We got this in the DPAC email today:
As you will have hopefully heard via the TUC and your own unions already, the movement is currently planning for, and beginning to mobilise, for a national demo in London on Saturday 12th May 2018.
Like past demos, we will march from Embankment through London to Hyde Park, with the usual speeches at the other end. There will of course be accessible marching points and short marches for those who can’t do the whole thing.
Yet another big pointless march ending hidden in Hyde Park with pointless speeches from well paid union bosses
At DPAC central we’ve long been disillusioned about these mega marches. Oh sure, they look good enough, banners and placards flying and mass protesters marching through the streets. And the mass rally in Hyde Park with big wig speakers saying inspiring things to stir the blood. And everyone feels great, they’ve done something!
But what exactly have they done and has it really been any use?
Then everyone leaves, the placards get collected up to create more landfill, marchers go home and switch on the news. They expect to see their day broadcast to the country, and change will surely follow …. but there is nothing, no media coverage, not a word, especially on a Saturday when there are only skeleton news staff, and no MPs in Westminster to see the march go past.
Another big problem is where organisers lay on transport, they don’t arrange accessible transport for disabled people – even their own union members -wanting to be there.
As one of our members (who wishes to remain anonymous) says:
I am a member of two unions: UCU and Unite – I can guarantee that I’ll get an email from UCU first urging me to attend but not offering any help with transport. About a week or two later I’ll get an email from Unite saying that there is a coach and if I then enquire about accessible transport I’ll be told there is none due to lack of demand.
I have been told of a wheelchair user in Liverpool who was booked onto a coach and not told by Unite that it was not accessible. In the end four men lifted her onto and off the coach. How demeaning! But it is typical of the attitude of the big unions.
Our third big problem with these events is the choice of speakers. They could, if they wanted, give a platform to grass roots groups representing homeless people, unemployed people, and yes, disabled people, and countless more groups who struggle to get a voice. But they chose not to, it’s always the same ‘safe’ corporate union establishment faces saying the same things year after year.
They don’t represent us
Our problem with the big corporate unions is similar to our problem with the big corporate charities. They don’t represent us, and they want to prevent us from representing ourselves, as that lessens the power that they enjoy so much.
Unions and march organisers need to fully recognise disabled people’s access needs and representation. They need to make their protest activities relevant to ordinary people and effective in order to gain real social change.
Until they do that, rather than go on the march, we present………
How to make your own TUC March
1) Stand around your front garden for two hours with no information or explanation why.
2) Walk around your house for 2 and a half hours making sure the heatings off and you’re fucking freezing. Hold your piss all this time.
3) Search TUC March 2012 Speeches on YouTube and press play. Put it really far away so you can just about see the people on stage and keep saying ‘who is it now?’ and ‘what did they say?’
4) Hold your piss still as you take 2 hours to walk to your bus stop/train station.
5) Get home two hours later and realise you’ve spent 30 quid on fuck knows what and you’re still starving.
6) Have 17 minute long piss.
7) Watch everything online about today’s march from 29 different angles (all of them including Len McLuskey holding a banner) til bed.
8) Promise never fucking again.
[“Hold your own TUC March” by Andy Greene]