Help Save Thousands of Dogs From Torture and Death: Petition to End Yulin Dog Eating Festival

“Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come.”

Albert Schweitzer

Please help to stop the Yulin dog eating festival from taking place this year. This is a barbaric and cruel event which doesn’t warrant the description of a festival. It takes place on June 21st to celebrate the summer solstice but is in reality an excuse for sickening cruelty to helpless animals that has no place in any modern society and should be consigned to history along with all the other inhumane atrocities perpetrated against both human and non human animals down through the ages.

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Warning very disturbing images, just so heartbreaking.

Yulin, hell on earth for cats & dogs! #StopYuLin2015

According to this video 4,000 cats are also tortured and murdered in this festival of horror.

Please help stop this hideous festival by signing the following petition and taking the actions further down.

Petition: End Yulin Dog Eating Festival

“Killing innocent dogs to eat them — and torturing them only so they have more flavor — needs to stop!!!

We at “RAISE UR PAW” are asking for you to raise the voices and paws of the world to help ban the YULIN DOG MEAT EATING FESTIVAL, which is going to occur on June 21, 2015. Countless canine lives will be sacrificed in order to fulfill a barbaric tradition that has been permitted to occur for many years – and it is now time this horror is finally put to an end.”

Please read more and sign the petition
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/441/776/138/?z00m=22890024&redirectID=1658488466

Please continue reading more information from care2

“Over 10,000 dogs — many just puppies — were killed at last year’s summer solstice festival in Yulin, China. And it’s going to happen all over again this June, unless people like you speak out to stop the horrific event.

One of the most terrifying things about the festival is that it leads to many abductions of household pets by kidnappers looking to make a quick buck as the festival begins. CNN reports that local animal lovers often try to buy the dogs before the butchers can, but the dog sellers often refuse to sell to the activists.

The good news is that the Chinese government really is feeling the pressure. According to the Guardian newspaper, the country has started regulating the dog meat trade, and sales dropped by a third from 2013 to 2014. You have their attention on this issue, so another international outcry could very well save thousands of dogs!

Sign Elisa’s Care2 petition to Chinese President Xi Jinping: Save the puppies and end the Yulin Dog Meat Festival!”

More petitions and other actions you can take

Please take as many of the actions below as you can, lets help to make this hideously cruel festival a thing of the past.

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-people-s-republic-of-china-stop-the-yulin-dog-meat-eating-festival – though this has the same information as the care 2 petition it is a different petition and worth signing.

Write to the Chinese embassador of your country and politely express your objections and ask for the festival to be stopped. Please don’t write abusive letters or e-mail such is unlikely to be read and may cause more harm than good.

Here are addresses of Chinese Embassies abroad
http://www.embassypages.com/china

Petition

Please Shut Down the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in GuangXi China:
https://www.change.org/p/mr-chen-wu-yulin-governor-please-shut-down-the-yulin-dog-meat-festival-in-guangxi-china

More information and ideas for action:

HELP CAMPAIGNERS STOP YULIN DOG EATING FESTIVAL 2015:
http://www.tekjournalismuk.com/animal-matters/help-campaigners-stop-yulin-dog-eating-festival-2015

Lets not forget that the killing of any animal for meat even if not in such an horrific way is reprehensible, cruel and unnecessary and has to stop. A sheep, a cow or a pig wants to live as much as your cat or dog. All are mammals, all are sentient creatures, all feel pain and suffer as a result of the meat trade, all animals fear death and wish to survive it is one of our most powerful instincts which all animals share.

