May 012014
 

Save the Independent Living Fund
“Nursing Homes Stink, They’re Worse than You Think.
We’d Rather Go to Jail Than Die in a Nursing Home”

jailnursing home ilf

Join us to protest against the closure of ILF on Monday, May 12th 3pm-5pm outside DWP head quarters, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9WA.

Nearest accessible tube –Westminster.

Click for Face Book Event Page

Bring things to make lots of noise. We have asked Mike Penning Minister for disabled people to join us but in case he doesn’t we need to make sure he knows we’re there.
————————————————————————————-
Dear Mike Penning,
We understand that you have stated publicly that you feel closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will not have any adverse effect on the ability of disabled people to live independently in the community, to be able to access education or to continue to be employed.

Disabled people who are ILF recipients do not agree with your view and are gathering to voice their fears for their futures on May 12th from 3-5pm outside Caxton House.

They would very much appreciate the opportunity to speak to you about their very valid concerns so although we know you must be a very busy person we hope you can join us to hear what disabled people are saying.

In the meantime we are attaching a small selection of case studies for your attention.

On behalf of DPAC ILF recipient support group
————————————————————————————————————————————-
What is the Independent Living Fund?
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is a ring-fenced pot of funding to provide funding to help 18,000 disabled people with high support needs live an independent life in the community rather than in residential care.

Closure of ILF: In March 2014 government decided to close the ILF in June 2015 in spite of a court ruling that said their previous decision to close ILF was in breach of the Equality Act. As usual DWP blatantly ignored the court.

Recommendations: Deaf and disabled people’s organisations and disabled people believe the ILF should be kept open and re-opened to new applicants for two key reasons:
- The ILF is a cost effective model of funding that successfully supports the independent living of those with the highest support needs.
- In stark contrast many Local Authorities only provide funding for basic a clean and feed model of care which ends independent living and inclusion in the community. This will leave many ILF users with a choice between inadequate care at home or an inactive, isolated life in a residential home.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 162013
 

MAD PRIDE
Billy Blake’s Birthday Bash

THURSDAY 28th NOVEMBER
8 until 11pm
Admission FREE

The Ivy House
40 Stuart Road
Nunhead, London SE15 3BE

The Ivy House has bus stops for 484 and 343 nearby.
Nearest Stations are Nunhead and Brockley which is well-served by trains from Highbury and Islington, Dalston Junction and London Bridge.


MP Blake_Web_regular

Jul 072013
 

You are welcome to apply for both posts or one.

Post One

Purpose of job: to assist a dyslexic person to transform her Masters dissertation research into a publishable paper.

My dissertation was entitled “Everywhere and Nowhere: The Construction of Whiteness White Disabled People’s Lives” It was done as part of my Masters in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity at Birkbeck, University of London.

£10 per hour.

Fixed funding has been secured to work with me at my home in Islington. Hours can be flexible, minimum seven hours a week until project is finished. Publication scheduled to be completed by November 2014, so hours may vary in accordance with projected deadlines.

Tasks include:

·         supporting me to structure and plan an article

·         typing from dictation

·         reading out loud

·         proofreading

Person specification:

Ability to support one person and work closely with them in a collaborative way ensuring that they have autonomy

·         confidence with entering into an academic process

·         ability to navigate electronic resources and libraries

·         fast and accurate typing

·         confidence and ability to read out loud

·         excellent attention to detail

·         excellent written English

·         ability to deal with stressful situations


Post Two

Purpose of job: To assist dyslexic person in all aspects of her role as an appeals worker at Enfield Disability Action. I am entering into a new contract, and therefore a new role.

£13 per hour.

12 hours per week for the first three months subject to review. Supported is funded by Access to Work and is subject to review by them after 3 months, and may go slightly up or down. Likely to be around 10-12 hours per week.  

You are required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously CRB check) in order to take up this post.

Tasks will include:

·         assisting with putting together training on welfare rights, housing and community care law

·         assisting with writing tribunal submissions

·         assisting with setting up and maintaining administrative systems for project management and monitoring 

·         assisting with all aspects of administration pertaining to this role.

