This video from Australia says about itself:
14 August 2013
The Beyond Borders Collective disrupted the Melbourne headquarters of G4S in protest of their involvement in the racist imprisonment of people arriving to Australia by boat. G4S profits from contracts managing the Manus Island detention centre. Our full statement is here.
By Charlotte Hughes in Britain:
Wednesday 8th July 2015
WHILE I was handing leaflets out at our weekly jobcentre protest in Ashton-under-Lyne, I was asked to go and speak to a man who was stood round the corner. This happens quite a lot because local claimants feel they can’t be seen talking to us. Why? The fear of sanctions and discrimination by DWP staff members. The threat of a sanction is enough for anyone to comply with their wishes. So I went over and spoke to this man.
He was in a very agitated state — articulate but also extremely angry. He told me that he had worked all of his life but had an accident requiring several painful operations on his knee. He had received a letter from the employment and support allowance (ESA) department to remind him to send his sick note in, but they didn’t include an envelope, so that’s what he was there for. He asked to speak to an adviser but was stopped by a G4S security guard, given an envelope and was told to leave the building. He was shocked, as all he wanted to do was to speak to a front desk adviser.
He came outside with the envelope and realised that the G4S guard had given him the wrong one. He went back in but was told: “Tough, that’s all you’re getting.”
We helped him sort out the problem, but I was left wondering why G4S security guards — who are not trained benefit advisers and should not be handling any personal information — are handing out advice.
How many sick notes go missing in this way? These payments are a lifeline for ESA claimants and it shouldn’t be happening.
Is this a deliberate tactic deployed by the DWP to allow unqualified G4S guards to dish out advice, ensuring that mistakes are made and wrong advice given?
Answers on a postcard please, although I will be enquiring about this and monitoring this situation.
A young woman with her mother also stopped us. She was shaking with fear and close to having a panic attack. She is on ESA for severe anxiety and the jobcentre is forcing her to attend an interview there. She was far too ill to go in on her own so we advised her mum to go in with her. She is clearly not ready for work.
No-one should have to feel this scared of a building and the people inside. It’s disgusting and we need to stop this. The government has created two monsters, the DWP and jobcentre plus — both equally evil.
I hope that young woman manages to recover from this ordeal.
Our demonstrations often include guitar music, and this week G4S decided to be rather aggressive about it. A young woman rushed out of the building wanting to speak to us. She said that while she was waiting for her appointment a G4S security guard was shouting: “I’m going to snap the strings on that guitar if they don’t shut up.” She said that she was scared of him and his menacing manner and would make a complaint. Let’s hope that she does — threats of violence should always be taken seriously.
A version of this article first appeared at thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com.
– The People’s Assembly rally in Manchester, where Charlotte Hughes will be speaking, is today at 5pm on Market Street and a musical demonstration will be taking place outside Ashton under Lyne jobcentre from 1-3pm tomorrow. Participants are encouraged to bring instruments.