The Yulin festival has nothing to do with the celebration of the summer solstice it is not even an ancient tradition

Rather like the Gadhimai festival the Yuling celebration is incongruous with a modern progressive ethical society and has nothing to do with culture, tradition or religion and only began in the 1990s.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/791868.shtml

Related Links

What are you waiting for? Stop Yulin Festival!
http://www.moonproject.co.uk/what-are-you-waiting-for-stop-yulin-festival/

More information from my blog post last year:
https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/help-stop-the-slaughter-of-15000-dogs-for-solstice-celebrations-in-yulin-china/

 https://twitter.com/hashtag/stopyulin2015

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Thought provoking Quote: There is no Fundamental Difference Between Man and the Higher Animals…

Thought provoking quote : Charles Darwin

there is no fundamental difference

Download larger sizes from my Flickr photostream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/37177488@N06/16243790262/

Although Darwin was never an animal rights advocate his theory of evolution has profound implications for the way in which we consider our relationship to non human animals and the way we treat them.

In The Descent of Man Darwin points out that the “lower animals”, even insects, feel pain, are capable of play, and experience emotions such as pleasure and misery just like human beings.

“… the lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, etc., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber (7. ‘Recherches sur les Moeurs des Fourmis,’ 1810, p. 173.), who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies.”

Darwin sees similar attributes in animals as those present in man such as terror and deceit, he writes:

“The fact that the lower animals are excited by the same emotions as ourselves is so well established, that it will not be necessary to weary the reader by many details. Terror acts in the same manner on them as on us, causing the muscles to tremble, the heart to palpitate, the sphincters to be relaxed, and the hair to stand on end. Suspicion, the offspring of fear, is eminently characteristic of most wild animals. It is, I think, impossible to read the account given by Sir E. Tennent, of the behaviour of the female elephants, used as decoys, without admitting that they intentionally practise deceit, and well know what they are about.”

Darwin points out that animals are capable of love by using the example of dogs, the animal with whom most humans are familiar :

“The love of a dog for his master is notorious; as an old writer quaintly says  Quoted by Dr. Lauder Lindsay, in his ‘Physiology of Mind in the Lower Animals,’ ‘Journal of Mental Science,’ April 1871, p. 38.), “A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

In the agony of death a dog has been known to caress his master, and every one has heard of the dog suffering under vivisection, who licked the hand of the operator; this man, unless the operation was fully justified by an increase of our knowledge, or unless he had a heart of stone, must have felt remorse to the last hour of his life.”

Darwin states the human sense of morality can be traced back to instinctive social behaviour in animals which leads them to feel sympathy for one anothers plight, find pleasure in association with each other and to perform acts of service and kindness and the offering of mutual assistance to their fellow creatures.

Along with anecdotes Darwin goes on to cite many examples of the emotions and characteristics of animals that are the same as those in man, such as wonder,  curiosity, memory, imagination, reason, the faculty of attention, language and so on. In addition Darwin discusses self-consciousness and mental individuality in animals.

It is clear from his writings in The Descent of man that Darwin considered that animals were thinking feeling sentient beings.

For a free copy of The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex:
gutenberg.org/ebooks/2300

In his book ‘The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals’ Darwin again challenges the idea that animals have no conscious thought and act in a machine-like way, as was claimed by some philosophers, such as Descartes. It is obvious that Darwin thought that a lot more was going on in the minds of animals than human beings generally give them credit for and in the aforementioned book Darwin again deals with the parallels between human and non human animals.

For a free e-copy of The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals:
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin – Project Gutenberg

Even though Charles Darwin was not an advocate for animal rights in the literal sense of the term and was never a vegetarian,  he had however much to say concerning our relationship with animals which may have relevance for the way in which animals are treated.

Read more about Darwin and what he had to say about our relationship with animals including more quotes from the Descent of Man:

Animal Rights, A history, Charles Darwin:
http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal_Rights_A_History_Charles_Darwin.htm

Please Sign a Petition: Urge Congress to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage – Other Petitions

“A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more; otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.”
Adam Smith

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I hope that you will sign and share the following petition and as many of the petitions that you will find further down.

Urge Congress to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

According to the Center for American Progress, raising the federal minimum wage to just $10.90 would lift 4.5 million Americans out of poverty, benefitting as many as one in five children in the country.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/476/725/240/?z00m=22875964  – it may be a long standing feature however wages have stagnated in the last ten years

As you will see if you scroll down this is certainly not the only petition concerning low pay.

