Dozens of people campaigned against the arrest of a Tayside activist today after an alleged incident at a job centre.
Tony Cox, who is a member of the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, was arrested in Arbroath in connection with a disturbance that took place at the Chalmers Street Jobcentre Plus branch on Thursday.
The 51-year-old has been charged with threatening behaviour, refusing arrest and refusing to give his name and address.
Today, about 30 people turned out on the street outside the job centre to protest the police action and they heard speeches from Mike McGregor, of the Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions group, and Cox himself.
It was a peaceful gathering, but three police officers were stationed outside the job centre to prevent any potential trouble, as well as security staff from G4S inside the building.
Tony told the Tele he was overwhelmed by the support he had received.
He said: “I’m really taken aback by the response, I think it shows the depth of feeling there is about the issue.
“These are very vulnerable people and they are being treated as fodder for sanctions.
“It’s an absolute disgrace.
“The atmosphere inside these job centres is just like sitting outside the headmaster’s office waiting to get the strap.”
One of the protestors who joined the movement was John McGregor, 52, a member of the Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions organisation.
He said: “It’s been a great turnout today. There are people up from the Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (ECAP), people from Dundee, and we’ve had loads of support from all over.
“We’re hoping to get people in Arbroath to set up similar organisations as the ones we have in Dundee and Edinburgh, to go against the intimidation job seekers and the people helping them feel when they got to the Job Centre here.”