Last year during the ATOS Games over 30 local actions took place around the UK. They were really important for getting the message to members of the public and raising awareness about what this government is doing to disabled people.
This year you get to choose the target of your choice. You could take the Reclaiming Our Futures manifesto to present at your local MP’s constituency office, spread it through social media, protest on the streets against segregated education, the proposed ILF closure or show solidarity at your local Remploy site (for those few factories in their last weeks of operation). Alternatively, you might want to lobby your local Council on the Bedroom Tax and cuts to local services/support. Oh, and as we know ATOS offices are still around too….
You could decide to hold an arts event or a debate to raise awareness about disabled people’s rights. There are a number of films listed below showing disabled people’s protest or the brilliant work of Katherine Araniello providing a wry insight into prejudice and the social model discussion event on 1st September will be live streamed for virtual particpation.
How you organise your local actions is entirely up to you but there is a set of resources to download below that might be useful to ensure you get as much local publicity as possible and could give you more time to concentrate on building bigger protests.
Thanks to the local groups who have shared these with us and if you have any resources that other actions and campaigns might find useful please do send them in.
We can help promote your actions on the DPAC website to build as much support as possible so send us information that we can publish about when and where local actions are taking place.
Resources to download:
– Template press release: ROF template PR
– Flyer promoting grand finale of the week of action on 4th September: flyer 3
– Letter to send to your MPs inviting them to the lobby in Parliament and launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto: Dear MP
– Flyer for the lobby and launch: flyer – lobby (3)
– Easy read information about the week of action: DPAC easy read (2)
– Reclaiming Our Futures graphic: graphic
– Films list: Films
– Guide to organising a local action: How to Guide
– Easy read ‘Planning a Campaign’ information: campaigns (DPAC)
And of course, back this year by popular demand…. Barbie shows us how to organise a demo….How to do a demo
Don’t forget to make sure your friends, family and fellow campaigners have information about the week of action and armchair activism guide and let us know how you get on.
Together we can reclaim our futures!
1. Use our spectacular DPACtweetmachine for easy tweeting over the 7 days from http://dftr.org.uk/DPAC-rof-tweets/–just click and tweet a pre-loaded tweet, or suggest some of your own- follow @dis-ppl-protest to get links for each day of action
2. Email your MP and tell them what’s happening ,ask them to come to the launch of the UK manifesto–see https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/write-to-your-mp-about-our-dpac-lobby-on-4th-sept/ for text
MPs can be found here http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
3. Email your local councillor Find them through your local council website or http://www.writetothem.com/ see https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/write-to-your-local-councillor-on-the-bedroom-tax/ for text
please send any copies of responses to email@example.com.
4. Sign the wow petition http://wowpetition.com/
5. Send some underpants to I. D. S who has to use tax payers money or expenses because he can’t afford his own from his multi-million funds
See facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/events/614672968553842/
See You Tube vid here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DZHkkaiRSA
Alternatively spread the vid and facebook page to others through twitter and FB – let’s make IDS pants go viral-they’re already on fire!
6. Download our #dpacrof twibbon for Facebook or Twitter http://twibbon.com/support/dpac-reclaiming-our-futures
7. Send us your pics to share that people can change to use as their profile pics on Facebook or twitter and we’ll publish them send to : firstname.lastname@example.org note that there may be delays if we’re on protests
8. Send Facebook messages and Tweet the DWP so they know we know they have been deliberately misrepresenting and lying to create a false impression of welfare and disability in the UK.
For more information on DWP abuse of statistics see http://www.scribd.com/doc/149776210/DPAC-Report-on-DWP-Abuse-of-Statistics-Final-22-June-2013 and http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/08/ministers-silent-after-being-caught-pulling-lies-out-of-thin-air/
@Dwppressoffice and email: email@example.com’t forget to visit our tweet machine for pre-loaded dwp tweets
9. Phone email, tweet Atos, Jam
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (atos press office), investor relations: firstname.lastname@example.org or head office email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Atos to complain. Why not ask them about their UK eugenics program that they’re being paid 100 million a year for by the (unelected) government-video it, record it, post it
Use skype as a cheaper alternative if you don’t have one of those free calls thingies
Tel: 0113 230 9175
Global public relations
Tel: 020 7830 4233
Tel: +33 (0) 1 73 26 00 66 (with skype its not a UK number)
Sales and Marketing team
Tel: 0207830 444
Be sensible, be polite but let them know….
10.RT tweets from dis-ppl-protest and join up
11.Let local radio know what’s going on
BBC Radio 2 88-91 FM — 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm — Jeremy Vine — call 0500 288291
BBC Radio 5 Live 693-909 AM — call 0500 909 693
5 Live Breakfast Your Call — 9:00 – 10:00 am
Victoria Derbyshire — 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
BBC Radio Berkshire 95.4, 104.1 FM — 7:00 am Andrew Peach — call 08459 001 041
BBC Radio Berkshire 95.4, 104.1 FM — 1:00 pm Mike Read — call 08459 001 041
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 95.7, 96 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Cornwall 95.2, 103.9 FM — 12:00 pm Laurence Reed — call 01872 222 222
BBC Radio Cornwall 95.2, 103.9 FM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire 94.8, 103.7 FM — 12:00 pm Bob Brolly — call 08459 005 200
BBC Radio Cumbria 95.6, 96.1, 104.1 FM — 9:00 am Kevin Fernihough — call 0845 305 1122
BBC Radio Derby 104.5, 95.3, 96 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
BBC Radio Devon 103.4, 95.7 FM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Essex 95.3, 103.5 FM — 12:00 pm Sadie Nine — call 01245 495 050
BBC Radio Guernsey 93.2 FM, 1116 AM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (John Colvin) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Humberside 95.9 FM, 1485 AM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Humberside 95.9 FM, 1485 AM — 9:00 am David Burns — call 01472 340959 or 01482 225959
BBC Radio Jersey 88.8 FM, 1026 MW — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Kent 96.7 FM, 104.2 FM — 9:00 am Julia George — call 08459 811 111
BBC Radio Lancashire 95.5, 103.9 FM — 9:00 am Ted Robbins — call 01254 583583
BBC Radio Lancashire 95.5, 103.9 FM — 4:00 pm Brett Davison — call 01254 583583
BBC Radio Leicester 104.9 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
BBC Radio Leicester 104.9 FM — 9:00 am Jim Davis — call 01162 511 049
BBC Radio Lincolnshire 94.9, 104.7 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
LBC London 97.3 FM — all day — call 0845 60 60 973
BBC Radio London 94.9 FM — 9:00 am Vanessa Feltz — call 0207 224 2000
BBC Radio London 94.9 FM — 5:00 pm Drivetime with Eddie Nestor — call 0207 224 2000
BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8 FM, 1485 AM — 11:30 am Roger Phillips — call 01517 099 333
BBC Radio Norfolk 95.1, 104.4 FM — 9:00 am Nick Conrad — call 01603 617 321
BBC Radio Norfolk 95.1, 104.4 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Northampton 103.6, 104.2 FM — 12:00 pm Helen Blaby — call 01604 234 455
BBC Radio Northampton 103.6, 104.2 FM — 4:00 pm Joe Pignatiello at Drivetime — call 01604 234 455
BBC Radio Northampton 103.6, 104.2 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Nottingham 95.5, 103.8 FM — 6:00 am Andy Whittaker — call 01159 343 434
BBC Radio Nottingham 95.5, 103.8 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
BBC Radio Oxford 95.2 FM — 10:00 am Malcolm Boyden — call 03459 311 111
BBC Radio Sheffield 88.6, 104.1 FM — 10:00 am Rony Robinson — call 01142 796 699
