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Independent Media Transcript 5 October 2006
Welfare Reform, Not Welfare Destruction
By Jason UK IMC 1/10/06
UK: Manchester: On Monday 25th September the Coalition Against the Welfare Reform Bill (CAWRB) lobbied the Labour Party conference in Manchester. Protestors from all over the country strolled and rolled with whistles and cries of “New Labour? Slave Labour!” through the city centre.
There was a fantastic reception from the public with many clapping and waving as the march went along. Outside the Labour Conference a rally heard speakers including Alex Kemp, national officer of the NUS Disabled Students’ Campaign, Simone Aspis, Parliamentary Campaigns officer of the British Council of Disabled People and John McDonnell MP.
Delegates could hear the speeches and were made very aware about the protest against the bill and the issues involved.
Later a CAWRB fringe meeting was held at the Disability Rights Commission Equality Zone in the Novotel hotel. Speakers touched on personal experience, the impact of the bill, and the campaign against it.
Mike Higgins of DAN said "today, for the first time ever, we have had a national demonstration of disabled people, organised by the Coalition Against the Welfare Reform Bill, at a political party conference. And which party is it? It’s New Labour, those people who were going to introduce the social model of disability according to their manifesto in 1997, they were going to transform society. What have we got? We’ve got disabled people frightened to come to the demonstration because they don’t want to be picked out on camera because they might have to go to the job centre and they’ll say if you’re fit enough to go on a demonstration you’re fit enough to work ... We want real work for real wages, we are not for New Labour's idea of the worthy and the unworthy poor. We want a proper job for proper pay, jobs that meet our needs."
The campaign demands that Government quickly rethink this damaging policy and that welfare reform is tackled from a social model of disability approach.
Australian charities boycott “welfare to work” measures
by Tania Kent via sam 3/10/06
The Australian government’s “welfare to work” measures, which came into effect on July 1, are so draconian that leading church-based charitable organisations have refused to participate in a key program.
Prime Minister John Howard’s attempt to recruit them to implement deeply unpopular welfare policies has erupted in bitter recriminations, with the churches denouncing the government for demanding that they carry out its “dirty work”.
The Welfare to Work program represents a drastic escalation of the assault on social welfare that both Liberal and Labor governments have mounted over the past 25 years. It is having a cruel impact on the lives of the most vulnerable and impoverished layers in society.
For the first time, single parents with children are being forced to try to find work for a minimum of 15 hours, and disabled people are also being compelled to look for jobs. Severe penalties are being imposed, stripping entitlements off those who fail to pass the “work test”.
It is no coincidence that the Welfare to Work measures have been imposed alongside the new workplace relations laws, because they go hand in hand. The industrial legislation is designed to force workers onto individual contracts that will rip up wages and basic conditions. Having no choice but to accept sub-standard jobs, the unemployed, single parents and the disabled will be used to undermine the conditions of all workers.
Australia: Job insecurity increases, despite falling official unemployment rate
Anyone who works for a wage for even one hour a day is deemed “employed”. Millions are forced into part-time, casual and low paid jobs, and many do not know from one day to the next whether they will remain in work or be flung out, as companies restructure and downsize, relocate operations to cheap labour countries or simply collapse.
Challenges on commitment to poor opposed to war!
What happened to an Australian commitment to those who are most in need?
ACOSS urges Govt to rethink welfare scheme
"But we do know that organisations like Catholic Social Services and like a lot of our other large provider networks who are members have been really struggling with whether or not to throw their hats in the ring for this particular tender."
Dole (still) below poverty line
For some, even poverty line is way out of reach
Human rights groups condemn US law
By Patrick Martin via sam US IMC 3/10/06
Civil liberties and human rights organizations have denounced the Military Commissions Act adopted by Congress last week, calling it a fundamental break by the US government with democratic principles. The bill passed the Senate Thursday and the House of Representatives Friday, and will be signed into law by President Bush within days.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which has provided legal representation for hundreds of prisoners detained indefinitely at the Guantánamo Bay concentration camp, said it would file a legal challenge to the law as soon as Bush signs it, focusing on its denial of the right of prisoners to seek a writ of habeas corpus, a formal review of the reason for their detention by a court independent of the arresting authority.
Amnesty International USA declared, “By passing the Military Commissions Act, the United States Congress has, in effect, given its stamp of approval to human rights violations committed by the USA in the ‘war on terror.’ This legislation leaves the USA squarely on the wrong side of international law, and has turned bad executive policy into bad domestic law.”
As the Amnesty statement noted, “[T]he US administration has resorted to secret detention, enforced disappearance, prolonged incommunicado detention, indefinite detention without charge, arbitrary detention, and torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” One of the principal functions of the new law, Amnesty pointed out, is to block possible war crimes prosecutions of high-level Bush administration officials.
Wanted: al-Qa'ida suspects. $5000 reward.
The road to Guantánamo starts in Pakistan.
More than 85 percent of detainees unlawfully held at the US detention centre in Cuba were arrested by the Afghan Northern Alliance and in Pakistan at a time when rewards of up to US$5,000 were paid for every unidentified terror suspect handed over to the USA.
Bounty hunters – including police officers and local people – took advantage of this routine practice that facilitated illegal detention and enforced disappearance, almost unheard in Pakistan before the US-led "war on terror". The Pakistani courts have failed to offer protection.
Related Video Footage:
07-11-06 Torture Protest at US Senate
Tags: Welfare-Destruction, CAWRB, Charities, Boycott, Welfare-To-Work, Human-Rights, Civil-Liberties, Habeas-Corpus, Torture, Guantanamo, Pakistan, Illegal-Detention, Rendition.
The QUICKTIME REPORT 30/ 09/06 - SEE GLOBALLY!
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Tags: Nukiller, Maralinga, Visualizing-Dead, Iraq-War, Police Taser, 50,000-volt, Shock, Paralysis, Death.
The QUICKTIME REPORT 25/ 09/06 - SEE GLOBALLY!
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Tags: PHILIPPINES, Martial Law, Police, Sniffer dogs, Manchester, Demonstration, Anti-War, Christians
The QUICKTIME REPORT 22/09/2006 - SEE GLOBALLY!
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Tags: War, Terror, Peace, Climate-Change, Singapore, IMF, World-Bank.