Activists in Birmingham staged a small demonstration today outside Selly Oak jobcentre where a Birmingham claimant this week set himself on fire in protest to changes to his benefits. According to The Guardian:
“A man has set himself on fire outside a Birmingham jobcentre after what reports suggest was an argument over benefit payments.
The 48-year-old unnamed man is understood to have doused himself in flammable liquid and tied himself to railings after a dispute inside the Jobcentre Plus in the Selly Oak area on Thursday.
Police arrived at the scene and extinguished the fire after the jobcentre was evacuated.
The man was later taken to hospital with burns to his legs.
A source with links to staff at the centre told the Guardian the man had been recognised by the staff as vulnerable with outstanding health issues but had recently been found fit to work precipitating a move from one benefit to another. This had caused payment delays.”
Whilst the imperialist media here in the UK is usually quick to praise such acts of self immolation when undertaken by reactionaries, fascists and medievalists in Tiananmen Square – our Police have decided that this individual needs a mental health assessment – and no doubt they’ll be quick to have him sectioned and away from the media spotlight! Its quite clear to us at Red Youth that it is this system of monopoly parasitism which needs to be treated urgently. An understanding of society (theory) and a way of uniting to change it (organisation) are the two things that we need to make the change necessary so that people aren’t driven to such acts of desperation. We need socialism now! Young people have everything to gain by getting involved in this process sooner rather than later. This world isn’t working for us and we deserve better!
Not only do we need to campaign against the bad conditions and lack of prospects for the youth in Britain today, but we need to work for a completely different type of society – one where people’s needs decide everything.
So many problems face this world: environmental catastrophe, poverty, disease, racism and war. They’ll never be solved while capitalism remains, but they could all be sorted if society was set up for the benefit of the majority rather than the private gain of a few billionaires.
Studying Marxism, organising the young people in your area and learning about how we fight for socialism is the only way we can defeat the ruling class.