Low wages it seems are an endemic facet of our society and one that needs to end now! Whether it is the UK, the USA, or indeed the world over millions are being exploited by low wages. In particular there are many similarities between the USA and the UK concerning low pay. People are having their lives stolen from them as they slave away their precious existence on low wages to make another person rich while they themselves sink further into poverty. Here in the UK workers have just been through the longest period of falling real wages since Queen Victoria.

In the UK

According to the Roundtree Foundation

Low pay is endemic in the UK labour market. While the issue has recently moved to the forefront of the public debate on employment and job quality, it is a longstanding feature of the UK economy. More than one in five workers in the UK experience low pay, a proportion that has changed little in more than 25 years.
http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/low-pay-no-pay-cycle

In the USA

Fight for $15 swells into largest protest by low-wage workers in US history

“Workers in more than 200 cities walked out on jobs or joined protests bankrolled by organized labor on Wednesday in latest bid to raise minimum wage

Workers in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and more than 200 cities across the US walked out on their jobs or joined marches and protests on Wednesday during what organisers claimed was the largest protest by low-wage workers in US history.”

Read More:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/15/fight-for-15-minimum-wage-protests-new-york-los-angeles-atlanta-boston

For most workers, real wages have barely budged for decades

“… after adjusting for inflation, today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power as it did in 1979, following a long slide in the 1980s and early 1990s and bumpy, inconsistent growth since then. In fact, in real terms the average wage peaked more than 40 years ago: The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 has the same purchasing power as $22.41 would today.

What gains have been made, have gone to the upper income brackets. Since 2000, usual weekly wages have fallen 3.7% (in real terms) among workers in the lowest tenth of the earnings distribution, and 3% among the lowest quarter. But among people near the top of the distribution, real wages have risen 9.7%.”
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/10/09/for-most-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

In Asia

Where most of our clothing is made by exploitative western companies who pay low wages for long hours working in poor conditions

Dignity not Poverty.

“Garment workers should earn a living wage which can sustain a decent life.

In most garment producing countries a living wage is a far cry. The garment industry is the key source of foreign income for many countries across Asia , employing millions, yet the low wages earned are trapping workers across the region into a cycle of poverty with severe consequences for workers and their families.”
http://cleanclothescampaignireland.org/living-wage/

Low wages destroy lives keeping people in poverty worldwide. Though long overdue finally people are standing up for their rights at least in the USA. Unfortunately here in the UK people seem to offer little resistance to low pay and the misery it entails. Even the unions seem ineffectual. Sometimes we can seem so powerless against the onslaught of greed and exploitation where the rich and powerful can never seem sate their appetite for more and more profit at our expense.

Please sign as many of the petitions below as you can. We need to demand a better life for us all, for our children and succeeding generations and demand an end to exploitative low wages for increasingly longer and longer hours. Don’t get confused between a minimum wage and a living wage. They should of course mean the same thing, the basic minimum wage should be the living wage than some, as the introductory quote suggests. More often than not the basic minimum wage is not a living wage.

Petitions relating to low pay, minimum wage and living wage.

Please sign the petition to The Mayor, Boris Johnson

“London hotels are among the most expensive in the world yet not one of them pays the living wage of £8.80 per hour, the price of a couple of coffees in the capital city.”
http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/hotel-workers-deserve-a-living-wage/

Petition: Do you work in fast food or retail? Do you think you deserve better?http://action.sumofus.org/a/petition-for-workers/2/2/  – includes a link to a seperate petition for supporters who are not low paid to sign

Petition to CEOs of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys,
Please pay all your staff at least the living wage. This is £7.45 an hour rather than £6.19 which is the legally enforced minimum wage:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/supermarkets-pay-your-staff-the-living-wage-1

