Disability rights organisations and activists lobbied MPs in Parliament on Wednesday 13 February 2019, at a ’First Do No Harm’ lobby, aimed at the DWP.
Artist and DPAC activist, Vince Laws, attended with his support worker, Lucifer. Vince took the opportunity to display 3 of the ‘DWP Deaths Make Me Sick’ shrouds, and took photos showing MPs John McDonnell, Marsha de Cordova, Margaret Greenwood, and a host of disability rights activists including, John McArdle, John Pring, Claire Glasman, Denise McKenna, Mark Harrison, Mick Hardy, Mary Ellen.
“It’s my first time in Parliament,” said Vince, “to be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the vomit coloured carpets and fit-inducing wallpaper. I wanted to come to this important lobby and photobomb it with my shrouds so they get seen by millions and shame the Tories into agreeing to ‘First Do No Harm’ to humans – big ask, I know.”
The ‘DWP Deaths Make Me Sick’ shrouds were the backdrop to a live performance art piece called ‘A Very Queer Nazi Faust’ put on by Laws and 13 Norfolk based disability rights activists at Norwich Arts Centre in September 2018.
“The show I enjoyed most in 2018 and you can quote me on that!” Pasco Q Devlin Norwich Arts Centre Manager
There is now a ‘DWP Deaths Make Me Sick’ Facebook page. Images of all 22 shrouds made so far are on the page, with the text printed under them. The shrouds will be on display around the UK in 2019.
“I want to get them seen,” said Laws. “I feel the need to carry on screaming about the human rights abuses of this current Tory government. The shrouds are actually quite painful to make. I take breaks. They are very sad. But also very powerful because they are the truth.”
Meanwhile, Lucifer went to the public gallery to watch MPs debate live, and held up a shroud against the security glass right opposite the Tory benches and got thrown out. That shroud read:
Suffered a fatal heart attack
the day after his disability benefits
Dead People Don’t Claim.
Justice Not Charity.
Anyone wishing to display some shrouds, get in touch with Vince Laws direct via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Facebook page.