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Fight sanctions, energy bills, housing problems, WCA - join the welfare action gathering!

Getting closer now and definitely one for the diary - the welfare action gathering, 15 February 2014. Full time and place details at the end of this post.

From Boycott Workfare:

Getting your welfare rights is about a lot more than just knowing your welfare rights.

Across the UK, people are getting together to support each other and pushing back workfare, standing up to sanctions, wrong decisions and insecure housing.

At this meeting, you'll be able to meet others from across the UK, hear inspiring stories, learn about rights and share fightback tactics that work. This isn’t a day for speakers from the front. Party political representatives aren’t invited. It’s about people at the grassroots getting together and working out how we can support each other and throw even more spanners in the government’s plans!

If you are in a local group where people share mutual support on welfare or housing (or plan to start one), we should be able to help with your travel costs. Please get in touch as soon as you can so we can sort it out.

If you're planning on coming - there’ll be tea, coffee and a free lunch! Please let us know you’re coming so we know how many people to cook for!

Want to know what to expect? Check out the agenda below. There’s an open space session in the afternoon if you’d like to offer a workshop too.

10.30     Tea and coffee
10.45     Sharing stories – top tactics, issues and new ideas

One of the most important things about the day will be hearing from others.

This session will kick off discussions about what people do and how they do it. We’ll learn about what’s going on and what’s on the horizon, share strategies and start making links for action and ideas.

12.00     Break
12.10     Getting your rights on JSA

Getting your rights on JSA is about a lot more than just knowing your rights.

This workshop aims to highlight some of the key rights, but also share some of the tactics groups and individuals have used to avoid getting screwed at the Jobcentre.

Fighting for housing rights

Hear from campaigns that have been organising around the bedroom tax and benefit cap in their local communities, find out how to set up an eviction resistance network, learn about our basic housing rights, and discuss how we can push for quality, secure, and truly affordable housing for all.

13.10     Lunch
14.10     Universal Automation

Universal Automation is a Chrome browser extension that automatically searches and applies for jobs on Universal Jobmatch, the government-run job search website which benefit claimants are forced to use.

Find out more and how to use it in this info session.

Building strong mutual support groups

For long established mutual support groups to those who are just starting out – join this workshop to share experiences, reflections, tips, and questions on how to run a sustainable and successful local group to enforce and extend our welfare rights.  

Fuel Poverty Action

With 10% increases in energy prices, many more of us are having to choose between heating and eating.

This workshop will cover support, solidarity and resistance, understanding and negotiating on bills and debt, and more on Fuel Poverty Action’s pre-payment meters campaign.

14.55     Dealing with the Work Capability Assessment

Learn together how we can effectively navigate our way around Employment and Support Allowance for those claiming and those wanting to provide support.  This will cover how to start a claim for ESA, methods of attempting to avoid Atos, and how to support each other through Atos to ensure we get the benefits that are rightfully ours.

Bringing workfare down

Tens of organisations have pulled out of workfare and the government fears the schemes’ ‘collapse’.

This session will share some of the top tactics for people facing workfare, as well as discuss strategies that will help bring down workfare this year!

16.05     Break
16.20     Open Space Session

A chance for us to explore great ideas or important questions people have brought to the day, and link up to make things happen!

17.00     Making stuff happen

We’ll hear the ideas and plans from the open space, discuss how we stay in touch beyond the day, ideas for UK-wide action and ways we can build our capacity to support each other.

17.30     Finish!

The day will run from 10.45am-5.30pm at Maiden Lane Community Centre – 20 minutes walk or a short bus ride from Kings Cross Station, off York Way (156 St. Paul’s Crescent, London, NW1 9XZ. Venue wheelchair accessible.)

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