BBC Radio Shropshire 96 FM — 9:00 am Jim Hawkins — call 01743 248 321
BBC Radio Shropshire 96 FM — 12:00 pm Colin Young’s Lunchbox — call 01743 248 321
BBC Radio Solent 96.1 FM — 10:00 am Alex Dyke — call 03453 030 961
BBC Radio Solent 96.1 FM — 4:00 pm Steve Harris — call 03453 030 961
BBC Radio Stoke 94.6, 104.1 FM — 10:00 am Mid-morning with Lee Thomas — call 01782 208080
BBC Radio Stoke 94.6, 104.1 FM — 1:00 pm The afternoon show with Paul White — call 01782 208080
BBC Radio Suffolk 95.5, 104.6 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Suffolk 95.5, 104.6 FM — 9:00 am Mark Murphy — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Tees 95 FM — 9:00 am Mike Parr — call 01642 225511
BBC Three Counties Radio 95.5, 103.8, 104.5 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Three Counties Radio 95.5, 103.8, 104.5 FM — 9:00 am The JVS Show — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Wiltshire 103.5, 104.3 FM — 9:00 am Mark O’Donell — call 08459 513366
BBC Radio West Midlands 95.6 FM — 9:00 am Adrian Goldberg — call 08453 00 99 56
BBC Radio West Midlands 95.6 FM — 10:00 pm Graham Torrington — call 08453 00 99 56
BBC Radio York 103.7, 95.5 FM — 9:00 am Jonathan Cowap — call 01904 641641
BBC Radio York 103.7, 95.5 FM — 22:00 pm Georgey Spanwick — call 01904 641641
Upload a picture to show you dare with an ‘I dare’ photo to http://www.britaincares.co.uk/ better send a copy to us by email too so we can publish email@example.com or just tweet or FB it and share it with us see https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpac-i-dare-day-3rd-september-rights-not-charity/ for why we’re doing the ‘I dare’
14.Play DPAC ‘Caption It!’-see https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpac-caption-it/
-we’ll publish the best after the week of action
15.Tweet/share the DPAC official anti-Atos song far and wide by Kevin https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpac-official-anti-atos-song-condem-love/
16.Join DPAC as a member https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dFE5dmRsQVFVS29XYU13NFVWY3ExRHc6MQ#gid=0
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
17.Donate or affiliate to dpac email@example.com
18.Just donate www.dpac.uk.net
19.Right click to copy and save pics to use as a meme, to spread, tweet, share
Special day stuff
1. 29th August all of the above and Tweet, share publicise from www.dpac.uk.net
2. 29th August -Join us for A collective online recital of famous Government, DWP and other quotes by the LTB group (lying thieving bastards) across social media-here’s some to get you going –sure you can think of lots more:
‘Disabled People get better’ Esther McVey when challenged on PIP
‘This must be presented as a reform not a cut’ DWP on ILF closure declassified memos
‘We spend more money on disability than other OECD countries’ Esther and chums
‘I have a belief I am right’ IDS when lying on statistics and challenged (again) by the Gov statistics watchdog
Use #dpacrof #ltb
3. 30th August Spread the word on local protests in your area and do your own online one
4. 31st August Promote your own rebellion art or that of others, tweet our Dpac slideshow pics
5. Reclaiming the Social model https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/reclaiming-the-social-model-the-social-model-in-the-21st-century/ 1st Sept
Watch on livestream http://bambuser.com/channel/Bencavanna#sthash.Ml28qwqz.dpuf
Send comments and questions throughout the day to us email: firstname.lastname@example.org and to twitter @dis_ppl_protest
6. Twitter event with Liz Crow using http://inactualfact.org.uk/ for Monday September 2nd – See more at: https://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpacrof-reclaiming-our-futures-local-actions/#sthash.NK3OpukK.dpuf
7. Watch social media to see what other surprises we have coming up for this day 2nd Sept
8. 3rd Sept ‘I Dare’ day see our twitter account (@dis_ppl_protest) for tweets also send ‘I dare’ photos to the social media favorites –see number 13 above for more details
9. RT, share posts and pics from our 4th Sept lobby and protests outside different government buildings
Scope charity says they care about disabled peoples’ rights to access universal services close to their homes as part of their high profile ‘Britain Cares’/ ‘I Care’ campaign.
At the same time Scope is fundraising and asking the state to continue funding their institutionalised and segregated residential and educational services for disabled people.
Throughout history special residential educational and care institutions have claimed to provide the education and care that disabled people need.
We are here to dispel the myth of segregated ‘care’ and education services that are provided without our consent.
· Support disabled people’s choice and control over their lives.
· promote disabled peoples inclusion in their local communities
· Support disabled people’s aspirations in education, training and employment.
· Support positive relationships between disabled and non-disabled people.
· Challenge the unacceptability of disability-related bullying and hate crime.
Scope is one of range of big business disability charities that are funded by the state to provide segregated education and care services at the expense of providing funding for independent living and inclusive education- things that are wanted by disabled people, their organisations and allies to provide proper independent living.
SCOPE supports the full implementation of the UN Convention of Persons with Disabilities that includes disabled peoples’ rights to inclusive education (Article 24) and Independent Living (Article 19).
If SCOPE truly believes in disabled peoples’ human rights to be included in their local communities then they must stop the patronising caring campaign and be prepared to make fundamental changes to their paternalistic services.
DISABLED PEOPLE WANT SCOPE ‘TO DARE’ TOO…..
We dare SCOPE to close their special schools and colleges.
We dare SCOPE to develop alternative services that will support disabled peoples access to mainstream education.
We dare SCOPE to support ALLFIE’s Inclusive Education manifesto demands.
We dare SCOPE to close residential institutions and develop real independent living alternatives for disabled people
We dare SCOPE to stop all segregated services such as day care to enact the full inclusion of disabled people
We dare SCOPE to stop claiming that they work ‘with’ disabled people while they continue to gain service contracts from local authorities when there are active user-led disabled organisations in that area.
It’s not only Scope but all the other disability big charities who claim to support disabled peoples human rights that must be challenged and be prepared to dare to do what disabled people want: a right to be supported, to be educated, and to live in their local communities, free from the possibility of state sanctioned institutionalisation.
Please join DPAC’s Reclaiming Our Futures campaign….. We Launch the ‘I Dare’ Campaign against Segregation and the Removal of our Rights online campaign on the 3rd Sept
With thanks to Ania for pic
‘I Dare’ Day 3rd Sept
This is not just about SCOPE but all those other big disability charities Leonard Cheshire, MENCAP, MIND you name them- they all do it-they all claim to speak in our name. Add to this, this Government and we ‘dare’ to campaign against it all.
Sept 3rd is DPAC ‘s ‘I Dare’ day, a day of online action on twitter and Facebook , with a few surprises too.
We want to see people tweeting and spreading the word across social media against all those that try to take our rights away – that segregate us, that say they speak for us-we want to show them that we dare to fight back.
Flood twitter and Facebook with ‘I dare’ messages –here’s some we made earlier…..
I dare campaign
#I dare: speak up and campaign for independent living and to save ILF
#I dare: speak out about the lost of support for disabled people
#I dare: speak out on the increasing suicides and premature deaths from Atos assessments
#I dare: speak out on the increasing number of disabled people left without food because of cuts
#I dare: to tell the truth about what is happening in this country to disabled people under this Government
#I dare: to say that its not ‘care’ disabled people want, but the right to make our own choices
#I dare: to say I want rights not charity
#Britain dares #I dare #We dare
Inclusive Education NOT segregated Education for Disabled children and young people
#I dare to experience mainstream education!
# I dare the Govt to implement the education related recommendations in the EHRC Hate Crime reports – what are they afraid of!
