Participation and the Practice of Rights and the Right to Work: Right to Welfare group (R2W), in partnership with the Golden Thread Gallery and Cumann Scannán Loch Lao, are delighted to bring you two free screenings of Ken Loach’s award winning film, I, Daniel Blake, as part of the Out to Lunch Festival.

GOLDEN THREAD GALLERY  84- 94 Great Patrick Street, Belfast BT1 2LU Wednesday 18th January, 7PM |Unreserved seating. Doors open at 6.45pm

AN CHULTÚRLANN 216 Falls Rd, Belfast BT12 6AH Wednesday 25th January, 7PM | Unreserved seating. Doors open at 6.45pm

The Right to Work; Right to Welfare group have been given special permission by Ken Loach and Sixteen Films to screen the award winning film I, Daniel Blake. The film captures what the R2W group of unemployed activists have heard from thousands of people at every dole office in Belfast over four years of organising and campaigning for REAL JOBS NOW! and the #PeoplesProposal. They will use the events to build support for the #PeoplesProposal campaign for due process and impact assessment for the sick, disabled and unemployed facing benefit sanctions. The scale of welfare sanctions is growing and set to get worse with the collapse of the Assembly following the recent RHI scandal.

On her last speech to the assembly the First Minister Arlene Foster stongly defended herself against allegations of corruption and negligence linked to the RHI heating scheme scandal which could cost the public half a billion pounds. She said;‘Would you tolerate for one second action being taken against a constituent on the basis of utterly unsubstantiated allegations? I sincerely hope you wouldn’t.’

From June 2015 - August 2016 11,230 decisions were made by 88 government decision makers to remove Employment and Support allowance from the sick and disabled. From April – June 2016 the monthly average of sanctions imposed by 51 government decision makers on Job Seekers was 942. 

These actions were taken against the most vulnerable people in our society without due process or impact assessment. A recent FOI revealed that the Department do not even monitor the impact of sanctions on families with children. R2W launched the #PeoplesProposal campaign in March 2016 following four years of surveying the impact of benefit sanctions at Belfast dole offices. The People Proposal calls for simple safeguards which can be implemented locally to guarantee due process and impact assessment.

To date it has been supported by MLAs from the Ulster Unionist Party, Social Democratic Labour Party, Green Party, People Before Profit, the Sinn Féin Mayor of Derry, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (trade union representing socials security agency staff), Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, 1000 unemployed people and wide range of advice and support agencies.

Join us at one of the screenings for a discussion about the R2W campaign to challenge the unfair welfare sanctions system.