Person Specification:

·         ability to work closely with one person under pressure as part of the team

·         confidence in reading out loud

·         excellent written English

·         fast and accurate typing

·         excellent attention to detail

·         ability to assist in organising a heavy workload

·         ability to deal with stressful situations

·         understanding of office systems or ability to gain it

·         good knowledge of Excel is desirable

CLOSING DATE (for both posts):      Saturday 13 July, 5pm.

It is preferable that you are able to be self-employed for both posts.  If you’re interested in either or both posts, please e-mail me explaining why you are interested in doing the work and why you think you meet the person specification. Also please state clearly which post(s) you would like to apply for. Please ensure you include your email and ‘phone number.

Interviews will take place on Wednesday 17 or Thursday 18 July. Jobs will start the week of 29 July if possible, subject to availability and DBS check.

To apply or if you have any questions please contact:

mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Jul 052013
 

202 – 206 Union Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0LH

 

Join us outside Remploy headquarters to protest against the closure of a further nine Remploy factories, leaving around 234 disabled workers at risk of redundancy in Leven, Cowdenbeath, Stirling, Dundee, Clydebank, Norwich, Portsmouth, Burnley and Sunderland.

Last year, the UK government announced plans to close 36 Remploy factories following a review of disability employment support. Commitments were made to support disabled workers into mainstream employment and to invest in the Access to Work programme.

A year on and the vast majority of the disabled workers left without employment after the closure of their factories and workplaces are still out of work while the Access to Work budget has been reduced.

The government claimed that the factories were unviable and cited the millions it was costing them to prop up failing factories.  These millions were being spent on layers of non-disabled management including bonuses while they were running the factories into the ground. The many failings and inefficiencies of Remploy were not the fault of the workers who carried out skilled jobs and who are now having their livelihoods taken away from them.

We will gather in solidarity with current and former Remploy workers from 12.15pm. Bring banners and noise.

If you are unable to join us then please send messages of solidarity to mail@dpac.uk.net which we will pass on.

Jun 302013
 

University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY

This meeting will be a chance for

- Local DPAC groups to share information and experiences and to network

- Find out more about and feed into the Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations Manifesto

- Feed into the planning of this year’s DPAC Week of Action and Freedom Drive

 

The venue is wheelchair accessible and BSL will be provided.

 

To RSVP or for other access enquiries please contact Ellen ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.co.uk or 07505144371

  

Many thanks to Inclusion London and to University of London Union for their support and facilities for this meeting.

Jan 102013
 

Next week sees 2 disabled people take on the government in a judicial review (1) on the grounds that the process is not accessible for people with mental health conditions.
 
On 15th, 16th & 18th of January lawyers for 2 members of the mental health resistance network
(2) will be in the administrative high court, the division of the royal courts of justice (3) which handles judicial reviews , in London .
The DWP introduced WCAs to assess disabled people for eligibility for disability benefits. Despite criticism from MPs,(4) the British Medical Association (5) and campaigners, this policy rumbles on.
 
Dozens of disabled people are dying every week (6) following assessment. nearly 40% (7) of those who appeal the decision to remove benefits, have the decision overturned, meaning thousands of people are wrongly being put through a traumatic and harrowing experience needlessly. The governments own appointed assessor of the policy has ruled it ‘unfit for purpose’ .
 
This isn’t good enough. This would not be acceptable in any other government contract, yet goes without comment or sanction by this government. No-one is called to account, no-one takes responsibility.
 
DPAC and MHRN call on ALL activists and supporters to join them in a vigil outside the court to show your support for those taking the case, and your disgust at this shameful and harmful policy.
 
Action is :
 
Weds 16th January
@ 12pm
Royal courts of justice, the strand, London wc2a 2ll.
 
Send a strong, clear signal to those who make the decisions.
 
We are NOT going away, we are not backing down. There is no hiding place.
 
We will fight you in parliament, on the streets and in the courts!
 
ENDS
 
p.s send messages of support to Mentalhealthresistance@lists.aktivix.org or mail@dpac.uk.net
 
1.http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/2012/07/26/judicial-review-of-work-capability-assessment-granted/
2. mentalhealthresistance.org
3. http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/rcj-rolls-building/administrative-court
4. http://www.disabilitywales.org/1168/3817
5. http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/gps-vote-to-end-the-atos-farce/
6. http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/04/32-die-a-week-after-failing-in.html
7. http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/press_20120817

Oct 032012
 

This is the page to see all of the latest news on events that are happening in the space. Be aware dates and times may be subject to change.