A Petition to Picturehouse Cinemas, backed by the TUC, BECTU this is a petition appealing to all of the group’s customers to support payment of the Living Wage to the majority of the company’s staff who are paid much less than the Living Wage. You don’t of course need to be a customer of Picturehouse to sign
https://www.bectu.org.uk/news/2275

Please sign the petition: Support Airport Workers Demanding $15/hour
https://15now.org/2014/10/airport-workers-demand-15-hour-minimum-wage-sign-the-petition/

Raise the Minimum Wage Petition
http://www.justharvest.org/raise-the-minimum-wage-petition/

Petition Make Chocolate Fair
Help to make chocolate fair and get a fair deal for farmers. While not a wages issue in the strictest sense it is a similar type of exploitation.
http://makechocolatefair.org/issues/cocoa-prices-and-income-farmers-0 – the petition is right at the top corner of the right side of the webpage.

Petition: pay US$177 as a minimum wage to Cambodian workers

“For Cambodian garment workers the current minimum wage of US$100 a month is not enough to provide for even their most basic needs. Garment workers across the country are calling for an immediate increase to US$177 as a crucial step in the fight for a living wage.”
http://www.cleanclothes.org/livingwage/sign

Other action to help garment workers around the world

“The CCC is a coalition of organisations, student groups and individuals all with the same goal – to demand a change in the industry and the recognition and respect for the Human Rights of garment workers around the world. If you want to be a part of this work and get active, just pop your email in below and you’ll be added to our list of activists that take part in some very simple actions that we send out as the need arises (we promise not to inundate you!)”
http://cleanclothescampaignireland.org/

The above is just a drop in the ocean of petitions and campaigns to end low pay to add them all would be overwhelming. It is time for things to change globally and legislation has to bring about such change.

“We stand for a living wage. Wages are subnormal if they fail to provide a living for those who devote their time and energy to industrial occupations. The monetary equivalent of a living wage varies according to local conditions, but must include enough to secure the elements of a normal standard of living–a standard high enough to make morality possible, to provide for education and recreation, to care for immature members of the family, to maintain the family during periods of sickness, and to permit of reasonable saving for old age.”
President Theodore Roosevelt

Related Links
Check out and compare wages worldwide

Please Sign a Petition: Do Not Cut off Water and Power Supplies to Aboriginal Communities

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Please scroll down to sign the petition

More people it seems are under threat of loosing their water supply as the Australian government consider  cutting off water and power to 200 communities because the government says it can no longer afford to deliver these essential utilities.  Power and water are surely basic requirements in the modern world and should be readily available, particularly in a rich country where there is no excuse whatsoever. Water of course is a vital life-sustaining resource and should never be to denied anyone.

Petition

Please sign a petition to the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, to ask him not to cut off water and power supplies to Aboriginal Communities.

Do not cut off water and power supplies to Aboriginal Communities

The Australian Federal Government is considering cutting off the supplies of water and power of up to 200 indigenous communities, claiming they cannot afford these basic human rights for their indigenous peoples. In 2014, the government announced that they may cease paying for the utilities, making the individual states responsible for supplying their communities with their basic needs. However, the Western Australia government has already stated that they cannot afford to cover these costs, one of the states where many Aboriginal communities live, as well as the Northern Territory.

Rodney Dillon gave the following statement: “It would be a complete culture shock, a complete mental shock,” Dillon said. “This is their homeland. It’s where they belong it’s where they are proud. They are the keepers of the land. Some might stay and die on the land. The older individuals won’t manage it — it might kill them.”

Read more and please sign the petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/913/806/727/do-not-cut-off-water-and-power-supplies-to-aboriginal-communities/

As with Baltimore and Detroit it is once again the disadvantaged who suffer, in this case it is Australia’s Aboriginal Communities, 150 of which are threatened with closure. Another financial decision that seriously destroys people’s lives. Australia like the USA and the UK is a rich nation, it is in fact one of the richest countries in the world, the funds are there it is just that they are not allocated where they are needed but left in the hands of the rich.

