What is #WelfareRebellion and why do we need it?

What is #WelfareRebellion and why do we need it?

27th November 2018 7 By Alex Tiffin - @RespectIsVital
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On average 48 people die a day because of austerity, that’s roughly 16,000 a year. To me, even 1 death because of a political choice is too much. That’s why I’m calling for what I am calling a Welfare Rebellion. The #PeoplesVote march proved that A to B protests matter little to the government. Therefore, we need a more proactive campaign.

You may have heard of the climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion (ER) and their highly public campaign in London over the past few weeks. Through peaceful non-violent acts of civil disobedience, they have gridlocked central London and blockaded government buildings amongst other things. People are talking about it.

Climate change is an extremely important issue that governments across the world need to do more to address and I support ER wholeheartedly as long as it remains non-violent.

We need a Welfare Rebellion

Please note; do not take any action yet. It must be carefully planned and everyone fully informed.

Since 2010 approximately 120,000 deaths have been linked to austerity. That’s 16,000 a year or 48 a day. In the time it has taken me to write this article, at least 2 people have died who didn’t need to. At least.

Everyday people are dying and we are talking about how bad it is. Talking about it. The United Nations, The National Audit Office, CPAG, JrF, Resolution Foundation, The Trussell Trust, MPs and many more can’t get the Tories to change their policies. What are a few thousand more articles going to do? I’ll tell you, nothing.

I put out the idea of conducting a similar campaign to Extinction Rebellion to force the government to act on austerity. However, there are some very distinct differences to the Welfare Rebellion.

This campaign has and won’t ever have, any political bias.

Anyone is welcome to take part. That may seem tough for some people however, austerity doesn’t discriminate. Are Tory voters less affected? Possibly, but some will be and their voice is just as important as anyone’s.

So learn to get along for the greater good. We can argue about politics afterwards.

I am proposing UK wide action. Sure we could disrupt central London a few times, but that won’t do much plus many people simply cannot afford to travel or take time off work.

If we can conduct actions all across the UK, 

  • More people can participate
  • It can last longer, as there’s no travel involved
  • It will cause much more than a few blocked roads in London
  • More people will have to take notice

What am I proposing?

First and foremost any actions taken MUST be non-violent. I do not, nor will I ever, condone violence. It is counter productive.

#WelfareRebellion isn’t just about acts of civil disobedience though. We need to educate people on why we are acting, what the effects of austerity are and why they should care.

I am proposing causing severe disruption to people’s lives so they have to know why. Plus not everyone feels comfortable disrupting people which I fully understand. It is VERY important that you do what you feel you can. Everything is important from educating, feeding or acting.

Here are a few preliminary ideas of actions that can be taken. ALL of them are important.

  • Peaceful AND non-violent civil disobedience
  • leafleting
  • stalls
  • online campaigning
  • telephone campaigning
  • events
  • maybe you have your own idea?

What do you mean by “civil disobedience”?

The thought of civil disobedience has already put many people off. That’s fine. It isn’t for everyone.

When I say we need to have UK wide civil disobedience here is a brief idea of what I mean but I won’t list everything.

Please note everything must be peaceful AND non-violent

  • Disrupting rush hour traffic and train stations
  • Blocking postal and delivery hubs – eg Amazon or Parcel Force
  • Jamming up government phone lines with mass calls – eg HMRC
  • Pop-up protests
  • Mass online campaigns – eg emails to MPs or government departments
  • Slowing fuel depot deliveries going out

I am NOT calling for anyone to break the law. Despite having the protection to assemble enshrined in law, Police can and WILL use various laws and powers to circumvent this. Therefore, there is an obvious risk of arrest when taking action.

Also, I’ll add that nobody should act alone. Groups will be set up to help direct and advise people. Safety in numbers is very important.

When will this happen and what to do in meantime?

The short answer is soon. People are dying every day and we cannot afford to hang around. What we do need to do though, is plan properly and ensure we have good numbers.

A failure to plan will lead to a failure to force change. Just keep your eyes peeled on this site and by searching #WefareRebellion on social media.

There is already a lot of support but we need more. Start telling your friends, writing to your councillors, MPs and even local businesses. I will upload a document shortly outlining Welfare Rebellions aims and rules.

I hope to set up a dedicated site and resources but I will have to save for this first. Please keep your eyes peeled for more news and updates.

If you want to set up a local group please do! I’m one person and can’t do this alone. 

Importantly, SHARE, RECRUIT AND SHARE some more.

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