Saturday October 6th:

Sunday October 7th:

2-4pm – Occupy Design UK invites you to bring radical design, artwork and ideas to the first of a serious of events we will be doing at the CutsCafe. This will be a space to plan creative responses to the cuts, make some work and decorate the new building with audacious radical art. See:http://occupydesign.org.uk/

Monday October 8th:
7.30-9pm Disabled People Against the Cuts: Direct Action for everybody. Why we do it and how to plan it.

Tuesday October 9th:

1pm-5.30pm Green and Black Cross Legal Observer Training: A hands on training about dealing with the police and supporting protest on mass and smaller direct actions.

7pm-8.30pm Waging a Living Underground: Cleaners fighting back and winning, a talk by Nigerian born RMT organiser Clara Osagiede

7pm-9pm Fitwatch present: Direct Action is a powerful tactic against the snooping and prying of Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and their new sidekicks, Police Liaison Officers. A little organised resistance can stop the FIT / PLOs from getting their ‘intel’ at crucial times -such as when they are recording the clothing and shoes of people in that quiet time when people are gathering for demos. Action like this can be very effective at keeping people out of police and prison cells. This is a meeting to discuss the role of FIT and PLOs, to share experiences of action against them, and to discuss ideas of how we might deal with them on the 20th October.

Wednesday October 10th:

6pm- Atomic Weapons Eradication present: Whats the connection between resisting cuts and resisting the replacement of Trident? We’re all seeing the impact of austerity on our communities. So it’s difficult to believe that Trident submarines are being replaced at a cost of £25 billion and that the arms trade is propped up by £700 million of public funds a year. Come to this workshop to learn more about Trident and military spending and to discuss possibilities for direct action.  http://actionawe.org/

8pm-9.30pm No Pay, No Way: Interns pressure group fighting for entry level positions in workplaces and an end to unpaid labour. The group comprises current, ex interns and those who cant afford internships at all. No Pay No Way organises predominantly but not exclusively the NGO and charity sector. This workshop is about fighting back!

Thursday October 11th:

5pm-6pm- Occupiers present: An Assembly on Assemblies! Groups including #15m and #occupy will talk about their experiences in public assemblies and possible structures, including consensus.

6pm-7pm- Robin Hood Tax: Dispelling the myths of the financial transaction tax and what it could mean for the UK.

7pm-8:30pm- UKUNCUT present: From Anger to Creative Action  www.ukuncut.org.uk/

Friday October 12th:

6pm-7pm: Austerity and Violence Against Women: how women under economic and physical attack are reclaiming their future – with Sarah Day, Caseworker with women surviving domestic abuse.

7/8pm TBC: Open mic, improv, & poetry against the cuts.

Saturday October 13th:

ALL DAY EVENT: 12pm-8pm Capitalism for Anti-Capitalists: Join Kaput and Corporate Watch for an introductory session into the economics of the global capitalist system.

ALL DAY EVENT: 1pm Onwards- A future that works art workshop: A collaborative art workshop

7pm-9pm- Who Polices The Police? The family of Sean Rigg, a 40-year old black musician killed in police custody join with Ken Fero.

Sunday October 14th:

1pm-3pm- Able to Fight: Welfare Reform, Disability and Resistance: Michael Calderbank

3pm-5pm Stop the G8: The G8 conference is in the UK in Summer 2013. Never mind their nonsense about alleviating poverty and hunger, the G8 leaders will use the conference to dismantle borders for capital, financial investment, privatisation and policing. At the same time they will enforce borders for ordinary workers when it suits them and plan to further the domination of
natural resources by global elites.

