IDS challenged at workfare protest in Tottenham
March 5, 2012
Hearing that Iain Duncan-Smith (the secretary of state for work and pensions) was due to address a conference in tottenham this morning, ‘boycott workfare’ and ‘youthfightforjobs’ organised a protest outside the venue. he arrived late, and walked up to the door shouting that “workfare is a brilliant scheme”. when challenged over public statements, he refused to engage, instead pushing a young man out of the way to enter the building.
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just over a dozen protestors arrived outside what was once the tottenham town hall (now a business centre) this morning, to await the arrival of iain duncan-smith to a conference there. their anger (displayed in their chants and banners) was at the workfare schemes which force unemployed and disabled people to work for nothing for vast corporations which bank huge profits.
both iain duncan-smith and chris grayling have been caught out recently telling porkies about the workfare scheme, and as a result, the dept of work and pension had to hurriedly change guidance on their website last week, removing references to the mandatory aspect of the workfare schemes. a document resulting from a freedom of information request has also now disappeared from the site. the document gave a list of private companies benefitting from forced labour, and belies chris grayling’s assertion that no individuals were mandated to work for big companies.
as iain duncan-smith got out of his chauffeured car and approached the building this morning, two protestors, armed with one of the missing documents, attempted to ask him about the lies. but he was already shouting loudly as he approached, saying that “workfare is an absolutely brilliant scheme”. seeing the FOI document in one of the protestor’s hands, he refused to engage, and literally pushing one of the young men out of the way, continued to the door, where he was was ushered in by private security.
one of the few police assigned to the protest ruefully suggested someone might like to make a complaint of assault – he was clearly not a big fan of the cuts or of mr duncan-smith, later telling us that most of his family had already been affected.
two delegates from ‘youth fight for jobs’ did manage to attend the conference. no doubt they will report on the website at www.youthfightforjobs.com