Australia  has 4 per cent of the world’s US dollar millionaires, with 1,252,000 people falling into this category.

Why Australia is the richest country in the world (for the fifth year in a row)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2792618/how-australia-richest-country-world-fifth-year-row.html

Why should people go without water and power while others have way way more than they need or will ever need.

If you don’t live in Australia this may all sound very complicated and that’s the problem people suffer as a consequence of complex, idiotic and unfair legislation particularly the poor and indigenous populations of countries such as Australia.

It is a grave social injustice to deliberately cut of water and power supplies to anyone for any reason, there can never be any justification for doing so.

More information

Up to 200 indigenous communities in Australia could lose access to power and water because the government says it can no longer afford to deliver the basic services.

“The remote communities are mainly located across the northern tip of Australia and the Kimberley in the country’s northwest. The federal government announced late last year that it would stop paying for the utilities, making states responsible for the communities. The Western Australia (WA) state government says it can’t afford to cover the costs.”

Read More:
Australia May Stop Providing Water and Power to Remote Aboriginal Communities
https://news.vice.com/article/australia-may-stop-providing-water-and-power-to-remote-aboriginal-communities

Related Links

Thousands of people rally over the proposed closure of up to 150 remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia during a national day of action:
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/mar/19/close-the-gap-day-thousands-rally-threat-remote-indigenous-communities

Shutting down Australia’s Aboriginal areas

New funding laws threaten the existence of remote indigenous communities already facing profound social issues.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/12/shutting-down-australia-aboriginal-areas-2014124124749741868.html

Don’t Vote Conservative: Unless You Want to Wave Goodbye to the NHS

“The NHS has been reduced to such a state that, if things don’t change, it could be about to get a whole lot worse.
“The extreme Tory spending plans will see social care further stripped out, pushing hospitals to breaking point.
“And, with the Health and Social Care Act still in force, the next parliament could see the NHS sunk by a toxic mix of cuts, crisis and privatisation.”
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham

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Flickr user Byzantine_K

Download larger sizes:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16954312671/

Before voting consider the following:

More than 140 top doctors attack government record on NHS

Letter from senior health professionals says coalition has left NHS in weakest position ever and calls on people to use votes to reinstate service

“As medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients. We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated,”

“… the NHS “is withering away and if things carry on as they are then in future people will be denied care they once had under the NHS and have to pay more for health services. Privatisation not only threatens coordinated services but also jeopardises training of our future healthcare providers and medical research, particularly that of public health.”
The signatories to the letter

Read the complete article which includes the letter in full:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/07/more-than-100-top-doctors-attack-government-record-on-nhs

More extracts from the Doctor’s letter to the Guardian:

“After five years of a government which pledged to protect the NHS, this election campaign makes it timely to assess its stewardship, since 2010, of England’s most precious institution. Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS, is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.

In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges.”

Here is the most important section:
“We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated.”

Please continue reading the complete letter if you have not already done so.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/07/senior-doctors-assess-governments-record-on-nhs-letter-in-full

In response, The desperate Tories try to unsuccessfully organise their own letter

“Desperate” Tory plot to organise own letter from doctors exposed in bomb shell leaked email.

“Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced tonight as a bombshell leaked email exposes a “desperate” Tory plot to organise their own letter from doctors.

It comes just days after more than 100 leading doctors signed a letter accusing the Tory-led coalition of endangering the NHS in England.”
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-crisis-tory-plot-letter-5488071

5 More Toxic Years? Say goodbye to our NHS

DAVID Cameron’s “ideological prescription” for cuts and privatisation could kill off the NHS within five years, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham warns today.

Writing exclusively for the Morning Star, Mr Burnham insists it is “no exaggeration” to say the future of the NHS as a public service is at risk if the Tory Prime Minister stays in office.

Labour’s health chief says a looming £7 billion funding shortfall combined with the Tories pro-privatisation policy will “create a toxic medicine that may well finish the patient off.”