A coalition of activists has formed to plan a mass mobilisation against the conference on the basis of non-hierarchy and a respect for diversity of tactics. Come and find out how to get involved. More info at https://network23.org/stopg8/

5-7pm Strike Debt: Jonathan Stevenson of the Jubilee Debt Campaign and David Graeber

Monday October 15th:

CUTS CAFE MATINEE 2-4pm Film Showing: SANKARA with Jonathan Stevenson of the Jubilee Debt Campaign

7pm-8pm- Ewa Jasiewicz: Skillshare how to organise your work place? Tools, Tactics, Ideas

8pm-9.30pm Radical London present: ”Community Organising to defeat cuts but also as direct action to build a real alternative to the system that makes them” -http://www.radicallondon.net/

Tuesday October 16th:

6-8pm: No Future in ‘a Future that Works’: Two Critiques of the TUC

A lot of protest in recent years against austerity follows the following blueprint: the TUC (or the NUS etc.) call for a day of
action and people to the left of the TUC seize this opportunity to modify, radicalise, or to oppose the TUC’s politics. What unifies
these radical criticisms is a dissatisfaction with the TUC’s call, aims and tactics. However, what exactly “we” oppose is rarely
discussed – it seems that almost any critique of the TUC and its “conservative” anti-austerity is acceptable.

Consequently we do not engage with each other. Conflicting accounts are not discussed, mere assertion of opposition suffices. This
situation seems to us to be unsatisfactory.

Hence, we call this meeting to discuss our critique of the TUC. “We” is in this case, on the one hand, some students who were active in the 2010 student movement and, on the other hand, the Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London. Each group will present its own critique of the TUC’s call “A future that works”. Afterwards, we
want to critique each other, receive critiques from the audience, and develop a clearer account of why the TUC’s “alternative” to the cuts should be resisted. The guiding question will be: “For what reason do we oppose ‘A future that works’?”.

The TUC’s campaign pamphlet can be accessed here:
- http://afuturethatworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/aftw-booklet.pdf

Wednesday October 17th:

3pm-5pm- Ken Loach Presents: “which side are you on?”, Short film on 9/11 and Q and A

6pm-7:30pm- London Coalition Against Poverty:  Fighting for our rights to housing and welfare: Mutual support and direct action work!

7.30pm Film Screening: Riot From Wrong

Thursday October 18th:

6pm-7.30pm Marindela – The Spanish Communist Utopia: Dan Hancox, Guardian journalist and author.

6-8pm The future isn’t working: Life beyond the wage and work beyond the wage by Michael Calderbank, Red Pepper

7:30-9:00pm Fuel Poverty Action present: What is fuel poverty in relation to cuts/ capitalism/ climate change and how can we take action against those causing it over the coming winter.

For more see: http://cutscafelondon.wordpress.com/events/

 

Aug 302012
 

Friday 31st August
Atos HQ,Triton Square, London
12:45pm 
Don’t let Atos be a winner at the Paralympic Games – join us for The Closing Atos Ceremony, the grand finale to Disabled People Against Cuts’ week of Atos Games.
Atos are sponsoring the Paralympics, whilst wrecking disabled people’s lives. George Osborne has vowed to slash £18 billion from the welfare budget, regardless of peoples’ needs and ignoring the alternatives. To help them do their dirty work, the Government are paying Atos £100 million a year to ‘test’ sick and disabled people and decide whether they’re ‘fit for work’.
But Atos’ Work Capability Assessments are driving disabled people to suicide and over 1,000 people have died of their illnesses soon after being found ‘fit for work’.
The Government claim that the welfare system is being abused- this just isn’t true. Less than 0.4% of Incapacity benefit payments are fraudulent, but the government want to cut welfare spending by 20%. And instead of helping to get people into work; the government are closing workplaces for disabled people.
The Government and Atos don’t give a toss about disabled people. This is about making ordinary people pay for a crisis caused by the bankers. It’s about making disabled people pay, instead of super-rich tax dodgers who cost us over £25billion every year. This is an ideological attack on the welfare state; these cuts are a political choice. But we’re fighting back.

On Friday 31 August, UK Uncut and DPAC will be shutting down Atos’ London HQ for the Closing ATOS Ceremony. Meet in Triton Square at 12:45pm for direct action and creative protest, with plenty of surprises…
The nearest fully accessible underground station is Kings Cross. From there, catch Bus 30 towards Marble Arch or Bus 205 towards Paddington from stop R or A, and get off at Warren Street, bus stop V. BSL Interpretted event.

This action needs you! Join for the afternoon, or come on your lunch break. There will be lots of ways to take part – hand out leaflets hold banners, or get involved in creative and daring ways. If you’re not in London, check the DPAC website for details and other ways to get involved in The Atos Games.

Atos are making millions of pounds enforcing the government’s unnecessary cuts. It’s up to all of us to fight back, defend our welfare system, and demand the alternatives. Let’s show them that we do give a toss.