#I dare the government to give disabled people choice of mainstream provision – what have they got to lose other than a few quid invested in segregated ed!
As part of our week of DPAC’s Reclaiming our Futures action
We’re asking you to ‘Caption it!’ see below for 4 pics if you have a caption then send to:
with Caption it in the subject line and the number of the pic you want to caption-we’ll publish the best after the week of action
Find your local councillors at http://www.writetothem.com/
Or at your local council website -Copy and paste the text below or download Word version from the link-please send any copies of responses to email@example.com
Dear Councillor (insert name),
I am writing as one of your ward constituents to ask you to sign up to the Councillors Against the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cuts statement and oppose anyone losing their home or being forced to move due to the Bedroom Tax or other unjust benefit cuts, and call on landlords not to evict those pushed into arrears due to these measures: http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/resources/CouncillorsvBedTax2.pdf
The bedroom tax or ‘under-occupation penalty’ is unfair and unworkable. Two thirds of those affected by it nationally are disabled and the majority have no-where suitable to move to. Discretionary Housing Payments are a short term solution that create more work for local authorities. A July survey by the Papworth Trust, backed by the National Housing Federation , said nine out of 10 disabled people are cutting back on food or bills to pay the bedroom tax if they are refused a safety-net housing payment. Meanwhile the cost of implementing the bedroom tax costs far more than the savings the government claimed it would make.
To add your name to the list of Councillors please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
(include your address)
Copy and paste below or download from link-your MP can be found at
I am writing as one of your constituents to invite you to attend the launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto: Reclaiming Our Futures on 4th September 5 – 6pm in the House of Commons Committee room 9.
Current government policy on disability is in crisis with disabled people collectively feeling under attack from their own government; research shows that disabled people are being disproportionately impacted by the cuts with those with the most complex levels of support need being hit by austerity nineteen times harder than the average person (‘A Fair Society? How the cuts target disabled people’ by Simon Duffy).
With around 1 in 5 of the population being disabled and many more affected by disability as family, friends and carers or simply as citizens who care about social justice, policy and pledges on disability will be a key concern of many voters as we approach the next election.
Disabled people and our organisations have come together across the UK to develop a UK Disabled People’s manifesto setting out the key principles, demands and commitments that are important to Deaf and disabled people and our allies.
I hope you are able to join us on the 4th to explore what is needed to achieve a society where disabled people can live, work and participate as equal citizens. Copies of the manifesto will be available from Inclusion London (www.inclusion.co.uk or contact email@example.com / 02072373181).
Link to download letter in Word Dear MP
Saturday September 7th Broad Street job centre 1-2pm and Atos office, Five Ways, 2-3pm
A gentle conference on the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund
Wednesday 4 September 2013 City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR
11.15am to 3.30pm
Free entrance, refreshments and buffet lunch plus people from local council.
To reserve a place and for more information, please contact:
Text: 07867 690422
– See more at: https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/day-of-action-to-make-crossrail-fully-accessible-thursday-29th-august-2013/#sthash.lqaDkIZ4.dpuf
DPAC Medway Leaflet drop 2PM Fri 30th ATOS 1A Bachelor Street Chatham ME4 4BJ
August 29th street party on Islington Green 12-4pm to help organise the fightback against the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund.
PROTEST AGAINST ATOS IN SWANSEA!
FIGHT ATTACKS ON DISABLED PEOPLE!
12pm Friday 30th August, outside Swansea Atos centre
Reclaiming our Rights August 30th 12-2.30pm Job Centre Plus, Kiln House, Pottersgate, Norwich, NR2 1BZ
Wrexham Tuesday 3rd September : Protest against ATOS and their paymasters DWP by disabled people, claimants and supporters from 12.30 pm onwards outside the Jobcentre/ATOS on the corner at Grosvenor Road. Please bring banners, placards, whistles etc.
Twitter event with Liz Crow using http://inactualfact.org.uk/ for Monday September 2nd
Armchair activism-to come
Being updated – please let us know what you are doing to add to list: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disabled People turn the tables by Assessing the Assessors and find them Not Fit for Purpose.
Friday 6th September 11.30am til 2pm outside Atos Healthcare, Gladstone Business Centre, Heathfield Way off Gladstone Road, Dallington, Northampton, NN5 7QA
As part of Disabled People Against Cuts (www.dpac.uk.net ) national campaign to reclaim our rights Disabled People and their allies and supporters will protesting against the continued use the French private company Atos Healthcare to assess people under the governments Welfare programme. Atos Healthcare and their infamous work capability test has been proven not fit for purpose time and time again. Through the continued use of this crude test ATOS are making Millions of Pounds from the Taxpayers by Finding People fit to Work, and then having to re-assesss them time and Time again by ATOS
According to the Government’s own figures,1,300 people have died after being put into the work-related activity group,2,200 people died before their assessment was complete, and 7,100 people died after being put into the support group. www.dpac.uk.net
Disabled People Against Cuts have used non violent direct action and creative protests to draw attention to the devastating impact cuts in services , support and welfare benefits is having on Disabled People and their families and communities.
*Amongst the protest at Atos Healthcare, DPAC Northants will be appealing on behalf of a special “guest” who has been assessed fit for work.
* Undertaking our own assessment of the Assessors (Atos Healthcare)
* Highlighting to wider general public the devastating impact flawed assessments by Atos has had on Disabled People since Atos Healthcare began assessing People.
* Issuing Atos Healthcare with a Disabled People Against Cuts “Not Fit For Purpose” notice.
Join us for a day of creativity, fun and disability pride.
Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN
Exhibition: 12 – 7pm: A range of grassroots disabled people’s work exploring disability and protest
Banner making workshop: 1-3.30pm: come together for a fun afternoon of banner and placard making for the Freedom Drive on 4th September
Sharing of Work: 4 – 6 pm: disabled performers and writers will put on a range of work exploring disability and activism. With spoken word performance from Ju Gosling, scenes from Kate Cryer’s new play ‘Unspoken’, poetry, songs and open mic, prepare for a powerful afternoon.
Fundraising gig: 7.30pm till late: Madpride compere Jason Why introduces an all star line up with films from Katherine Araniello, comedian Laurence Clark, singer/songwriterAngryfish, live performance of the DPAC Anti Atos anthem ‘Condem Love’ by Kevin Robins and headlining will be Rockinpaddy.
The venue has its own carpark and has wheelchair access. BSL will be provided for the workshop and sharing of work.
For access requests please contact: email@example.com.
National protest to defend disabled people’s rights and freedoms and demand equality and inclusion
Last year we shamed Atos and occupied the Department for Work and Pensions in opposition to the injustice and distress caused by the Work Capability Assessment. A year later and the only Paralympic legacy most disabled people have seen is one of more cuts and more anger.
Research has shown that cuts are targeting disabled people. Meanwhile government and the media misrepresent figures and statistics to label disabled people as benefit scroungers.
We say this isn’t right.
We say we need to unite and fight against injustice.
Join us for the final day of the Reclaiming Our Futures Disabled People’s week of action as we protest in Westminster.
Four themed ‘blocks’ will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our elected representatives.
Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:
Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation
(SanctuaryBuildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)
Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits
(3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)
Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance
(Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)
Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence
(Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)
LOBBY OF PARLIAMENT:
5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto
Updated video of the excellent Condemn Love DPAC’s Anti-Atos song -with massive thanks once more to Kevin Robins for all his work on this. See Kevin perform live at Piss on Pity 31st August-part of the DPAC Reclaiming our Futures week of action.
Also watch this space for more news on how to download Condem Love and contribute to DPAC
They’re screwing up my mind , wasting my time
Keeping up the pressure on this heart of mine
They’ve got a real obsession , egos out of hand
Out to make a make a killing from their “welfare” scam.
