By Travon Free - December 5, 2011
I recently saw you stand up in front of a group of people and allow some of the most idiotic, unfounded, racist, and ignorant words pass your lips that I’ve ever heard...To have the audacity to say that poor kids...“have no habits of working and nobody around them who works” is not only an insult to me as a black man who grew up in one of those “really poor” neighborhoods you spoke of, but it’s an insult to my mother.
By Susan Allan - 12 December 2011
Like its counterparts around the world, the Gillard government is slashing spending on education, health and welfare in response [to] the deepening global financial crisis. In the first three months since Labor’s May budget and its “tough-love” approach to welfare, more than 20,000 unemployed Aboriginal people have had their welfare payments suspended. This amounts to 20 percent of all Aboriginal people on welfare. Nationally, 10 percent of all unemployed have incurred suspensions.
By Robert Stevens - 10 December 2011
Early Wednesday morning, the unelected Greek “technocratic” government of former central banker Lucas Papademos passed a brutal austerity budget. Approved by a vote of 258 to 41, it was supported by all three parties now comprising the government: the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), New Democracy and the neo-fascist LAOS party...It includes a further 5 billion euros in spending cuts and another 3.6 billion in taxes. Pensions will be cut by 15 percent from January 1, and wages are to be slashed even further.
By Patrick Butler - The Guardian
Unemployed people will have to prove they are actively volunteering in the community in order to qualify for certain welfare benefits and social housing under "civic contract" proposals drawn up by a Conservative local authority...In measures aimed at ending what it calls the "something for nothing culture", Westminster city council also proposes that working families who "play by the rules" should get priority for social housing, while existing tenants who fall foul of the law should be evicted.
By Don Weitz - December 9, 2011
Since the mid-1990s, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) has been a major anti-poverty organization speaking out and taking direct action for homeless and other poor people. Many of these brothers and sisters were and are psychiatric survivors, people labeled and stigmatized as "mentally ill," people who have been and still are locked up, forcibly drugged, electroshocked, traumatized and dehumanized in Ontario's psycho-prisons (all psychiatric facilities).
By Julie Hyland - WSWS
The first comprehensive investigation into the riots that swept London and other parts of England in August has confirmed that police brutality, poverty and social inequality were the primary motivating factors in their eruption...The accounts of those interviewed, who reside in some of the most socially deprived areas in England, refute the claims made by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government, with the support of the Labour Party and the media, that the upheavals were the product of the “criminality” of a “feral underclass.”
By Bob Simpson - Znet
“No poor man ever gave me a job”...If you go around saying stuff like this, aren’t you just trying to conceal your own insecurities? You think you need people “below” you to prop up your self confidence, don’t you? You know in your heart that you are just one lay-off, just one health problem or just one family tragedy away from poverty yourself. So overcome by fear, you adopt a worshipful attitude toward the wealthy 1% and their allies, hoping that you’ll be exempted from financial disaster.
In the United States, a political dispute is raging over the right direction for the nation. The “change”-President and his Democrats propagate the necessity of checking and, if possible, reversing the progressive decay of the country, especially the process of de-industrialization and the impoverishment of entire sections of the population. The Republican opposition rejects all of the state’s corrective interventions into the course and results of capitalist competition as eating up funds and sabotaging America’s traditional path to success.
By John Clarke and Liisa Schofield - rabble.ca
On Dec. 1 [Ontario] social assistance rates will increase by an insulting one per cent. This increase is well below the rate of inflation which is estimated at three per cent this year. With inflation factored in, what [Ontario Premier Dalton] McGuinty calls a one per cent raise, is, in reality a two per cent cut. This cut is a loss of real income for the poor, which, when coupled with the major cut to the Special Diet Program, means a dramatic deepening of poverty in 2012 and beyond.
In Germany, rulers and ruled agree: “We” have built a solid economy, lowered wages for over a decade in exemplary fashion, and strengthened the competitiveness of “our” economy. We have solid growth and our debts are under control. Now “we” must rescue the lazy Greeks, Portuguese, Irish, and who knows who else with new loans, because they have been “living beyond their means.” Even if the self-righteous German view has recently triumphed in Brussels and gains approval from the rest of Europe – not a single word in it is true.
Sunday, November 27, 2011 - Common Dreams
While workers protest against austerity measures on the streets, cash-strapped Europeans are feeling the pain at home, struggling to pay for heating as winter approaches, reviving soup kitchens for the poorest and getting rid of costly pets...The debt crisis now ravaging the euro zone has seen governments cut spending, including to welfare programs, and raise taxes. Unemployment is rising and many Europeans are planning for a bleaker future.
By Annie Urban - November 23, 2011
The contrast is staggering. In the large cities of southern Ontario, Occupy Ottawa and Occupy Toronto protesters were evicted...from the tent cities they set up last month to protest economic disparities. One thousand kilometers further north...the residents of the Attawapiskat First Nation have been living in tents and sheds without water or electricity for years and no one is doing anything about it.
The Financial Crisis Continues as a Crisis of State Debt: The Imperialist Nations Fight for their Credit by Impoverishing their People
In the fifth year of the global financial crisis, the average person is still looking for a job or worried about losing one, and fears for what little savings he or she might have. The big investors flee into real assets, gold or Swiss francs, and increasingly shun government bonds – only a few years ago the safe harbor in the financial crisis, now rated as increasingly risky and falling in value.
By Anne-Marie O’Reilly and Warren Clark - November 21, 2011
In some areas, there is less than one job advertised for every 20 people seeking work, yet unemployment is being identified as a personal failing. Workfare is a manifestation of the government’s attempt to discipline and control the lives of the unemployed. A central theme emanating from both the Labour and Tory conferences was the condemnation of people getting ‘something for nothing.’
November 17, 2011 - Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
We must expect that sooner rather than later, cops will be mobilized to do on a larger scale what they do regularly to poor and homeless people trying to survive. They will be ready to use their power to clear out St James Park as their counterparts have done in a range of cities. Occupy Toronto has symbolized opposition to greed and injustice and has prompted people to take a stand.