See you at Atos HQ!

_______________________________________________________________

 

May 162012
 

July 7th to 14th – at sites across London
Applications due Monday, June 11th

If you are aged 16 – 30 and see injustice, pollution, racism, poverty in your community and want support in how to effectively tackle these issues, or know someone who is, then read on! ‘So We Stand’ Summer School is an intensive 1-week introduction to community organizing and social change.

The School exists to harness our anger at economic, environmental, racial and social oppression. The School exists to catalyse self-organisation + self-mobilisation into building strength in our communities to defend and confront oppression over the coming years. The School is chiefly dedicated to building the skills of young women, young people of colour, working class people, and queer people and those with different mental and physical abilities as the next generation of leaders in the social justice movement. Limited places welcome to people all across the UK – please email sowestand@gmail.com for an application form ASAP.

The School aspires to turn marginalisation and isolation into politically powerful support systems, ideas for actions and long term strategic organising. We will be challenged with new ways of thinking, provocative speakers, inspiring mentors and fascinating guests with a deep understanding of engaging with the head, heart and hand. Youth affected by economic inequality understand oppression because it is daily life – you don’t need to read it in a textbook. The School exists to harness our anger at oppression and turn our anger into political organising against it. The School exists to encourage self-determination and self-mobilisation into building positive communities who can defend and confront oppression over the coming years. We’re looking for advice or involvement in any of those areas. Join us for a week of experiences and ideas, and help us change things.

SWS provides a transformative framework to develop your organising skills, methods for empowerment and political education. SWS Summer School is organised around 3 pillars:

1. COMMUNITY ORGANISING + EMPOWERMENT LEARNING – to deepen the context of power and resistance in the UK. The educational tools will strengthen knowledge for our community based projects work within working class communities and communities of colour, fighting alongside people for their rights along with examples for global fights for hands on, effective community power. We shall look into how to turn marginalisation and isolation into politically powerful support systems, ideas for actions and long term strategic visions. Participants will be challenged with new ways of thinking, provocative speakers, inspiring mentors and fascinating guests from a range of communities facing injustice. Together, we will develop ideas for hands-on, effective, community projects.

2. EMPOWERMENT ORGANISING MENTORS –  to build long-term relationships with those who participate, through mentoring with activist elders, peer support, more frequent workshops and through participation in events within the local community, at youth centres and social nights to deepen the practice of critical community organising. The mentor programme will continue relationship building between front-line activists and supporters to deepen transformative possibilities for greater positive change and strategic visioning for movement building today.

3. SKILLS TRAINING – to learn the tools to build power and excitement in your community to tackle injustice. The trainings will be a building block to deepen within your organising internships. You will develop skills such as popular education, storytelling, building connections across cultures, radical education, direct action, monitoring police brutality, reclaiming space, spoken word and creating conscious music, anti-oppression organising, anti-racist and environmental justice training.

SWS Summer School is ideally a week-long full-time commitment. You’ll spend at least 25 hours in the week in our political education + skills training sessions. SWS intends to provide practical support you may need and expenses will be covered. Everyone involved in the School – organisers, volunteers, attendees, speakers and facilitators -  are active participants and will build the curriculum to sort all our needs.

In the meantime we need mass involvement to enable the School to reach its full power. If you have a little or a lot of time and want to gain experience in organising empowering and action orientated education programmes for our people on the frontline of injustice then please simply email sowestand@gmail.com or call 0044 (0) 7514326539. If you have further questions about SWS Summer School into social justice and community organising, please get in contact ASAP.

So We Stand – stand shoulder to shoulder with communities on the front-lines of social, racial and environmental injustice.
 

By dan glass
15th May 2012

 reposted from: http://www.campaigncentral.org.uk/opinion/so-we-stand-summer-activism-school-introduction-community-organising-and-social-change-2012

Apr 182012
 

 

Starting at Leicester Sq

 

Disabled people came from different parts of the country and assembled at Leicester Square and moved off towards Trafalgar Square. It started raining intermittently. Police accompanied us and were not happy that we were on the road. They tried to get information and we heard them asking what were our plans but none of us spoke to them.

Arriving at Trafalgar Square, 2 groups of wheelchair users split up and block up two junctions. Police tried to get us off the street while activists chanted and voiced their protests.