This is Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love ,
Condemn .. … Con-Dem love.
Laid my cards on the table told their GP straight
Depressions biting hard and that’s hard to take
I showed him the scars on my arms where I’d cut
He looked me in the eye and said you’re “working fit”
This is Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love
They’re going to show you what they’re made of.
On a circle of emotion on the treadmill again
They took away my social, can’t pay the rent
What can do, so ill, I can’t fight,
I toss and turn I stay awake all night
Darkened thoughts are haunting me
I’m so afraid of this reality
This is Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love
They’re going to show you what they’re made of.
Sitting in a corner — with the lights switched off
This no win situation’s lost
Can’t make no plans for you or for me
There’s no reason to go on you see .
This is Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love, Con-Dem love
They’re going to show you what they’re made of.
They’re going to show you what they’re made of
They’re screwing up my mind, wasting my time
Keeping up the pressure on this heart of mine
They’ve got real obsession, egos out of hand
Out to make a make a killing from their “welfare” scam.
They’re screwing up my mind , taking away my life x 3
If you would like to know more about DPAC or make a contribution to our work please visit our website www.dpac.uk.net or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest *Special thanks to all including Rob Livingstone and Simon Gomery for some of the excellent artwork contribution on this video.
7.30pm til late
Saturday 31st August
Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, N7 6QN
Madpride compere Jason Why introduces an all star line up with films from Katherine Araniello, comedian Laurence Clark, singer/songwriter Angryfish, live performance of the DPAC Anti Atos anthem ‘Condem Love’ by Kevin Robins and headlining will be Rockinpaddy.
Tickets on the door (£2 unwaged, £5 waged and £10 solidarity) but please RSVP to say if you are coming: email@example.com
Sunday 1st September, 12.30 – 4.30pm
Venue: 128 Theobalds Road, Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN
Key speakers: Anne Rae: former UPIAS and current chair of the Greater
Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), Colin Barnes: Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds Centre for Disability Studies
As government and the private sector increasingly use a so-called ‘modern understanding of disability’ to redefine who is and who isn’t disabled it is more important than ever that we understand, defend and promote the social model of disability. This isn’t helped when the social model is not fully supported within our movement.
This event will be a chance to hear from a range of speakers and to discuss why the social model is still relevant today to our lives and our futures and to map out what we need to do to fight for it. The event will be live-streamed with the opportunity for people to participate in the discussion virtually.
We want everyone to be included in this -livestream link for the day http://bambuser.com/channel/
You can also tweet questions/comments to: @Dis_ppl_protest (hastag #dpacrofsm) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the event.
Bus number 243
Nearest tube Holborn (not wheelchair accessible)
Please note we are unable to provide any food or drinks- please bring your own if wanted: tea and coffee machine by meeting room
Places are limited so please book to guarantee entry or for access requests:
Scrap Atos – End the Work Capability Assessment.
10 Thousand Cuts and Counting has been called by Occupy London activists and David Ison, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral.
10 Thousand Cuts and Counting is a memorial for those who have had their lives devastated by the austerity programme, including more than 10,000 people who died shortly after undergoing the Atos Work Capability Assessment, the degrading test used by the government to assess the needs of people receiving benefits related to disability and ill health.
The gathering will demand an immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions as outlined in the WOW petition.
28th September • Parliament Square (tbc) • London • 12 noon
Disabled people are leading the fight back against the injustices of austerity: we cannot stand idly by while our communities and institutions are devastated by this government.
On Saturday 28th September, the disabled and non-disabled community will gather to remember those who have died and those still suffering as a result of the Government’s austerity assault, which particularly affects disabled people.
The memorial will remember those who have died and those living who are having their independence and dignity challenged as a result of austerity, led by disability activists, Occupy activists, David Ison – the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Michael Meacher MP and other representatives.
A delegation from the gathering will present to the Prime Minister THE DOWNING STREET DEMAND, in support of the demands set out in the WOW petition (http://wowpetition.com/), which has been signed by 52,000 people and calls for an immediate end to degrading way in which the government assesses the support needs given to valuable people in our community and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions.
This government is reducing the Welfare State in a way which creates even more economic and social inequality and does not save the country money – this cannot be allowed to continue.
This is what austerity looks like. Come and join us.
The People’s Gathering at Parliament – 12pm – Parliament Square
Delivering The Downing Street Demand – 1pm
For more information please see www.10Kcuts.org
Clothing. Please wear white clothing as a symbol of remembrance. If this is not possible, a white scarf or other small item would be useful. Please also bring a white flower if you would like to lay one in remembrance
Access: Nearest tube: Westminster – step free. Buses: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159, 453. Please get in touch with any specific access enquiries or requests.
Further details regarding accessibility and transport options tbc.
Contact email: email@example.com
Celebrating 8 years of the Bubble Club – Despite the Cuts
Weds 18th Sept 7-11 £5 at door
Backyard Bar,231 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 OEL
Live music from Thee Faction and More…..
Bubble Club have been running events in the East End for 8 years, they are a group of people with and without learning difficulties/learning disabilities-go join the fun
Face book page:
DPAC Norfolk, Reclaiming Our Rights
Fri, 30th August 2013
12:30pm – 2pm
Jobcentre Plus, Kiln House, Pottergate, Norwich, NR2 1BZ
This is part of the national DPAC week of action, toprotest at organizations that are creating barriers to inclusion for disabled people.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this event, please join us if you possibly can, tell as many interested/supportive friends and family to come along too. Let’s unite together in solidarity to leave this Government under no illusion that we will not rest until we get our message across about what we want and expect from them and future Governments.
Reclaim the Power Summer Camp- August 16th-21st
Now moved to Balcombe, Sussex
The coalition of climate, anti-austerity and fuel poverty activists who were planning on returning to West Burton power station for the Reclaim The Power action camp  in August have decided to switch location to Balcombe, where the Sussex community is currently resisting exploratory drilling by Cuadrilla.
The Reclaim the Power camp – now taking place in Balcombe from August 16-21 – will bring together a wide range of groups and individuals from across environmental, economic and social justice networks to discuss ideas, strengthen links, and share skills in direct action and civil disobedience to take action against the Cuadrilla site. Participating groups include UKUncut, Occupy, Disabled People Against Cuts, Greater London Pensioners Association and Fuel Poverty Action.
Workshop Saturday August 17th 11am ‘Considering the Cuts’ with contributions from
Occupy – Peter Dombi
DPAC – Andy Greene
UK Uncut – Lizzi Wagner/Tim Street
Plan C – Tim Gillibrand
More information about the camp and other activities available at
Reclaiming Our Futures UK
Join this year’s week of action to protest against austerity, fight for our rights and celebrate disabled people
From 29th August – 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.
Our rights are being stripped away day by day, by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems, leaving us without much hope for our futures – or our children’s.
We have been here before. Our history is littered with examples of how our community has come together when under attack to fight – and win. From the early campaigns of NLBDP (National League of Blind and Disabled People) through to the founding and manifesto of UPIAS (Union of
the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and on to DAN (Direct Action Network)- Now we have DPAC leading direct action and a host of other key grass root campaigns working towards reclaiming our rights and futures.
We have fought our corner over 3 centuries. And those fights have brought victories; the Independent Living Movement, our early CILs (Centres for Independent Living) and early active DPO’s (Disabled Peoples Organisations) and the significant rights for disabled people (which are now under attack). They represent big victories, brought about by mobilizing in our communities around our common cause – and having the will and determination to see our demands met without compromising our rights. We have consistently united in anger and celebration.
