Dozens of activists stormed into a Department for Work and Pensions building in Westminster, shouting slogans and saying they were going to occupy the offices.
The protesters, from groups including Feminist Fightback and anti-poverty organisations, were dressed as bankers. They described the Government’s planned legislation as the “welfare abolition Bill” and claimed the measures would virtually abolish welfare for single parents and disabled people.
One of the protesters, Anne-Marie O’Reilly, from Feminist Fightback and London Coalition Against Poverty, said: “Everyone knows that the Government’s welfare Bill was designed by ex-banker David Freud.
“Even if it weren’t for the banks’ track records, the fact that he has recently defected to the Tories should make it clear this Bill needs to be thrown out. They will throw us out of the building today, but we think it’s time they really throw the bankers and their interests out of Whitehall and stop penalising poor people, disabled people and single mothers.”
Another activist, Alice Robson, said: “The Government is bailing out the banks and giving them bonuses whilst cutting welfare benefits for the poor. This Bill does not make sense – the Government should be targeting the rich not the poor to pay for their crisis.”
On this website recently we have published three articles looking at changes in the welfare system: Joe Thorne’s overview of the Welfare Reform Bill and this week’s Week of Action, Christine Hulme on Jobcentre privatisation and Chris Grover on unemployment under Brown and the recession.
See below for photos of today’s action.