 
In the pouring rain the activists stayed put inspite of the police trying to move us on and the drummers kept spirits up while we chatted and handed out post cards to passer bys.

drummers

the Scottish contingent

Time went by very quicky and we decided to finish at 4pm and ended then. Thank you everybody for making it such a success! Rights not Charity!

More photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/disabledpeopleprotest/sets/72157629847654023/with/6945227156/

http://www.demotix.com/news/1162942/disabled-people-against-cuts-demonstration-held-london

More news from the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/18/disability-benefits-cuts-protest-trafalgar-square?CMP=twt_gu

from Harpy Marx http://harpymarx.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/todays-block-the-road/

from Johny Void http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/disabled-protesters-bring-traffic-chaos-to-central-london/

DPAC is on twitter : @dis_ppl_protest

and on Face Book under :DPAC

Jan 302012
 

Many thanks to Emma (@pseudodeviant) for letting us repost this.

This morning I got up very early and (with help from my wonderful partner & carer) got dressed, drugged and ready to catch a train to London.

After the normal mess around with trains and alike we made it to Euston station in a fairly bright mood. We decided to save some money and roll down to the DPAC meeting point (MacDonalds on Regent Street at 11.30am) which took a while. Luckily for me, the first face I saw was that of blogger Latent Existence which was a lovely surprise, especially when it transpired we had actually met at an action in Birmingham ages ago. There was a bit of milling about whilst the plan was explained to us;

  1. Collect a D-Lock and keys.
  2. Get into place at Oxford Circus (where Oxford Street & Regent Street cross).
  3. When the lights change UK Uncut activist would run across with a chain which would have each end attached to a lamppost.
  4. Wheelchairs were to roll over to the crossing and line up along the chain.
  5. Lock the wheelchair to the chain and start protesting!

Whilst waiting for it to begin I spoke to a few journalists that had found us and explained my reasons for being there;

I wanted to protest against the both the Welfare Reform Bill and the cruel way it effects disabled people & children as well as the associated vilification of the disabled, poor and vulnerable. The government has decided to combat a fraud rate of 0.5% that they will take 20% off Disability Living Allowance by re-branding and reforming it into Personal Independence Payments (PIP). In doing so they are removing the assistance from DLA/PIP from 199 genuinely disabled people for every 1 ‘fraudster’* they catch. So they can remove so many they have made the criteria for PIP even more stringent than with DLA and they are including regular repeat assessments – regardless of whether your disability can ever improve or not. I wrote about how important my DLA is to me and the struggles I had obtaining it recently. The Responsible Reform Report (dubbed the Spartacus Report) details many areas of key concern better than I could here and it makes interesting reading if you fancy it.
The Conservative led government has done what it always does when they want to cut benefits to the poor and the vulnerable. First they leak press stories vilifying the targets, then when public opinion is on their side they strike with cruel reforms & cuts. We’ve been watching over the last couple of years as more and more horrid and twisted headlines about fake disabled people, scroungers and those seeking an easy life on ‘lavish’ benefits have filled up our press. I’ve popped some examples of recent press headlines on the right. All of these are real and all of them have helped shape public opinion. We’ve seen disability hate crime soar up by 75% and most I’ve spoken to have noticed it. I blogged this December about my experiences at the local Christmas market and I’ve been stopped in the street by strangers who ask me “Do you really need that wheelchair or are you just pretending?”. It’s both annoying and painful but still, I’m lucky that I’ve not been on the end of some of the violent abuse that many others cite having experienced.

To make it all the more poignant, yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day. A day during which we remembered those who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazi party. The party wished for racial purity and in 1933 began forcibly sterilising disabled people under the “Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring”. By 1939 they began “euthanising” children born with severe defects and within months the criteria for eligibility for “euthanasia” was both relaxed and extended to older children, adolescents, and adults. But before this started happening the Nazi propaganda mill tried to make sure that the public were on side with gems like this poster:

A German propaganda poster from 1938″60000 Riechmarks, this is what this person suffering from hereditary defects costs the Community of Germans during his lifetime. Fellow Citizen, that is your money, too.” It’s so similar to last years tabloid headlines it chills my blood looking at it.