Download easy read information about the week here:
DPAC Reclaiming our Futures Action
This autumn, we are asking our community to come together in anger, and celebration again – and to unite around our demands
We will be launching the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto setting out our vision of how the resources, structures and institutions of our society today can be re-designed to empower disabled people to take part in life on our terms. Disabled people are, and always will be, the experts on our lives and our self-determination. It will be a vision and practical plan that we can take forward in our communities, workplaces and lives to reclaim our futures.
In the build up to the manifesto launch, DPAC is leading The ‘Reclaiming Our Futures’, seven days of action to protest against the targeting of disabled people by austerity measures, to fight for our rights for inclusion and independence as equal citizens and to celebrate the value, pride and self determination of disabled people.
From 29th August – 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.
The plan below is only half the story. We want YOU, your Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, your campaign group, your community, your friends to put on events and get involved too. Can’t get to our exhibition? – then put on your own. Can’t get to our direct action? – then do your own. Barbecues, debates, quiz nights, family days, picnics – whatever! ACT – in celebration or in anger! (PS don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing).
Day by Day: 29th August-4th September
Thursday 29th August – YOU launch our 7 days of action
A range of resources will be available for your use as we ask all supporters to start our week of action with an online blitz. You will be the ones creating the buzz and the hype sending letters and twitter messages to targets of your choice ranging from MPs to disability charities to the media. We will be producing twibbons and memes but make and circulate your own. If you haven’t got a Social Media account (such as Facebook & Twitter) set one up now, link to DPAC ( twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest) and let’s create a cyber wave. #dpacrof
The launch will coincide with Transport for All’s Day of Action to make CrossRail accessible: https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/day-of-action-to-make-crossrail-fully-accessible-thursday-29th-august-2013/
Friday 30th August – Local Protests
Last year during the ATOS Games over 30 local actions took place around the UK Local actions mean you get to choose the target of your choice. You could take the Reclaiming Our Futures manifesto to present at your local MP’s constituency office, spread it through social media, protest on the streets against segregated education, the proposed ILF closure or show solidarity at your local Remploy site (for those few factories in their last weeks of operation). Alternatively, you might want to lobby your local Council on the Bedroom Tax and cuts to local services/support. Oh, and as we know ATOS offices are still around too….we’re sure you have other great ideas to add… Remember to let us know what you are doing so we can promote your actions. We will be producing local action resource packs but any materials you develop please send us copies to share with other protests and online.
Saturday 31st – Disability, Art & Protest Exhibition and Fundraising Gig
An exhibition and sharing of work exploring disability, art and protest followed by a ticketed fundraising gig run in partnership with Madpride and Tottenham Chances. Come during the day and join in our banner making workshop to prepare for the big Freedom Drive on the 4th September. If you would like to nominate an artist, collective and/or piece of work please let us know (including any links) and we will try to get them involved. If you want to do a local, street or online art protest too-this could be the day to do it.
Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN Times:
12 – 7pm Exhibition: disability, art and protest
1 – 3.30pm Banner and placard making workshop
4 – 6pm Work Sharing
7.30pm till late Gig
Sunday 1st September – Reclaiming the Social Model: the social model in the 21st Century
Anne Rae: former UPIAS and current chair of the Greater
Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP),
Colin Barnes: Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds Centre for Disability Studies
As government and the private sector increasingly use a so-called ‘modern understanding of disability’ to redefine who is and who isn’t disabled it is more important than ever that we understand, defend and promote the social model of disability. This isn’t helped when the social model is not fully supported within our movement. This event will be a chance to hear from a range of speakers and to discuss why the social model is still relevant today to our lives and our futures and to map out what we need to do to fight for it. The event will be live-streamed with the opportunity for people to participate in the discussion virtually. We will also be promoting a range of resources around the social model.
UNITE House, 128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, WC1X 8TN
Time: 12.30 – 4.30pm
Monday 2nd September – Direct Action
Despite the huge efforts of thousands of disabled people throughout the country, it is increasingly difficult to find spaces where lies, inaccuracies and mis-use of statistics can be challenged. DPAC recently released a study into how the DWP uses all of these to vilify and demonize disabled people.
But why is this down to us? People should be presented with both sides of the story and this isn’t happening. Disabled people are having to find ways to make sure our truths will be heard. Watch this space…
Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day
A day of online action to reinforce that we want ‘Rights not Charity’, and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people. Dare to ask for Rights not Charity. Dare to be an activist. Dare to ask more of ‘our’ organisations. We aren’t asking for Care, we want Power: Power to write the script for our own lives, and not to be written out or written off by others. A range of actions and captions will be available for you to capture in an image and circulate online.
Wednesday 4th September – UK FREEDOM DRIVE
A final-day march and events in and around Parliament. Four
themed ‘blocks’ will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament for a lobby where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our
Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:
· Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation (Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)
· Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits (3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)
· Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance (Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)
· Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence (Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)
Lobby of Parliament: 5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s
WE WANT EVERYBODY TO JOIN US FOR THE FREEDOM DRIVE ideally in person, but also online-this is for everyone everywhere. There will be accessible transport from a variety of towns and cities throughout the country (details to follow) and there is some funding available for transport but we will need your co-operation and patience to make this work for everybody, so please bear with us and note that while DPAC members will be given priority we want to support as many people as we can. If you can’t get there send a photo or your name and you can march with us.
This week of action is yours. Please take part at whatever level suits you – BUT MAKE SURE YOU TAKE PART. Share our events, resources and actions as far and wide as you can.
Let’s Reclaim Our Futures, together!
DPAC web site: www.dpac.uk.net
https://www.facebook.com/pages/DPAC-Disabled-People-Against-Cuts/213545112011414?fref=ts(Open Community group- including allupdates from DPAC)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DPAC2011/?fref=ts(original open groupDPAC page- faster paced and more opinion driven than community group )
DPAC Twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest
DPAC email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember if you need help with funding to get to London (4th Sept) email us at email@example.com with details. DPAC members will get first priority but we’re hoping to be able to contribute to all that want to come along. If you are unable to come but would like your picture carried send us a photo or message. Please get in touch with any other queries as well and we’ll try to help.
Download this as a PDF Doc: https://dpac.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Reclaiming-Our-Futures-call-out-long-w-logos-v2.pdf
Download this as a Word Doc: https://dpac.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Reclaiming-Our-Futures-call-out-long-w-logos-v2-1.doc
Reclaiming our Futures is supported by The Edge Fund, Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust, Network for Social Change, Black Triangle, Mental Health resistance network, Wow Petition, Fuel Poverty Action, Occupy London, TUC, UK UNCUT, Boycott Workfare, Right to Work, Just Fair, Unite Disabled Workers, BFAAWU, European Network on Independent Living, Anti-Bedroom Tax and Benefits Justice Federation, and more…..
The Mass Sleep Out (TMSO) is a national day of action being held on August 24th, 2013. On this day people will gather in towns and cities across the UK and sleep on the streets, to raise awareness of the impending mass homelessness brought on by the bedroom tax and other government cuts.
What started off as an idea has now captured the hearts, minds and interests of more than 2000 people across the UK who wish to stand against the cruel measures being imposed by the coalition government.
If you don’t wish to organise an event yourself – and even if you are unfortunately unable to attend on the 24th – there is still plenty you can do to help. We are relying on word of mouth to spread the message of this campaign, so please talk about it to people you see and share on your social media accounts to publicise the campaign as much as possible.
With regards to those that will be unable to attend, we are looking to get something setup for people to be able to show their support by proxy.
