Monthly Archives: October 2011

Unpaid mandatory work experience placements


” Jobseekers have been volunteering at a Poundland shop after being told that they’re likely to lose their Jobseekers’ Allowance if they don’t do voluntary work.

A new leaflet from the Department for Work and Pensions includes private sector companies on a list of places people can volunteer. Heather Allen, manager of Volunteer Centre Dacorum, said:

“The voluntary work being done by these people is mainly stacking shelves. At best, that is work experience rather than volunteering. At worst, it is exploitation. When these unemployed people appear at our door, they are demotivated and they are volunteering only because they are afraid of losing their benefits.”

One of the businesses that actually benefited from the recession is now exploiting the unemployed.

Everything’s £1 at Poundland. Except the wages.

UPDATE: Poundland is now denying that it uses volunteers to stack shelves in its shops, but claim that it does take people on “unpaid mandatory work experience placements”. In a statement given to Third Sector the company claim:

We work in partnership with JobCentre Plus and other government-funded organisations to implement a comprehensive Work Placement Programme designed to provide on the job training for those looking to retail as a career opportunity,” the statement said. “A placement lasts for four to six weeks, and during this time jobseekers continue to receive benefits. “


Thick as thieves: Leicestershire County Council


” Leicestershire County Council and the bailiff company known to the public as Bristow & Sutor (who apparently hold the worst record in the country for unruly and wreckless behaviour) have conspired together to steal £30,000.00 worth of goods from a home in the Leicestershire districts for an unpaid parking ticket…

… The family have been without their furniture and children’s toys/games etc since 19th May 2010; it is now 30th October 2011. …

Innocent & defenceless children deprived of their own personal belongings to satisfy an outstanding debt for a parking ticket owed to the British Tax Payer. “


Norman Scarth in his own words



Cover-up at St Paul’s


Clerics suppress report on bankers’ greed to save church embarrassment

A highly critical report into the moral standards of bankers has been suppressed by St Paul’s Cathedral amid fears that it would inflame tensions over the Occupy London tent protest.

The report, based on a survey of 500 City workers who were asked whether they thought they were worth their lucrative salaries and bonuses, was due to be published last Thursday, the day that the Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s, Giles Fraser, resigned in protest at the church’s tough stance.

But publication of the report, by the St Paul’s Institute, has been delayed in an apparent acknowledgement that it would leave the impression that the cathedral was on the side of the protesters. “

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Posted by on 2011-10-30 in Uncategorized


WikiLeaks needs your £££s

By business has donated.

” WikiLeaks has published the biggest leaks in journalistic history. This has triggered aggressive retaliation from powerful groups. Since 7th December 2010 an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade has been imposed by Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union. The attack has destroyed 95% of our revenue. The blockade came into force within ten days of the launch of Cablegate as part of a concerted US-based, political attack that included vitriol by senior right wing politicians, including assassination calls against WikiLeaks staff. The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency. The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicized US finance companies continues regardless.”

What Does it Cost to Change the World? from WikiLeaks on Vimeo.

” What do MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America, Paypal and Western Union all have in common? They help you pay for what you want? Well, yes… that is unless you want to help WikiLeaks make the world a better place. To see the shocking details, please go to

Remember this (from:

Collateral Murder – Wikileaks – Iraq


EU and ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)



“ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small “club” of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.

ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.

The European Parliament now has an ultimate opportunity to reject ACTA. ”


Cell Phone Guide for Occupy Wall Street Protesters (and Everyone Else)


“1. Protect your phone before you protest

Think carefully about what’s on your phone before bringing it to a protest. Your phone contains a wealth of private data, which can include your list of contacts, the people you have recently called, your text messages, photos and video, GPS location data, your web browsing history and passwords, and the contents of your social media accounts. We believe that the police are required to get a warrant to obtain this information, but the government sometimes asserts a right to search a phone incident to arrest — without a warrant. (And in some states, including California, courts have said this is OK.) To protect your rights, you may want to harden your existing phone against searches. You should also consider bringing a throwaway or alternate phone to the protest that does not contain sensitive data and which you would not mind losing or parting with for a while. If you have a lot of sensitive or personal information on your phone, the latter might be a better option.

Password-protect your phone – and consider encryption options. To ensure the password is effective, set the “password required” time to zero, and restart phone before you leave your house. Be aware that merely password-protecting or locking your phone is not an effective barrier to expert forensic analysis. Some phones also have encryption options. Whispercore is a full-disk encryption application for Android, and Blackberry also has encryption tools that might potentially be useful. Note that EFF has not tested these tools and does not endorse them, but they are worth checking into.

Back up the data on your phone. Once the police have your phone, you might not get it back for a while. Also, something could happen, whether intentional or not, to delete information on your phone. While we believe it would be improper for the police to delete your information, it may happen anyway.

2. You’re at the protest – now what?

Maintain control over your phone. That might mean keeping the phone on you at all times, or handing it over to a trusted friend if you are engaging in action that you think might lead to your arrest.

Consider taking pictures and video. Just knowing that there are cameras watching can be enough to discourage police misconduct during a protest. EFF believes that you have the First Amendment right to document public protests, including police action. However, please understand that the police may disagree, citing various local and state laws. If you plan to record audio, you should review the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press helpful guide Can We Tape?.

3. Help! Help! I’m being arrested

Remember that you have a right to remain silent — about your phone and anything else. If questioned by police, you can politely but firmly ask to speak to your attorney.

If the police ask to see your phone, you can tell them you do not consent to the search of your device. They might still legally be able to search your phone without a warrant when they arrest you, but at least it’s clear that you did not give them permission to do so.

If the police ask for the password to your electronic device, you can politely refuse to provide it and ask to speak to your lawyer. Every arrest situation is different, and you will need an attorney to help you sort through your particular circumstance. Note that just because the police cannot compel you to give up your password, that doesn’t mean that they can’t pressure you. The police may detain you and you may go to jail rather than being immediately released if they think you’re refusing to be cooperative. You will need to decide whether to comply.

4. The police have my phone, how do I get it back?

If your phone or electronic device was illegally seized, and is not promptly returned when you are released, you can file a motion with the court to have your property returned. If the police believe that evidence of a crime was found on your electronic device, including in your photos or videos, the police can keep it as evidence. They may also attempt to make you forfeit your electronic device, but you can challenge that in court.

Cell phone and other electronic devices are an essential component of 21st century protests. Whether at Occupy Wall Street or elsewhere, all Americans can and should exercise their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly, while intelligently managing the risks to their property and privacy. “

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