That’s why I joined the protest. That’s why I and many others chained ourselves in our wheelchairs across Oxford Circus. We see what is happening, how our rights are being eroded away and how thoughtless government propaganda is ruining our right to live free from fear and intimidation. We see all this and we are angry. We won’t go down without a fight. Even if it near kills us.

The protest itself was brilliant. No sooner had we done up our D-locks and settled into a chorus of “No ifs, no buts, no disability cuts!” than the sound of sirens filled the air. The police & some people that I assume were fancy shop security (given the odd beefeater meets bellhop uniforms) surrounded us quite quickly but did nothing. The atmosphere was great, angry yet positive, vulnerable yet strong as steel. We had a wonderful time and met some fantastic people. I spoke to journalists, independent media and radio crews and watched as some amazing people got filmed by the BBC & Sky. We had initially thought we would get an hour at the most before the bolt-cutters cam out and we were either arrested or dispersed. I think that because of the amount of media attention we had the police were loathe to act and risk bad publicity. They also would have had a big job trying to arrest all of the wheelchair users as I don’t think their vans are particularly accessible. Still, by 12.45 the police were telling us that we could either move over and just block one side of the road (the street behind us was strewn with abandoned buses) or we could stay and they would take ‘appropriate action’. Many of those chained up expressed a wish to stay and risk arrest simply to show how serious they were about protesting the Welfare Reform Bill. Sadly we had to leave before the end as we had a train to catch but twitter informed me that everything broke up peacefully at around 2pm with no arrests or trouble.

To finish on a brighter note are some pictures from today’s demo;

The wheelchair line getting into place.


Me and my partner fashionably sporting chains and a Green Party flag.

(Picture via @HeardInLondon)

DPAC protesters – not all of us use wheelchairs (Picture via @HeardInLondon)

Legal Observers – the person in orange was from Green and Black Cross, the person at the back with a camcorder works for the Met.

* let us remember that this term also includes disabled people that aren’t technically ‘disabled enough’ to receive DLA.

Media Links (edited to add more as they arrive):

 

Jan 292012
 

Disabled people protest at Welfare Reform Bill [BBC video]

Campaigners protest in London over disability cuts [BBC Breakfast video]

BBC Radio news headlines [BBC London 94.9 FM] (Jump to 57 minutes)

Disability campaigners stage central London protest against welfare reforms [Guardian with video]

Activists join together to fight ConDem attacks on the disabled [Indymedia]

Disabled bring Oxford Circus to a halt in welfare cuts demonstration [Mirror]

Wheelchair users chain themselves together and blocked centrael London over welfare cuts [Mail on Sunday]

Disabled Protesters Block Regent Street [Sky News]

Disability campaigners occupy Oxford Circus [ITN Video]

The demonisation of the disabled is a chilling sign of the times [The Observer]

Disabled People’s Protest In Oxford Circus [Personal report from Pseudodeviant

Disabled Protesters Block Regent Street LBCFM 97.3

Disabled people lead central London blockade in Welfare Benefits protest | Ekklesia

Photo sets: Demotix1 Demotix2 DPAC [Flickr]

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/888720-oxford-street-brought-to-a-standstill-by-uk-uncut-protesters

UK Uncut joins fight against welfare reform bill Guardian 25th Jan

Blogs, local coverage, You Tube and others

Excellent video showing D.A.N (Direct Action Network) at full power
Disabled People against Cuts by Lee Nichols

From Politicus

DISABLED ACTIVISTS BLOCK OXFORD STREET | Politicus

From Fitzrovia News

Protesters block Oxford Circus in demonstration against Welfare

From Able Magazine (links to Guardian video)

Welfare reforms protest blocks Oxford Circus – video »

Photos from Citizenside
Disabled protestors block Oxford Circus in protest against cuts

FromMSN News

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Virgin Media

Disabled Groups in Welfare Protest

From Lancashire Evening Post

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Morley Observer and Advertiser

Disabled groups in welfare Protest

From Liverpool Daily Post

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Scarborough Evening News

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Newmarket Journal

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Doncaster Free Press

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Mansfield Chat

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Dewsbury Reporter

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Burnley Express

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From North Wales Weekly News

Disabled groups in welfare protest

From Retford Today

Disabled groups in welfare protest

———

We know that is much more at the local level with most local newspapers covering -Let us know if you find more ….

with thanks to Steven Sumpter @latentexistance for national links and thanks to all that made this a success!

