In December last year a claimant involved with ECAP was ordered under threat of a sanction to go on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. When he reported for workfare duty at the Salvation Army charity shop on Leith Walk, by strange coincidence at the exact same moment a dozen placard-waving ECAP supporters burst into the shop. The manager totally panicked, locking down all workers, workfare conscripts and any actual volunteers in the backshop while protestors took over the shopfloor eagerly handing out anti-workfare flyers to startled shoppers and explaining the iniquities of compulsory “work-for-your-benefits” schemes to all and sundry. “Come back tomorrow for an interview”, the manager eventually told our friend. He did – and so did we. And so, this time, did the police! You won’t be surprised to learn that the Salvation Army decided our comrade was not suitable for forced unpaid labour in their shop! This made us think that if everyone sent on workfare contacted their local action group and/or their mates to come along and demonstrate at the workfare exploiters at their start date, then workfare would likely become UNworkable. The creation of this kind of grassroots counter-power on a significant scale is our medium-term goal.
Alex Cropley in Ordinary people fight back (Economic survivor)