History doesn’t do justice to the lives of disabled people. All too often we are hidden from history because our lives aren’t considered worthwhile and when we do appear the accounts are shaped by the views of others within stereotyped presentations of who and what we are. Rarely do disabled people get the opportunity to speak for ourselves and in so doing leave our imprint within history.
Today we want to make our voices heard and speak out along with others who wish to protest against the unjust measures being taken by the CONDEM Government. Today we want to ensure the 26th of March 2011 goes down in history as the first time since the 1920s that disabled people en bloc have joined a mainstream demonstration called by the Trade Union Congress.
To make sure disabled people on this March and those supporting us through virtual protests and other activities aren’t forgotten or left as footnotes in history, DPAC is launching a new project: Disabled People Make History in collaboration with Disability History Month and Spaghetti Gazetti.
We are asking disabled people to make notes during the day about either the events that are going on around them and their involvement, or on how they found the media coverage of disabled people’s participation, (this of course can include non media coverage), and then using whatever media suits them forward it to us so that we can get good coverage of disabled people and their stories at the demo together. If you want to we would also like to hear the main reason(s) you have come on the demo, what is that has got you involved in the rally and what you are doing to challenge this. We are looking for written material, texts, photos, clips, etc.
Depending upon the support we gain for this project our ultimate aim would be publish an edited book about disabled people’s participation within and experience of the biggest demonstration against the cuts. Of course there will be disabled people who would’ve liked to have been here but for various reasons can’t be, therefore, we will be inviting them to speak about their support and what alternative activities they took part in.
If you wish to be involved in or follow the progress of Disabled People Make History you can do this via: http://disabledpeopleprotest.wordpress.com. Email address for sending in your contributions will be firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing your stories post 26th March – this is just the beginning!