Edge is the most radical and socially responsible funding group built on principles we all share. Edge is leading the way in acting on the crucial issue of how funds should get to those working at the grass roots who may, or usually are considered too radical and political to gain funds from elsewhere- these are the groups that set the future and provide real and active critiques to force change-Edge has to count as one of them too-we salute Edge and all involved in developing this great process. But Edge can’t work if we don’t-we all need to support Edge, join as members and be a part of the continuing development of the radical and challenging-we need to help it grow and support Edge the way that Edge is supporting us. See Edge website to donate, get involved as an advisory member, join as an Edge member or keep up to date with the timing of the next funding round, but preferably all of the above http://edgefund.org.uk/
DPAC and Black Triangle joined the Edge fund on the 20th July to take part in the meeting where a set of leading grass roots groups and Edge met and distributed funding. We want to thank Edge not just for funds which will go towards our 7 days of action https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/reclaiming-our-futures-7-days-of-action/ but for giving us the opportunity to be part of something amazing and giving us the opportunity to meet up with other great groups too. See post re-blogged from Edge below
30,000 pounds and 600 chickpeas
August 6, 2013
Round 2 of Edge funding came to a close 20 July during a meeting where 37 people came together to distribute £30,000 between 15 groups. Participants included applicants, Edge members and recipients of small grants from this round.
We met at the Stockwell Community Centre, which has a lovely hall with glass doors opening onto a courtyard garden. As is often the way on a Saturday morning, people arrived slowly from 10.30 onwards and the day started later than the 11.00 start we hoped for. After brief introductions and agreeing groundrules our facilitator started the day with an exercise which aimed to identify who’s in the room so that everyone can understand the different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and other factors which they may need to take into account during the day. It also aims to highlight what people have in common as well as celebrating our differences. The exercise had a mixed response, some welcomed the opportunity to learn about each other as individuals and others found it uncomfortable or questioned its relevance.
We then shared a little of the feedback on applications from assessments submitted before the meeting. We explained that after lunch we would be breaking into Group A and Group B; applicants in Group A would set up a ‘stall’ for their group while Group B and Edge members would visit the stalls to find out more about their work and their application. Then they’d swap. Lunch was an opportunity to talk to those in the same Group as you, who you would not otherwise get a chance to speak with. An amazing spread of Indian food was served by one of our members who had got up at 5am that morning to prepare it, accompanied by an Iraqi dish from another member – it was delicious and very much appreciated!
As last time, the stalls brought the room to life with passionate discussions about issues facing communities in the UK. Groups unable to attend on the day joined us via phone or Skype. In the garden, groups of people huddled around laptops and mobile phones on loud speaker, finding shade under the trees. It was difficult to bring the discussions to an end, with a clear sense that people could have spent all day making new connections and learning about each other’s work.
Once Group A and B swapped around, we came back together in a circle. Our voting systems are still evolving, and after some discussion about the voting system for this round it was decided that 30 chickpeas should be given to each member and each applicant group to distribute between the 15 groups. The maximum number of chickpeas you could allocate to one group was 5 and you could not vote for yourself. These votes were then combined with the scores submitted prior to the meeting (any duplicate scores were removed).
Each group was allocated £1,500 as a minimum, and the 5 groups receiving the highest scores were given an additional £1,500, bringing their total to £3,000.
£3,000 went to:
- Disabled People Against Cuts
- Why Refugee Women
- Tottenham Rights
- Independent Workers Union of Great Britain
- Black Triangle Campaign
£1,500 went to:
- Residents Action on Flyde Fracking
- Space Hijackers
- International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
- Shafted?! HIV Army
- Feminist Webs
- Hands off our Homes
- Quiet Riot
- Alliance for Choice Belfast
- Border Forum
You can find out more about the groups here: http://edgefund.org.uk/what-we-fund/round-2-supported-projects/
The day finished with a go-round, where each person shared their thoughts about the day to the group. The comments were more outspoken than last time and sometimes quite critical, but what was reassuring was that people seemed to understand and appreciate that we are still very much in our early stages – learning and evolving as we go. Several people from applicant groups have now also joined us as members, which we are always very happy about!
Improvements from last time
There were a few things we wanted to correct from the Round 1 meeting. Firstly, we wanted a more diverse group of people. The group was much more diverse than last time, mostly because more groups run by and for communities facing injustice applied and were short-listed in this round. However, as pointed out by a member in the online survey, representatives from Edge Fund were “still mostly white, middle class”. This should continue to improve over time, so long as we can be aware of, and respond to, the factors that affect who joins us.
Applicants who took part in the last meeting said they wanted to know more about the groups ahead of time, so we sent out all the applications three weeks before the meeting to both applicants and Edge members. We also gave people more information about what would happen on the day, including referring people to the notes on the previous meeting on our website. We also asked people about people’s requirements in good time, including any cost reimbursements needed.
The scoring system changed from Round 1. In the last round, as it turned out, the highest grant was only £500 more than the lowest and people commented that this didn’t seem right considering the amount of time spent on assessing and scoring. Before the meeting we had agreed a system which translated the scores into a percentage of the amount requested in the application. However, this was quite a complex calculation and we felt it was important everyone understood how the grants were worked out. Therefore, this time we proposed that each group receive a minimum of £1,500, with the top 5 scored applications receiving an additional £1,500. People seemed to much prefer this system than the one used at the last meeting.
The venue we chose last time was not as accessible as it could have been in terms of central location, public transport options and proximity to the nearest station. This time we chose the Stockwell Community Centre, which is just around the back of the Stockwell tube station, which is well serviced by the Victoria line and several buses. The Stockwell Community Centre also has wi-fi, allowing people to join us via Skype (although the signal was not reliable inside). We ensured cups and plates were provided this time, instead of asking people to bring them along. Again, one of our members cooked lunch.
Areas to improve
One major point from the last meeting was that there wasn’t enough time to talk with each applicant on a one-to-one or small group basis. Sharing applications ahead of time was an attempt to ensure that time spent at the meeting was more meaningful as people would already know who all the groups are. However, people again said that they would have liked more time to talk to other groups, particularly the few who did not have time to read the applications beforehand, and some felt uncomfortable making a judgement with the amount of information they had. Many people suggested that the day start with presentations, which we have been reluctant to do before now since it can be very intimidating to present to a large group, but we will need to reconsider this.
Whilst we had done our best to ensure all groups were able to participate in the day, including letting people know the date two months in advance and covering travel costs, four groups were not able to be with us in person. One of the groups could not even join us remotely and we noted that this affected their score; the scores they received based on their written application before the meeting were higher than the scores submitted on the day.
We need to get the balance right between asking people to be part of a decision-making process, which requires some critical thinking about other groups and their work, and trying to build community and connections as individuals. The two aims seem to be slightly at odds with each other. In this meeting, many people felt strongly the focus should be about the groups, not who we are as people, whereas others wanted to make more personal connections.
It seemed this time that people felt less able to participate compared to last time. This may be a reflection of the greater diversity in the room or perhaps the style of facilitation. Also, last time we paired applicants up with members well ahead of the meeting so they had a main contact person and support to complete the full application. This time we made this optional, so that groups were only paired up if requested. Only one group asked for support from a member and this may have had an impact on how comfortable people felt when they arrived. That said, the comments at the end suggested people were comfortable enough to air some of their honest thoughts.
As a fund with limited resources and many applicants, it is difficult to overcome the sense of competition. This was uncomfortable for some people on the day. There is no obvious solution to this as we will never have enough funds for everyone, but we are exploring other ways of helping groups so that more applicants can benefit from the process even if they don’t receive funding.
We’re very lucky that everyone who took part gave us honest and useful feedback on the day and we’ve already got a clear idea on how the next meeting should be structured. We’re also gathering further feedback ahead of our next members’ meeting to help us address some of these issues.
Feedback shared at the end of the day
Considering this is a work in progress the day went outstandingly well. The intent and the heart of Edge Fund is very clear. Everything is done with sensitivity. It was a positive experience.