Nov 262011
 

As part of December’s month of festive action against Atos and the benefit cuts, disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be demonstrating outside the Paralympic Goal Ball test event being held at the Olympic Park in Stratford on Saturday 3rd December from 2pm.

Atos are the French IT firm responsible for carrying out the government’s Work Capability Assessment which has led to tens of thousands of sick and disabled people being forced into poverty after being stripped of essential benefits.  Despite the process being dubbed unfit for purpose and an increasing number of suicides due to the stressful and vicious health testing regime, this form of assessment is to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit.

When not bullying disabled people Atos are also the official IT partners of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Join us to ensure that Atos do not receive one ounce of positive publicity from this role, as they champion their support for disabled athletes with one hand whilst destroying the lives of of disabled and sick benefit claimants with the other.

On December 3rd, International Disabled People’s Day, protesters will be gathering outside the entrance of the Olympic Park in Stratford at the Paralympic Goalball test event.  Join us from 2pm and let’s show the world what Atos really think about disabled people.

Bring banners, placards, noise!

Travel to Stratford station (DLR, Central/Jubilee Lines, London Overground) and then follow the indications to the Olympic Park entrance via Westfield Stratford City shopping centre. The route from the station to the entrance of the Olympic Park is approximately 600 metres.

A Real Victorian Christmas Party and Picnic at Triton Square

Friday 16th December – 2pm
Triton Square , London NW1

Join us at the home of poverty pimps Atos for a Christmas Party to celebrate the continuing struggle against disability deniers Atos.

As part of the month of festive action against Atos and the benefit cuts, disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be visiting French IT company Atos’ gleaming corporate headquarters to celebrate the real Victorian Christmas being inflicted on hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people this Christmas.

As Atos CEO Keith Wilman tucks into his organic tax-payer funded Christmas turkey, hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled will be spending Christmas terrified a letter from his company may land on their doorstep demanding that they attend one of Atos’ notorious ‘Work Capability Assessments’.  These flawed tests have led to tens of thousands of sick and disabled people being forced into poverty after being stripped of essential benefits.

Despite the process being dubbed unfit for purpose and an increasing number of suicides, due to the stressful and vicious health testing regime, this form of assessment is to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit.

Join us on Friday 16th December at 2pm as we continue the struggle against the unending war on benefit claimants and disabled people.  We will not pay for their crisis.

Bring scabies, TB, rickets, begging bowls and child labour*.  Peelers not invited.

*Also banners, placards, food to share, leaflets, noise.

Atos are based at Triton Square , less than five minutes walk from Warren Street and Great Portland Street tube stations and less than ten minutes from Euston.

Main Month of Action event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/122853381158514/

Apr 072011
 

with thanks to Pete Riches

Roger Lewis (Disabled People Against Cuts) : P4058523

Roger Lewis Lambeth DPAC

Following the highly successful T.U.C. “March for the Alternative” march in London last weekend which saw over half a million Trade unionists, Public Services workers, anti-cuts campaigners, disability rights campaigners, students and many other supporters, the Right To Work Campaign held a local strategy and planning meeting in London’s Conway Hall.

Hearing first from John McDonnell MP, there followed inspirational speeches and ideas from a wide range of speakers who (though all appearing in a personal capacity) represented striking teachers, Unite Union, the campaign to save the Philosophy Dept at University of Greenwich, Mental health nurses, Camden Against Cuts, St. George’s Hospital, Queers Against the Cuts, Unison and UCU. Roger Lewis of the Lambeth Disabled People Against Cuts spoke for DPAC.

Though the media preferred to focus on the small pockets of trouble makers later on in the day the march was a huge triumph, and served not only as a massive public statement on David Cameron’s public sector cuts, but also served as a clarion call of national unity to public sector workers and rights campaigners from all over the country. Starved of proper media support, the march gave everyone their first palpable sense of how many people are being affected by the cruel cuts, and it also let everyone know that they are not alone in this.

Tonight’s public meeting was just the first in many direct action and possible strike action strategy and planning meetings for those whose very livelihoods are directly threatened by the ideologues driving Con-Dem policy.

Full set of photos are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteriches/sets/72157626320412651/with/5596329063/

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