Read more
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-899f-5-more-toxic-Tory-years-Say-goodbye-to-our-NHS

NHS charges are certain if Tories win election

“The BMA rightly raises the spectre of the NHS being subject to charges for medical treatment after the election.   This has become a real threat as a result of Tory policy over the last 5 years – partly from the unprecedented imposition of £20bn cuts amounting to nearly a fifth of the entire NHS budget, and partly as a result from a third or more of hospital trusts now being in deficit and a growing minority being cast into actual bankruptcy.   All three political parties deny they have any such plans, and of course it would be politically suicidal if they did anything else.   But are they all credible?   The Tories have hugely increased charging for social care by imposing 40% cuts in the social care of the elderly and disabled.   They have expanded private dental care to such a degree in cost and coverage that DIY dental first aid kit is now growing fast – one estimate now by DenTek, one of the biggest sellers of kits, claims there are already a quarter of a million users.   And there are other reasons too why charging is very likely to be Tory policy after the election.”

http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2015/04/nhs-charges-are-certain-if-tories-win-election/

12 Things You Should Know About The Tories And The NHS

“12 things that should make anyone who cares about the National Health Service very wary of voting for the Tory party.”

Read More:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/anotherangryvoice/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-tories-and-the-wyf2

Well I could go on the evidence is overwhelming, five more years of Tory government will see an end to the NHS. If you value our NHS and think that free health care is a human right and should not be privatised DON’T VOTE CONSERVATIVE!!!!!!!!!

Help Keep The Water on For Baltimore’s Low-income Residents!

“Water is fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a healthy life in human dignity. It is a pre-requisite to the realization of all other human rights. ”
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights

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Please sign the following petition

Keep the water on for Baltimore’s low-income residents!

“Standing for the rights of one is standing for the rights of all.Etaoqua

Water is a human right – especially in the richest country on earth!

Yet in the coming days, Baltimore will start cruelly shutting off water to 25,000 households who owe more than $250 in unpaid bills. This is despite the facts that public assistance is minimal, there have been no public hearings, and in many cases, it’s the landlord’s fault – not the tenant’s – that the bills weren’t paid.

Even worse, more than one-third of the unpaid water bills in Baltimore belong to just 369 businesses – including $7 million from RG Steel alone – but the city is starting the shutoffs with low-income residents who need water to survive!

Please Read More and Sign the Petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/898/455/503/

It seems as though it is the same worldwide,  the poorest suffer as a result of the social injustice of a low income while the better off get away with not paying their bills which as the petition says amounts to one-third of all unpaid water bills.

Brewing Human Rights Crisis In Baltimore As City Threatens Mass Water Shutoffs

“In what residents warn is a mounting human rights crisis, the city of Baltimore has commenced sending 25,000 notices, the vast majority to city and county residents, threatening to shut off water if delinquent bills are not paid within ten days.

The organization Food & Water Watch estimates that 75,000 residents are under immediate threat of having their taps turned off, in a city beset with rising water rates and housing costs, where nearly one out of four people live below the federal poverty line.”

“Only 369 of the 25,000 accounts receiving shut off notices are businesses, but they comprise $15 million of the $40 million the city says is owed in unpaid bills.”

Read More:
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/07/brewing-human-rights-crisis-baltimore-city-threatens-mass-water-shutoffs

Such denial of water a basic human right and vital for survival is becoming more frequent, remember Detroit.

Where  it looks as though the struggle for this basic life sustaining resource continues.

Water shutoff warnings on way for delinquent Detroiters

“The Detroit water department is prepared to hang about 800 shutoff notices a day on doors across the city, “

“…water bills are the rise this year. Detroiters can expect to pay 3.4% more for water under the proposed new rates that would take effect July 1. But their biggest increase will come on the sewer portion of their bill, where the new rates rise 16.7% under the proposal.”
Read More:
http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/03/20/residential-water-shutoffs/25048153/

First Detroit, Now Baltimore Is Shutting Off Water To The Poor

“I’m having a rather hard time understanding why it is that the City of Baltimore has apparently made the decision to follow in the footsteps of my adopted hometown Detroit and is shutting off the water in poor peoples’ homes for falling behind on their bills while allowing the larger – and significantly wealthier – corporations and businesses to slide on by. Even though they are the ones most responsible for the related deficit that the city currently finds itself in.”