We repeated some of the same mistakes as last time. We ended up discussing how to use the scores again. There are always drawbacks whatever you choose to do, it’s hard to please everyone. It would be great if everyone could take responsibility for moving Edge forward.
I would like for everyone to be able to speak for a few minutes to the group as I was not able to meet everyone.
I enjoyed the morning’s exercise. I want to know who the people are behind the organisations otherwise I don’t feel connected. Hiding behind an organisation can be a way of distancing ourselves and that defeats the object of Edge Fund. I agree with the comments about the short presentations and stalls. We should have one voting system at a time. I enjoyed meeting people today.
The morning exercise didn’t work. Each group should have had 2-3 minutes at the beginning to present to everyone. We stumbled a bit at the voting stage and shouldn’t try to change the system on the day. Small groups worked really well. The afternoon was much better.
I enjoyed every moment. I learned a lot from the morning session, it helps you to know who you’re talking to.
I didn’t like the morning exercise. People need time to recover from emotional experiences like that.
I liked the morning, it helped to build trust and allowed us to get to know each other. It was quite moving.
I liked the morning too. I will use it with my group. I felt comfortable talking about my experiences. I liked the voting with chickpeas.
I have mixed feelings about the day. I am not sure how useful the morning was. Activities should be more connected to the aims of Edge – did it help meet the goals of creating change
I am always so impressed by the people I meet through Edge. I wonder, does it take too much time to come along to a day like this? I hope you will join us as members. Regarding the morning, I am not against inner work but it should be a distinct exercise for Edge as a radical organisation.
The morning was good. The projects this time were even better than last time and the voting system was better too.
The afternoon was flawed because you couldn’t talk to everyone. We need to have presentations.
The day was very positive on the whole. The beginning was helpful, as people arrived divided but it made people see what they had in common with others. But the questions need to be carefully considered. It feels like Edge is moving in the right direction.
It’s great to be able to talk about more controversial stuff and to celebrate ‘edginess’! The food was delicious. Perhaps groups could make posters next time, to communicate about their work. I was pleased with the outcome of the scoring, I can see why the top 5 were in the top 5.
I would like to give thanks, Edge is fantastic and refreshing. It is brilliant what Edge is trying to do. The scoring process was enhanced by being here but it could have been better. The structure was poor. I made connections today that immediately justified my time being here. Edge is so young, it’s a wonderful process to be part of.
I was not a massive fan of the morning, it went on for too long. There was not enough time for discussion and we needed more printed copies of applications. The £1,500/ £3,000 split worked really well. I agree we need short presentations.
I love meeting people in person at Edge meetings. I feel very energised. I like the process.
It’s good to have an introductory exercise but it needs to be shorter.
I have seen big companies run less effective meetings! Let’s remember – A lonely whisper, together we shout. Let’s support each other. This is just the start.
The morning session was not necessary. In the application it didn’t ask about our identity. It’s about the organisation, not the individual. The funding process was very good.
Very interesting to meet many people in the flesh who I had not met before. I was not happy about the first session. Individuals are not important, human rights are universal. So happy to see different groups together. Groups need the opportunity for shared experiences.
It’s amazing that Edge exists. I also prefer to have presentations. Maybe people could bring pictures and photos? It is different hearing in person than reading an application. I didn’t like the morning exercise, it made me see our differences. The voting system was good. I met interesting people.
I didn’t mind the morning – I quite liked it. But it needs to be shorter. I like the idea of posters. I would like to hear groups’ visions. What we are for, not just what we’re against. Should we score against set criteria?
It was a beautiful day. Opportunity to meet people. I would definitely like to hear 5-10 minute presentations. I still want to know more, would be nice to listen more. Excited about how Edge can go further. For the morning exercise there should have been a section with questions relating to groups.
I had a great day, feel reaffirmed. People were sensitive even when giving criticisms. Can people who like presentations support others who are less confident? We also need more help in the engine room of Edge.
We should focus on groups not individuals, with more information at the beginning about the campaigns. We missed a trick; should have made time to find ways of helping each other. The voting system was better than last time. Edge is radical. Fantastic organisation.
Last month (12 June), Mark Hoban said this during a debate on people’s right to ask for a recording of their employment and support allowance face-to-face assessments: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130612/debtext/130612-0004.htm#13061288000001
“The Department and Atos are in the process of amending written communications to claimants by updating the WCA AL1C form. The document is sent to claimants when they need to arrange a face-to-face assessment and will provide more information on how to arrange an audio-recorded assessment. We expect the revised form to be sent out to claimants by the end of next month, once the necessary changes have been made and the form has been cleared for use.”
In other words – the DWP was finally going to change the documents it sends to ESA claimants to let them know that they can ask to have their Atos face-to-face assessments recorded. It’s vital that people know they have that right, because with a recording, they are able to demonstrate beyond doubt what was said and what happened at their assessments.
By “the end of next month,” Hoban surely meant the end of July – and we’ve just gone past that deadline.
Jayne Linney, DPAC, Black Triangle, False Economy and Public Interest Lawyers (who, with disabled man Patrick Lynch, took a legal action against the DWP last year on people’s right to record their assessments http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/13/disabled-man-government-court-benefit-test ) are publishing this blog and asking you to reblog and share it to find out if the DWP has changed the documents it sends out to ESA claimants and if people have noted that. Earlier this month, the DWP sent Public Interest Lawyers this document as an example of the leaflet that claimants should receive about their face-to-face assessments. This document includes information which advises people of their right to ask for a recording. We want to know whether people are getting that document and if word is spreading that people can make that request.
This is important for a number of reasons. The first is, of course, that people need to know they have this right and that they can request a recording when they are called to an Atos ESA face-to-face assessment. The second is that Hoban claims that he is evaluating the demand for recordings and that he’ll be doing so until the end of summer 2013. (It will be important for people to respond to these blogs as soon as possible – by the end of August 2013 at the very latest – that being the case). http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130612/debtext/130612-0004.htm#13061288000001
Hoban continues to argue that the demand for recordings is not high. Campaigners have argued, rightly, that their surveys https://dpac.uk.net/2012/11/dpac-survey-responses-on-wca-what-harrington-didnt-ask/
and calls for information show that people do want recordings – and that demand may well increase if people actually know that they can ask for a recording. Unfortunately – or intentionally – Hoban says that the evaluation of demand will finish at the end of summer. That isn’t far away and doesn’t give anybody much time to find out if the amended documentation (presuming that people are receiving it) is having an effect. The third reason that this is important is that the DWP says it has based its decision NOT to offer recordings for Personal Independence Payment assessments on the ESA experience: “the DWP has not seen evidence from other disability assessments that this would improve the quality of assessments,” Esther McVey told parliament this year. So evidence of the demand for ESA recordings is very relevant to the PIP debate. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130418/text/130418w0003.htm#13041838000125 The department’s whole approach to recording PIP assessments is a mess – Capita, which has a contract to carry out some of the PIP assessments, originally said it would offer recordings. McVey put a stop to that and said that it wouldn’t. Meanwhile, the DWP was telling journalists that recordings would be offered for PIP assessments. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/07/secret-cuts-part-four-personal-independence-payments They’re making it up as they go along, so pressure needs to be applied.
The aim should be to get rid of the work capability assessment altogether – but while it’s there, safeguards like recordings of assessments need to be in place. Claimants and campaigners have fought hard for the right to record their face-to-face assessments. As we’ve said, people need to be able to demonstrate beyond doubt what is said at assessments. Atos is notorious for returning fit-for-work reports which ignore a claimant’s true circumstances and the details shared in face-to-face assessments. The ever-increasing number of ESA appeals http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/esa-appeals-more-than-double-and-decisions-in-the-claimants-favour-are-increasing/ prove Atos’ problems with accuracy.
