Man sets himself on fire outside Birmingham jobcentre

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princess mob
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Jul 2 2012 03:18
Man sets himself on fire outside Birmingham jobcentre

From the guardian

Quote:
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.

An unnamed witness who spoke to the Birmingham Mail said: "The guy came into the jobcentre with petrol and made threats, so they evacuated the whole building. I think it was something to do with a payment he had not received.

"He tied himself to the railings and tore open the bottom of his trousers. You could smell the fumes from the liquid he used, but the police arrived by the time he had set himself alight and they managed to put him out quite quickly.

"He would have to have been very desperate to have done something like that. It's shocking that somebody could have been driven to those depths."

West Midlands police said the man was undergoing a mental health assessment.

A spokesman for the PCS union, which represents staff at the centre, said: "While we still don't know the full circumstances, it's tragic and very sad that anyone could be driven to such a desperate act."

The incident follows an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office earlier this year.

bloody hell.

Tim Finnegan's picture
Tim Finnegan
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Jul 2 2012 11:01

I'm guessing this is at least partially inspired by Mohamed Bouazizi. Does that seem likely?

Mark.
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Jul 2 2012 11:36

List of deaths, including suicides, linked to welfare reform

http://calumslist.org/

wojtek
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Jul 2 2012 12:54
Quote:
List of deaths, including suicides, linked to welfare reform

http://calumslist.org/

Ed Miliband said of the French IT multinational Atos: "I am very pleased that Lawrence Fitzpatrick and Iain Gray invited me to see the great work that goes on in Atos Origin - everything from supporting the NHS to helping run the Olympic Games."

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Ellar
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Jul 2 2012 12:49
Quote:
I'm guessing this is at least partially inspired by Mohamed Bouazizi. Does that seem likely?

That's the most depressingly cynical comment I've read in a long while.

Tim Finnegan's picture
Tim Finnegan
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Jul 2 2012 16:23

Why's that? All I meant was that self-immolation as a form of protest against economic immiseration is in the public conciousness right now.

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 4 2012 14:39

some weirdos can be driven by the circumstances to even more desperate acts:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/10320553

Quote:
Eviction man guns down four people

The gunman had been due to be removed from the apartment in Karlsruhe, Germany for not paying the rent.

He shot dead a court bailiff, a locksmith, one other person and the woman who was due to move in.

Initially police thought he had taken some of the victims hostage and lay siege to the flat.

Eventually officers stormed the apartment and found the bodies, including that of the gunman, a spokesman said.

It was not clear whether police had ever managed to make any contact with the gunman before the hostages were killed.

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 5 2012 12:02

more on the above-mentioned shooting in Karlsruhe: it seems that this wasn't an act of desperation, the killing was meticulously planned, among the victims is also the former partner of the murderer (who also had far right political views)

proletarian.
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Jul 5 2012 12:27

I was gonna say that's what idealism leads people to do...but maybe what goes in hand with a bloke like that (far right views) is that he thought there was a personal conspiracy against him. This conspiracy theoryism and idealistic 'morality' seems to be the order of the day more and more. Perhaps this kind of bullshit will grow with capitalism's crisis? It certainly did the last time (at a state level) a crisis of this scale occurred.

wojtek
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Feb 13 2013 22:18

04/01/2013 - Two Spaniards self-immolate due to financial problems

13/02/2013 - France Nantes: Man burns himself to death at job centre