Read More:
http://www.politicususa.com/2015/04/04/detroit-baltimore-shutting-water-poor.html

It’s hard to imagine the suffering and misery being without water causes, we take water so for granted don’t we until it is not there anymore. It is more than just having enough to drink. How can you prepare food, bathe, launder your clothes, flush your toilet, clean your home without water. How the hell can you function at all in a modern society to go to work,  attend school?

It an outrage of injustice when people throughout the world most notably developing countries do not have access to clean water. However to deliberately cut off water supplies were it is readily available is just appalling. To use the word  crime to describe such an action would not be inappropriate.

I don’t give a damn who supplies the water or how much it cost to do so, water is a vital resource and should not be dependent on whether or not you have the necessary finances. Whether it is Africa, the USA or anywhere else clean water should be provided freely to every man, woman and child, not made into a commodity only available to those who can afford it. Forcing poor people to go without water simply because they do not have the means to pay for it while allowing business who owe one-third of unpaid bills to get away with doing so is not the hall-mark of a just society.

As a matter of interest here in the UK if you are a domestic (non-business) customer, water companies can’t, by law, disconnect or restrict your water supply if you owe them money.
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/consumer_w/consumer_water_supply_e/consumer_problems_with_paying_your_water_bill_e/if_you_dont_pay_your_water_bill.htm  – but who knows things can change.

 

 

For the Sake of Sick and Disabled People Don’t Vote Tory

 

10318663733_0dfe813347_z

Keep Calm Conservatives – War on the Poor II

“A parody “Keep Calm and Carry On” themed non-election poster for this parody of a political party and its pathetic and depraved pretense at government.

The country – the sick, the disabled, the unemployed, and for that matter most of the workforce that remains employed (with no thanks to the Tories) have no future if the Conservatives continue in government. Hopefully we will be rid of them by May 2015, but the damage already caused since 2010 is already considerable.”

Read more and download larger sizes
Flickr user Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/10318663733/

What will life be like for sick and disabled people if the Tories win the election?

What cuts to benefits do the Tories propose?

The Tories want to cut benefits by 12 billion.

“We are the party of the working people offering you security at every stage of your life,”
David Cameron

“Every stage of your life” that is unless you become sick, disabled or unemployed.

Cameron made this claim in his election manifesto speech in which he proclaims his aim is to guarantee a “good life” for British workers and their families.

The fact that a 12 billion cut in benefits was included in their election manifesto as an intended vote catcher is truly sickening. I hope that those who would vote for the Tories on the basis of this would think the same way if one day they are sick, disabled or unemployed and need support for the basics of life.No one knows if any of these circumstances may befall them, the fact that people are willing to aid and abet the Tories to strip benefits from vulnerable people who depend on them through no fault of their own and to ultimately destroy our welfare system by voting for them on the basis of this vile committment is disturbing indeed.

On this basis

For claimants, especially those who are sick and disabled, the result of the next election could well have a dramatic effect on the quality of their lives for decades to come.
Read More:
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3046-big-cuts-to-disability-benefits-if-conservatives-win-warns-ifs

Sick and disabled claimants to lose up to £80 per week under leaked Tory plans

“The BBC News investigation uncovered several benefits under consideration for change, including:

