Scotland: Action Against Austerity kicks off new campaign to protect welfare

Dozens of posters have appeared on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk insisting the Scottish government must stop the reassessment process being used against Disability Living Allowance claimants.

The posters are part of a buildup towards a Week of Action which has been called by libertarian socialist-backed coalition Action Against Austerity from June 12th-17th June to demand Holyrood act to protect disability benefits.

Recent figures show 45% of claimants are losing benefits in this process, and the campaign comes as, south of the border, Westminster was forced to admit it is formally investigating dozens of likely suicides as a result of reassessments over the last five years.

The decision for a June week of action came out of AAA’s general conference held earlier this month. In a statement, a group rep said:

We have decided to picket MSPs’ (Holyrood MPs’) offices across Scotland on the issue of welfare powers. Namely the process of transferring folk from DLA to PIP, and the importance of scrapping the assessment procedure to deliver this benefit.

We see this as a winnable action and would encourage ALL groups to take part in this event. Prior to this we have local council elections, and have anti austerity candidates standing. Again we would encourage all group to support anti austerity, anti cuts candidates.

As the current political climate is in a flux, we decided that the next AAA conference, may be called at short notice. The main aspect of the conference was solidarity, and this remains the core of AAA.

AAA was founded in 2015, bringing together local grassroots groups including Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, Industrial Workers of the World, Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions, Perth Against Welfare Sanctions, Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh and the Anarchist Federation.