester M1 6DD
between 11am – 4.30pm. The event is supported by Unite Community Manchester. They’re inviting groups and individuals from across the country to join them.

They will be coming together in Manchester to share ideas, tactics and concerns about current and future attacks on welfare. It will be a day of learning from each other and an opportunity to plan how to work together to continue to defend these fundamental rights.

Previous gatherings have seen the sharing of a huge wealth of knowledge and acted as catalysts for further successes in their fightback. At a time of continuing attempts to undermine basic rights to welfare and dignity, it is vital that those opposing these injustices come together in solidarity, to support our related struggles and exchange our expertise.

Workshops

The day will be arranged around participant-based workshops, with opportunities for less structured discussions.

Themes for workshops so far include:

  • What does Universal Credit mean for welfare activists and claimants? How will the landscape of welfare change under Universal Credit? What are the opportunities for fighting back? Where should this fight-back focus its energies?
  • Strategies for activists – how can claimants and non-claimants work together to challenge sanctions and workfare?
  • Fighting the the misuse of psychology in workfare and welfare – a workshop from Mental Health Resistance Network.
  • Making use of health and safety rules to combat exploitation. What are the rights of those being sent on workfare? How can these rights be used to prevent workfare?
  • Leaflets and Communication: analysis and strategy sharing. What gaps are there in terms of knowledge sharing? Which leaflets have been successful and effective? What makes them useful? What have been successful strategies for online communication? Where are there gaps? How can we support related campaigns and organisations?

We’ll also be screening some films

If you would like to help lead or facilitate one of these workshops, please get in touch. Likewise if you have an idea for a further session, or if there’s something that you think it’s important to cover that isn’t addressed at the moment, please suggest it. The broader the range of voices and ideas, the better. Contact Liam at info@boycottworkfare.org.

Food, Transport and Access

Obviously, no-one (despite what the DWP believe) can work on a empty stomach, so free and tasty lunch, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Boycott Workfare also have a budget for helping with transport costs to and from the gathering, for those near and far, so please get in touch about this too.

The Mechanic’s Institute is a 0.4 mile walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible. A creche will be available throughout the day.

This Welfare Action Gathering offers a chance to celebrate our successes, share how they were achieved, and to focus our energies on the future struggles ahead. It also offers an opportunity to put faces to the names of people that you have been communicating with. There’s a Facebook event here.

Go and join then for a day of information sharing, discussion, bonding, and fun!

Contact Liam at info@boycottworkfare.org to register your interest or if you have any queries.