Wednesday 4 July 2012

Protest against housing benefit threat hits Downing Street and Barclays

Video: Felix Gonzales

Right to Work activists headed to Westminster this morning to protest David Cameron’s threats to arbitrarily remove housing benefit from all under 25s.

The statement by the Prime Minister last week is a clear sign that while this government will dig deep to bail out their fraudster friends in the banking industry they are intent on making ordinary people pay for the crisis – even if that means making thousands of young people homeless.

The protesters, including members from Unite Community branches, Defend Council Housing and Occupy visited Downing Street first – taking their message to Cameron’s front door (well as near to it as the gates he hides behind would let them). One young demonstrator jumped into a sleeping bag and held a hand-written placard bearing the slogan: “Cardboard City – Never Again”. Others chanted, “Benefits. Not bailouts” and, “No ifs, no buts, no housing benefit cuts.”

After some speeches, a petition demanding action to solve Britain’s serious shortage of housing was handed in.

Demonstrators then marched down Whitehall singing “What do we want? Jobs and homes. When do we want them? Now”.  A brief stop outside Parliament was followed by a flash occupation of the Westminster branch of Barclay’s bank on Victoria Street.

Addressing those inside over a megaphone they questioned why wealthy bankers like Barclays’ Bob Diamond can get away with fraud on a massive scale, while those claiming benefits are routinely criminalised and made scapegoats by the Tory government.

Occupation of Barclays Bank

Demo outside Downing Street - Cardboard City Never Again!

Photographs: Guy Smallman

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