DPAC is delighted to extend an open invitation to celebrate Independent Living Day with us on the 4th of July at the ‘Independent Living Tea Party ‘.
The party will begin at 2pm at the DWP, Caxton House in Tothill Street SW1. There will be fun & games, and entertainment; and of course, some civil disobedience.
We have come a long way since the demand for Independent Living was first made nearly 50 years ago. Then, as now, IL was our solution for how society supports disabled people to take our place as equals. For how society addresses inaccessible institutions, structures and process it created, which do more to disable people than their impairments ever could.
There are many strands of Independent Living, and all are under threat. Cuts to:
- Support funding – such Social Care, the ILF & Disabled Students Allowance;
- Education – in areas like the wholesale destruction of SEN Statements and the continued segregation of disabled children into ‘special’ schools;
- Transport – the withdrawal of Taxi-cards, freedom passes and the halting of planned works to make infrastructure more accessible, amongst a host of other cuts combine to make disabled people second-class citizens in society.
But we have fought this fight before – and won. Our Disabled Peoples Organisations, legal gains and the policy victories we have won previously are testament to the power, know how and skills disabled people have to develop solutions to problems created by society. We must celebrate these achievements and remind ourselves that each of these successes have had to be earned, no-one ever gave them to us without a struggle.
So celebrate with us, or alternatively create your own party. Get together with friends and supporters, and create the kind of vibrant, positive spaces we have always created. Bring the noise – bells, whistles, drums, pots & pans etc. Bring food to share. Bring your enthusiasm.
if you are planning your own party, here are some suggestions:
1) Choose your target –
focus on the important issues locally; support, education, transport etc – its up to you. Identify what you want to celebrate and who represents the biggest threat to that locally. Is it your local council or Uni? Is it a transport provider? Or is it someone else?
2) Tell everyone –
yes, EVERYONE. Media, campaign networks, activists, local people. DONT FORGET TO TELL DPAC so we can list and support your action!
3) Be heard, be seen –
make your event loud and proud. Bring music, choirs, drum, bells, whistles. Remind everyone out there that we won‘t be separated from society, we are society. We won ‘t go quietly.
4) We’re also holding a Twitter Party on the Hashtag
#IL4JULY so that people at the DWP and at other events round the country
can tweet in pictures of their events and we can all join in. Further
details to follow, watch this space.
The famous Boston teaparty led to a revolution against the British government let’s see where our teaparty leads…..