Benefit Sanctions as Weapons of State Violence (EP2)
Deaths by Welfare Podcast
Both research and the testimonies of disabled activists and bereaved families have repeatedly shown the harms of benefits sanctions and how sanctions lead to people’s deaths. In this episode, we hear from a range of people with lived and learned experience about the complexity of sanctions, how they make life unliveable, and about routes to justice.
We are joined by “Ben”, who shares his experience of being sanctioned; Jamie Redman, who’s done research to understand the rationale behind sanctions from the perspective of frontline workers at job centres.
Content warning: attempted suicide, systemic racism. There are content warnings in the audio just before suicide is discussed, which advise about where to stop and start listening depending on what you feel able to listen to at this time. Please do what feels right for you.
- Our draft Deaths by Welfare timeline: documenting 50 years of deaths linked to the welfare system, including evidence on the harms of benefits sanctions
- @BenClaimant (twitter account): Activist and campaigner sharing experiences and useful resources for those experiencing benefit sanctions
- Public Law Project information on benefits sanctions
- Jamie Redman’s research on frontline workers and benefits sanctions (open access)
- Research on inequalities and racism within the sanctions regime (open access)
Video with BSL interpretation and live captions:
The Deaths by Welfare Podcast is part of our wider investigation into deaths linked to welfare reform and the violence of state austerity. The knowledge and leadership of disabled people fighting fatal reforms is central to this work, and this podcast aims to bring some of these voices together to understand how policies designed in the name of ‘welfare’ can create the conditions for people’s deaths.
Intro music and sound design by Rosemary Moss, with audio testimonies from Vince Laws, and the ‘Right to Record’ action group, collected by Hannah Kemp-Welch.
BSL interpretation by Sumayya Si-Tayeb.
Produced and edited by Healing Justice Ldn.