Self-help support vs ravages of 'welfare reform'. Never attend anywhere official alone!
This blog currently focuses on national policy matters that impact upon KUWG members.
Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group as a group focuses primarily on combating benefits injustices locally through advocacy in individuals' benefit claims, and demonstrations that emphasise that there is hope when we come together. We are more angry than frightened.
[Names may have been changed for confidentiality purposes.]
Hello Fellow KUWorms,
received a phone call today from Indira, a lady we met at N.Ken weeks
ago. She was updating me on her situation as I helped her fill an ESA
form. Indira initially went to N.Ken to pick up this form but was
refused one by the Security guard "I can't give you one you must get it
online or phone for one. We don't give them here." A very distressed
Indira heard the racket KUWG were making outside (CJ and Big Bertha
again!) so she came out and told us. KateB and I went in asked for this
form. The afore mentioned security guard asked who it was for, got a
form, walked over to Indira and handed it to her. He seemed to have
forgotten his own rule!
and I filled it days later but we needed a fresh one without my errors
and adjustments. So yesterday Indira went to pick one up. She met this
same security guard. This time he had remembered his rule of NOT giving
forms. Indira told him she knew they DID have forms and he COULD give
them to people. He got angry. He told her he would NOT give her a form
and she must leave the jobcentre or he would...yes you've guessed
it...call the police! Indira began shouting that it was their duty to
help the public by giving these forms and she would NOT leave. He
shouted back if she did not go he would call the police. She shouted
back "Call them so I can tell them I asked for a form and you won't give
it even though you should!" He stood glaring. Indira persisted "Why
aren't you ringing them? Shall I do it for you? I want the police here!"
and to paraphrase the Elephant Man she shouted "I AM NOT A CRIMINAL!"
(can't help thinking of Elephant M. as have massive stupid bump on
manager Elizabeth came out asking what was happening? When told by
Indira, Elizabeth asked the security guard (Dave) why he wouldn't hand
over the form? Then she went to a cupboard, opened it, took a form and
gave it to Indira who peered inside the cupboard and said "Look at all
the forms here, these should be given to people, there are all kinds of
them, why does he refuse?" Manager Elizabeth said he (Dave Security Man)
is wrong to refuse. The manager gave Dave SM a good dressing down and
then she tried to reassure Indira. Indira told the manager that some
North Ken staff are not doing their duty which is wrong and people are
being treated as though they have committed crimes when they need help,
advice and guidance. The manager looked ashamed and said that the
security should not behave that way and if Indira needed any help she
should ask for the manager Elizabeth.
Indira left she decided to console Dave SM by asking him if it was his
birthday a few weeks back as there were a bunch of people shouting
outside with a loudspeaker.