  • Carer’s Allowance – this could be restricted to those eligible for Universal Credit. Leaked documents suggest about 40% of claimants would lose out. DWP predicted saving – £1bn
  • The contributory element of Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance – currently claimants who have paid enough National Insurance contributions can get the benefits with little means testing; DWP analysis suggests 30% of claimants, over 300,000 families, would lose about £80 per week. DWP predicted saving – £1.3bn in 2018/19
  • Disability benefits – Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance (for over 65s who have personal care needs) would no longer be paid tax free. Possible saving – £1.5bn per annum(based on IFS Green Budget calculation )
  • Industrial Injuries Compensation Scheme – could be replaced by companies providing industrial injury insurance policy for employees. Any that did not would become members of a default national industrial injuries scheme, similar to the programme for asbestos sufferers. DWP predicted saving – £1bn
  • Council Tax Support – to be incorporated into Universal Credit. Possible saving – not known
  • Child Benefit – Limiting the benefit to the first two children. Possible saving IFS estimates £1bn saving per annum in the long run but little initially
  • Regional Benefit Caps – The £23,000 limit would vary in different parts of the country, with for instance Londoners receiving the top amount due to the higher cost of living. Possible saving – not known and dependent on where levels were set”

Read More:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32084722

Previous benefit cuts and reforms

The following website gives details of the Significant changes that are being made to the benefits and tax credits system over the next few years. It also provides an archive of changes that have already happened:
http://www.turn2us.org.uk/information__resources/benefits/benefits_changes/benefit_changes_timetable.aspx

Here is an example of how welfare reforms have affected people with multiple needs.

This is an extract from the Voices From the Front Line project’s Interim report , highlighting the damage welfare reforms have caused to people with multiple needs and how the introduction of benefit sanctions has been the most negative aspect of welfare reforms for this group.

People with multiple needs experience several problems at the one time which may include the following: mental illnesses, homelessness,  drug and alcohol misuse, offending and family breakdown.

“We found that recent welfare reforms are having an overwhelmingly negative effect on people with multiple needs. They have led to financial and personal strain, and in some cases placed people at risk.There are particular concerns over the use of sanctions, and cuts to legal aid.

“We found that recent welfare reforms are having an overwhelmingly negative effect on people with multiple needs. They have led to financial and personal strain, and in some cases placed people at risk.There are particular concerns over the use of sanctions, and cuts to legal aid.

Welfare changes are having a severe effect on people’s mental health and well-being

  • 88% of services reported welfare changes had a negative effect on their clients’ overall wellbeing,and 86% on their mental health
  • Several services perceived an increased risk of suicide amongst their service users as a result.

Services report that the changes are not helping people with multiple needs to progress toward employment, and are placing them under financial and personal strain

  • Only two percent of services believed that welfare reforms have had a positive impact on people’s ability to engage with the job market, with 55% reporting a negative impact
  • 88% of services reported a negative impact on people’s finances, 82% on access to appropriate housing, and 73% on access to appropriate food and nutrition.

In some cases, welfare reforms are prompting re-offending and placing vulnerable women at risk

  • Many services described a pattern in which people with a history of offending behaviour would reoffend when placed under stress through changes to their benefits
  • Several services described vulnerable women turning to subsistence theft, sex work or being forced to depend on violent partners after losing their benefits

Benefit sanctions are significantly disadvantaging people with multiple needs

  • 79% of services reported that sanctions are affecting over half of their service users, and sanctions were viewed as having the most negative impact of all the welfare changes

Legal aid cuts are affecting a significant number of people with multiple needs

  • 64% of services said that cuts to legal advice are affecting over half their service users

Access the full report:
http://meam.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/EvidenceFromTheFrontline.pdf

About Voices from the front line:
http://www.drugscope.org.uk/partnersandprojects/Voices+from+the+Frontline
http://meam.org.uk/about-this-project/

Five more years of Tory cuts will turn back the clock to a time many considered long consigned to history, another five years may well see the end to the welfare system.

Say no to the destruction of our welfare system, stem the tide of vicious welfare reforms by not voting Tory.

Related Links

Reports on the impacts of public spending cuts across the whole of the UK:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/research/centres/chrp/projects/spendingcuts/resources/database/reportsgroups/#

http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/tory-cuts-as-bad-as-we-feared.html