Campaigners have won some concessions through their hard work. These include a commitment from the DWP to offer ESA assessment recordings (on “official” dual-CD recording equipment – people still can’t bring their own recording equipment unless it can dual-produce a CD or cassette). The changed paperwork was another concession. Let’s see if they’ve done it and if people are aware of it.
Download DWP Notes Sheet on assessment
DPAC and Black Triangle condemn the misguided, insensitive and inflammatory comments of Dr Phil Peverley. We also want to condemn the pitch and severity of the pieces in the Mail and Telegraph (2nd August) framing Peverley’s comments, as a further outrageous abuse of the facts and issues affecting disabled people and those with diagnosed long term health issues.
Peverley’s words are an insult to all those that suffer the misery and anxiety of Atos within the regime designed to remove support from disabled people. His words are an insult to those that have died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’ or before an appeal which found that, once again, Atos were wrong-something that happens with increasing regularly in a system that is chaotic and unworkable.
Those people may also have been within the so-called ‘proportion of punters’ that Peverley claims ‘are hell-bent on trying to prove they’re really ill, and need us [GPS] to confirm it’ or maybe they were some of the perceived ‘disgruntled unworking well’ who are ‘full of indignation at being considered reasonably healthy.’ The Department of Works and Pensions DWP own figures show deaths within 6 weeks of tests were at over 10,000. The DWP are refusing to publish up –to date statistics, so we would guess that these figures have risen significantly.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Black Triangle on the 28th June 2012 the British Medical Association (BMA) supported a call to demand that the WCA should be ended ‘with immediate effect and be replaced with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause unavoidable harm.’ Peverley on the other hand thinks Atos are doing a great job -despite new evidence everyday that they clearly are not, despite MPs, journalists, and the public accounts committee condemnation of their conduct and the multi-million Atos contract. (See Dr McCartney’s piece in the British Medical Journal and Black Triangles’ 2013 letter of support from Drs and MPS)
Remarkably, Peverley declared that he considered putting a picture of Stephen Hawkings in his surgery with the caption: ‘This bloke is not on the sick!’ The comparison of Hawkings to every single disabled person is beyond bizarre. This is a man with the funds to ensure a network of P.A. support, home adaptations and technical aids- something far out of the reach of the majority of disabled people –where even a basic level of support is becoming increasingly unlikely in the current slash and burn climate. Hawkings won’t miss his ILF payments if the appeal hearing against the DWP doesn’t produce the correct verdict. Hawkings won’t need to worry about local authority cuts or the tsunami of other cuts, caps, punitive costs, sanctions and penalties being imposed on disabled people and other low income people by this Government.
In Sept 2012 the BMA also said that GPs workloads had massively increased due to the chaotic system of the WCA and increasing numbers of appeals. Peverley also says: ‘’These fitness-to-work assessments – under Atos, and under anyone who takes the role for that matter – generate a massive amount of work in general practice’ in his column in the Pulse. However, neither the Mail nor the Telegraph wanted to pick up on the increased workloads the Atos/WCA system is causing for GPs. None wanted to mention that people can now be charged up to 200 pounds for GP reports, to support them in an assessment, or that GPs increasingly refuse to supply reports either.- a further hurdle for disabled people and those with debilitating long term health issues in the attempt to gain the support they need in the punitive assessment process.
The Mail and Telegraph both carried the comments of Peverley. True- they’re both right wing newspapers and tools of Tory propaganda. Yet, the pitch and severity of both pieces in framing Peverley’s comments was a clear abuse of the facts and issues facing disabled people; as are Peverly’s inflammatory comments.
The Telegraph carried the headline: ‘A GP incensed at his surgeries being full of the “disgruntled unworking well” has said he considered displaying a poster of Professor Stephen Hawking along with the caption: “This bloke is not on the sick”’.
While the Mail went that bit further with the more loaded headline: ‘THIS bloke is not on the sick! Angry GP cites Hawking to shame hordes of patients asking him to sign them off’.
Peverley’s original Pulse piece fits the welfare ‘reform’ agenda perfectly. An agenda that incorporates the right wing media and Governments constant demonising of disabled people as feckless/workshy/scroungers – Peverley’s original rallying cry in the Pulse was that he did not want to sign ‘sick notes. The piece headlined: ‘Save me from the unworking well’ was posted on the 29th July. Neither the Mail nor the Telegraph showed the same eagerness to publish his jaunty column of 25th April ‘A Curious Case of Missing Sick Notes’ which talks about the constant losing of sick notes by the DWP. But why would they?
Peverley has played into their hands, not only does he appear to support the discredited bio -psychosocial model, beloved of Aylward and Freud, that removes GPs and replaces them with private companies paid with huge amounts of public money- he has given them the final piece of the puzzle –privatise the sick note and remove it from any element of medical evidence. Let’s have 100% ‘fit to work’ even if a 100% drop dead in the process. Those that can afford it, like Hawkings can buy their own private ‘back-up plan’.
In the meantime Peverley has been reported to the GMC. Twitter @gmcuk
There is a facebook campaign group at facebook.com/permalink.php?…
Peverley is on twitter @PhilPeverley
His surgery address for letters is at the link below-please do not use the surgery telephone lines!
Dr Phil Peverley
To Protest against this and the other attacks on disabled people join DPAC’s 7 days of Action https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/reclaiming-our-futures-7-days-of-action/
DPAC twitter: @dis_ppl_protest
Black Triangle twitter: @blacktriangle1
The High Court rejection of 10 legal challenges this week exposes the savage injustice of the Bedroom Tax. Let’s turn anger into more action, more pressure, and ensure no landlord can evict tenants – http://www.antibedroomtax.org.uk/2013-05-29-04-42-41/latest-news/86-an-absolute-travesty-of-justice-high-court-rejects-bedroom-tax-challenge
The next steering group of the Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation meets on 7 September 12-4pm in Manchester. Please email to confirm you can send one or two reps from your local groups and supporting organisations, to help decide next plans.
Ask all Councillors against the Bedroom Tax to add their name to this statement to support tenants and push politicians and landlords to abolish the Tax:
Eileen and Kate
Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation
Urgent warning to those in the WRAG group of ESA and information on Discretionary Housing Payments: http://www.disabilitysanctuary.com/forum/index.php?threads/warning-to-those-in-wrag-work-related-activity-group-of-esa.9081/
*Protests Force Canterbury No Eviction Pledge – Canterbury City Council agree not to evict council tenants who cannot pay the Bedroom tax: http://antibedroomtax.org.uk/2013-05-29-04-42-41/latest-news/83-protests-force-canterbury-no-eviction-pledge
National Day of Protest Keeps Up Pressure – Saturday 27th saw 250 marching through Newcastle, hundreds in Manchester marched on the Court, 500 in Liverpool and actions in Barnsley, Milton Keynes, across London, and more.
Launch of Greater Manchester Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation – over 100 delegates launched Manchester’s city wide fightback.
Housing association report on the first 100 days of the bedroom tax show rising arrears and a negative impact on disabled tenants:
Disabled People Against Cuts week of action 29 Aug – 4 Sept will be a chance protest against the full range of attacks on disabled people ending with a march through London4th September: https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/reclaiming-our-futures-7-days-of-action/
7 Sept Anti Bed Tax and Benefit Justice Steering Group – 12-4pm Manchester
24 Sept meeting at Labour conference: Cut Rents Not Benefits – Build the Homes we Need 6pm Brighthelm Centre, North St Brighton
29 Sept Manchester protest at Conservative Conference, with plans for a Bedroom Tax feeder march
With thanks to Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation