Mar 222018

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]

 Posted by at 15:51
Mar 202018

With an impending high court challenge against the  Access to Work cap, the government has announced it is increasing the cap. They say this will affect fewer Deaf and Disabled people.

DPAC thinks that any form of cap is inappropriate and discriminatory. Any cap hits those with the highest support needs, effectively penalising Deaf and Disabled people with the highest support needs and impacting most on certain impairment groups. The new cap has been increased from 1.5 x the average worker’s salary (£42,100) to 2x (£57,200) but is still a fixed limit set in an entirely arbitrary way whereas costs for highly specialised equipment and good quality professional interpreters tailored to an individual’s needs can exceed this amount or vary from year to year. There is no financial reason for a cap given that investment in Access to Work makes a return on investment to the Treasury through taxes, without taking into account the added cost benefits of savings to the NHS or social care budgets.

The cap is also just one issue within a whole range of problems that Deaf and Disabled people are experiencing with Access to Work. These include administrative and financial errors on a scale that is making employment unviable for many, alongside cuts and restrictions to individual support packages that are placing intolerable strain on Deaf and Disabled people doing their best to stay in work. An urgent review of the scheme in consultation with Deaf and Disabled people is well over due.

Written statement from Esther McVey

See the statement on here.

 Posted by at 16:08
Mar 132018

April is 18th will be the national day of action calling for Universal Credit to be scrapped. We hope local groups will be able to support this and will send us details of any planned events to We will be posting more information soon.

London meet for 11am outside the visitor’s entrance to House of Commons as before.

 Posted by at 13:47
Mar 122018

It used to be called the Budget now it’s called the Spring Statement. Same bullshit, different name as far as we’re concerned.

(There is information on what the Spring Statement is all about here if you want to know)

But people will be paying attention and looking in on the twitter hashtag #SpringStatement, so we need to be there too.

So we are asking all our supporters who can be on twitter tomorrow afternoon from 12.30, right the way through the afternoon to tweet statements in support of DPAC and about disabled people’s rights and the harm done to us by this vile Tory government and it’s predecessors.

Use the hashtag Spring Statement in your tweets, and below there is some material you can use, firstly some facts and then some images to download and add to your tweets for impact.

  • A quarter of working-age disabled people are in poverty

  • 2.8 million disabled people are in poverty

  • In 2015 approximately 81,000 sanctions were applied to disabled people 80% to those on JSA and 16,000 to those in the ESA Work related group

  • 90% of disabled people will be worse off under Universal Credit

  • 28% of disabled people ‘can’t live on their benefits’

  • Austerity has been targeted at disabled people 9 times more than the general population and severely disabled people have been targeted 19 more than the general population

  • DWP fit-to-work assessments (WCA) cost more money than they save

  • There were 686,000 benefit sanctions in Great Britain in 2014

  • Over a quarter of JSA sanctions were received by disabled people or lone parents

Images that you can download and use in your tweets, and don’t forget to include the hashtag #SpringStatement

Trash The Tories

Dead People Don't Claim

UN Inquiry finds Grave and Systematic violations of disabled people's human rights by the UK Government

Theresa May, our blood on her hands




 Posted by at 17:47
Mar 122018

Started by someone we know to be reliable.

Press Release

I first started the website in 2004. The idea is brilliantly simple – why don’t disabled people who have the same access needs swap houses for holidays, rather than rely on unreliable, expensive, and often inaccessible hotel accommodation? If I can get around my house in my wheelchair, then another person who uses a similar wheelchair will also be able to use my house.

We’ve now expanded the concept to include families with disabled children. This is a group of people who often find it really difficult to go on holiday. But if you are a family with a disabled child you will now be able to swap properties with a similar family with similar access needs. The same is true for many other disabled people, travelling alone, with friends, or with their family.

Our sophisticated database system matches similar properties, only leaving you to decide where you want to go and when. People have been using the site to travel all over the world.

Some disabled people choose to go on holiday from one continent to another – we’ve had a swap between Ireland and Australia. Other people go from country to country – two people swapped between Paris and London. Swappers often stay in contact with each other, and now regularly use each others’ houses for city breaks.

Other people stay in their own country and swap from the town to the countryside, or from inland to be by the sea.

Disabled people can often be limited in their holiday choices by a range of factors. Many disabled people have very little money, some are unable to go very far for logistical reasons (for example inaccessible and unreliable public transport, or the inability to drive for long distances), while others might have health reasons for not going very far. can meet your needs whoever you are and however far you want to travel. You might want to stay in a property on the other side of your own city or to go to an event nearby. Maybe a country break is what you need. Or maybe some time by the sea is called for.

We have rebuilt, redesigned and are now relaunching the site. To mark this event, and to build the community with willing swappers, we are offering a free registration process. This will let you join the database, add photos of your property, have access to our “Swapping made Easy” resources, and to contact as many other people as you want on the database to swap properties.

We will be spending the coming months and years actively promoting the site across the UK and the rest of the world, so the number of accessible properties you will see will increase over time.

The ‘House Swap’ idea is not a new one. Over 250,000 people swapped houses for their holiday breaks last year. Many do so for financial reasons – it can be a very cheap holiday. But many do it because they would rather stay in a home environment than a hotel, and do what they want to do at the time of their choosing.

So the time is right for – the site designed by disabled people for disabled people, to meet all your access needs.

 Posted by at 14:41
Mar 102018

This article has been triggered by a post from Joe Halewood who is absolutely right to highlight the shockingly low numbers of people appealing a benefit decision, and especially PIP

It is worth looking at the numbers to understand the scale of the issue, and to compare the situation under DLA and PIP.

The main difference between the 2 benefits, apart from the descriptors, which with PIP were meant to lead to a reduction of 500,000 fewer claimants, is the introduction of Mandatory Reconsiderations. Mandatory Reconsiderations are a system of internal appeals, designed to reduce the number of appeals by reviewing and revising if necessary a benefit decision within a shorter timeframe. Where appeals could take one year or even 18 months these days to be heard, a mandatory reconsideration can take around 10 days, because the government has imposed targets. That is the good news. The bad news is as for sanctions, mandatory reconsiderations are under the direct influence of DWP Secretary of State, and are not independent. The initial benefit decision is supposed to be reviewed by a different Decision Maker, but  around 84% of initial benefit decisions are being upheld, which leaves a claimant with only one option: to appeal.

The problem is that very few people appeal, and it is obvious that Mandatory Reconsiderations and the Kafkaesque system put in place by DWP, which makes it as difficult as possible for a claimant to get some kind of justice, plus the mistakes and the incompetence of many DWP staff, constitute a real denial of justice. Let’s crunch some numbers:

Before the introduction of PIP in 2012, there were 3,253,810 DLA claimants, but only 71,744 appeals, which is 2,20%. Let’s remind ourselves that claimants could directly ask for an appeal and that DWP would lodge it on their behalf. Now let’s compare this situation with PIP today.

In 2016/2017, there are only 1,409,027 PIP claimants (and still 2,263,162 DLA claimants), and the number of Mandatory Reconsiderations is 669,000. This means that almost ½ the people undergoing a PIP assessment are dissatisfied with the outcome and ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration. Knowing that 80% of mandatory reconsideration upheld the initial PIP decision, you would expect around 535,200 PIP claimants lodging an appeal. In fact, the number is 104,205, which only 19% of the number of claimants expected to appeal.

But what needs to be done is to compare more directly the DLA and the PIP situation:

2012                       3,253,810 DLA claimants                                                                71,744 appeals

2017                       1,409,027 PIP claimants                 669,000 MR                         104,205 appeals

Without Mandatory Reconsiderations, the number of PIP claimants lodging an appeal would have been 669,000. If the level of overturned PIP decisions is maintained (64%), it means that 424,160 PIP claimants would have had a PIP decision overturned in their favour.

That is a real denial of justice.









 Posted by at 13:07
Mar 072018

Bromley JCP Protest
Bromley DPAC along with SE London Unite Community have organised a protest outside Bromley Job Centre Against Universal Credit For Wednesday 14th March 2018 12 noon until 2pm
Address Bromley Job Centre Plus
Unicorn house
28 Elmfield Road
Kent BR1 1NX

Nearest train station is Bromley South Station accessible from train platform to street level
Buses 61, 208,358,261,126,367,314 all Stop opposite the entrance to Bromley JCP
Lewisham JCP has now closed and half of Lewisham JCP are having to make longer journeys to Bromley causing additional financial hardship. Bromley JCP staff are struggling with the additional influx of claimants leading to backlogs of claimants claims being dealt with and payment delays
Universal Credit cannot be paused and fixed. It is causing poverty and homelessness to rise and causing further distress and harm with the abolition of the severe disability premium, meaning disabled people will be worse off by £2,000 per year
By 2022 it is estimated that 1 million children will be plunged further into poverty under Universal Credit
We are calling for Universal Credit to be stopped and Scrapped

Please support the protest

Facebook event link is here




 Posted by at 14:41
Mar 012018

As we campaign against Universal Credit, it’s important to remember the pitfalls of Universal Basic Income and why this isn’t an alternative vision of social security that we should be fighting for.

DPAC ally John Clarke from Ontario Coalition against Poverty sent this feedback from his recent trip to Vancouver where he was invited to talk about the dangers of support for UBI:

“I got back last night from Vancouver and what I saw and experienced there was quite incredible.  I saw appalling levels of poverty and destitution and inspiring resistance.

I was brought out to BC to give a talk at Simon Fraser University on the folly of left wing support for the neoliberal trap of basic income.  As in the UK, where Scottish pilot projects and interest in the policy by the Labour Party is giving progressive credibility to BI, moves by the NDP Government in BC, with the support of the Greens, poses similar dangers. The video of the session at SFU may be of interest to those who are challenging this neoliberal wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Posted by Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University on Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The homeless shelters in Toronto are bursting at the seams and the misery spills out onto the streets. However, the visible destitution on display in Vancouver is far worse than anything I have seen here or when I was back over in London. Yet, there is resistance. I was given the honour of speaking at a meeting of the residents of a homeless tent city that has been established and maintained for eight whole months. I held discussions on how a coast to coast movement to resist austerity and demand housing can be taken forward. It was truly a great trip that filled me with both anger and hope for the struggles ahead.”

To read DPAC’s position on Universal Basic Income, see: Concerns with UBI [Please note a full article with references will be coming soon.]

 Posted by at 22:41
Mar 012018

Please feel free to tweet all day and you can add the hashtag #bbcqt for tweeting tonight during BBC Question Time

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants UC is rotten to the core #StopandScrapUC

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants 7m households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers.

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants UC has too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed – it must be stopped and scrapped

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants at least £15.8 billion has been wasted UC, yet only £1 billion will be saved by 2020.

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants No civilized Government should impose UC on its citizens

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants No credible opposition party should want to simply pause and fix UC

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants UC is claimed and managed digitally which is impossible for many disabled people

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants Health & Work conversations are mandatory, any failure to attend will lead to claim being closed

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants People in part time work could be forced to give up work that suits their Disability

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants UC has no Severe and Enhanced Disability Premiums- single disabled people lose around £2,000 pa

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants UC includes the vile rape clause – violating womens rights

#UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants UC was designed by IDS to punish people for the crime of being poor

Stop Universal Credit before it claims you #UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants

Letter to send to MPs about Universal Credit #UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants

Trapped in Universal Credit: How a broken leg left a woman starved of cash

Video Message from Paula Peters on how you can get involved in getting Universal Credit scrapped #UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants

Letter to send to MPs about Universal Credit #UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants

List of MPs Email Addresses #UniversalCreditCrimesAgainstClaimants

 Posted by at 14:42
Feb 272018

we’ll try to keep everyone updated as we hear from local groups.

A late addition and going ahead Leicester – outside Jobcentre Plus, Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 3J B Thursday 1st March between 12-2pm. Organised by Unite Community Come well wrapped up!

Brighton -postponed until March 28th

Falmouth – cancelled

Edinburgh – going ahead

Kentish Town – cancelled

Manchester – cancelled

 Posted by at 16:01
Feb 262018

We are sorry to announce that due to the bad weather forecast for London this week, and the associated travel difficulties this will bring, we have taken the decision to CANCEL the planned action this Thursday 1st March at the Houses of Parliament.

All of the online actions planned for 1st March will continue as planned

We leave decisions about local actions to the local groups and urge organisers to update us with any decisions (to proceed or to cancel) as soon as possible so we can get the word out. 

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this causes

 Posted by at 21:23
Feb 012018

Cara Williams, a PhD student at Lancaster University is conducting research into disabled people’s experience of working for small and medium size organisations (SMEs) , and the SME experience of employing disabled people in their workplace.

She is looking to  recruit twenty disabled people and twenty small and medium size organisations to take part in interviews .

If you are interested, you can read Cara’s blog to know more about this research here , contact her by email, or find her on Twitter @Cara_J_Williams 

 Posted by at 18:57
Jan 272018

Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 6.30pm (refreshments from 6pm)

The Hall at St Margarets House, 21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London , E2 9PL

Join social workers in our fight for social justice and learn about ways of campaigning, big and small, from speakers including:
Jane Tunstill, Emeritus Professor of Social Work
Roger Lewis, Disabled People Against Cuts
Tom Griffiths, People’s Assembly Against Austerity
Social workers from the Boot Out Austerity march
Psychologists For Social Change
And through film, poetry and song.

5 minutes from Bethnal Green Tube station & from Cambridge Heath Overground.

Click here to download instructions to access the venue.

Click here to download flyer.

Social workers, allies and all concerned citizens welcome!

Please contact for more information.

 Posted by at 01:02
Jan 112018

Why Universal Credit must be stopped and scrapped.

Universal Credit is the punishing regime due to be more widely imposed on people with low incomes both those in and out of work.

DPAC believes that UC has too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed – it must be stopped and scrapped. UC is rotten to the core.

Universal Credit replaces six benefits – Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Working Tax Credit.

Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. Pensioner couples will also be affected if one of them is under pension age.

Universal Credit is an economic and political disaster bringing further distress and impoverishment to those forced to endure it.  To date at least £15.8 billion has been wasted on its implementation.

 No civilized Government should impose this on its citizens and no opposition party should want to simply pause and fix it.

Areas already subjected to UC have reported serious hardship with visits to food banks soaring along with rates of people sanctioned and left without any income for 3 months or more.

Just some of the many problems with UC are listed below.

General Problems

  • UC is based entirely on conditionality for those both in and out of work. Failure to meet these conditions can lead to the imposition of cumulative sanctions which could last 3 years.
  • Everyone will have to accept the Claimant Commitment and log in daily to Universal Job match account and complete your to do list and journal. There is harsh conditionality within Universal Credit such as 35 hour per week job searches.
  • Even with the changes brought in at the end of last year claimants face a 5 week wait which in many cases seems to be 3 months or longer for their first payment.
  • Loss of Mortgage interest payments which will now mean people have to take out a second loan if they are buying a home.
  • Hardship Loans are repayable meaning the full amount of money someone is entitled to isn’t paid for months as 40% of their entitlement can be taken away to repay a loan.
  • With UC, housing benefit isn’t paid straight to the landlord but to the claimant who may be in need of money to use in an emergency. In pilot areas this has resulted in up to 60% of claimants going into rent arrears.
  • Letting agents are already refusing to rent to anyone claiming UC.
  • Under the troubled families programme people could see their kids taken into care if the claimant is not meeting conditions set by DWP/Work Coach
  • Under UC data is shared by DWP, HMRC and banks to ensure no additional income is undeclared.

For Disabled People

  • UC is claimed and managed entirely digitally which is difficult or impossible for many disabled people. Any mistakes on the form will likely lead to loss of benefit or a claim being disallowed.
  • Health and Work conversations are mandatory and any failure to attend will lead to your claim being closed.
  • People in part time work could be forced to give up work that suits their Disability or family life in order to take up worse paid full time work or risk sanctions,.
  • UC brings in the loss of Severe and Enhanced Disability Premiums which mean single disabled people lose around £2,000 per annum and a disabled couple over £4,000 per annum.

Coercion of Mental Health claimants.

  • As part of the Health and Work Programme we are seeing the use of the DWP nudge unit and psycho compulsion. This effectively means the introduction of forced treatment through the use of IAPT therapists based in job centres. If claimants don’t take the treatment prescribed they face being sanctioned.

Loss of Womens’ Rights

  • Changes to benefit payments will make women financially dependent on men trapping many in endless domestic violence.
  • The appalling Tax Credit ‘rape clause’ means that women can only get Child Tax Credit payments for their first two children unless they can prove they were raped. This involves filling out a detailed 45 page form about being raped..

For those in work, self-employed or on zero hours contracts

  • Even those in work will be expected to look for more hours up to 48 hours a week so you are not reliant on state support or face Sanctions for failing to comply. Warning- if your earnings exceed qualifying levels in a month they can close your claim and your online history will be erased when they close your claim down without warning. Make copies of all your actions to copy into your Journal or To Do List so you have evidenced back up files. To get this reinstated can take 8 months without money.
  • Going on Holiday? Think Again- If you fail to do your job match account even over Christmas and other bank holidays you will have your money stopped and you must always be available for interviews.
  • For every £1 earned Universal Credit takes away 63p meaning people are working for 37p for every pound earned per hour.
  • Self employed people will have to submit their monthly, instead of annual, income before any UC payment, including for housing costs, will be made for that month causing untold chaos and hardship. If they earn too much in any month their claim will be closed and they’ll have to start all over again.


Motion for unions 

Universal Credits – Stop and Scrap

This Meeting notes the following:

That Universal Credits, UC, was designed as an integral part of the Welfare Reform Act brought in by the Coalition Government following their election in 2010.

That underpinning the Act has been an ideological drive to making being on Welfare Benefits as degrading and punishing as possible with the intention of forcing as many claimants off benefits as possible.

Welfare Reform including the introduction of UC was accompanied with the rhetoric of benefit dependency, skivers and strivers, cheats and malingerers as a way of winning public support for pushing through the biggest changes in welfare since the 1930’s.

UC is just one part of these reforms which include the discredited and hated Work Capability Assessments, the change from DLA to PIP with a 20% budget reduction target and cuts to the Access to Work programme.

These changes are interconnected and form the core of the Tories making work pay programme.

That in November 2017 at a National Housing Summit meeting in central London Axe the Housing Act, other Housing campaigns and Disabled People Against Cuts, DPAC, called for a National joint Campaign to Stop and Scrap UC and to call a Day of Action early in 2018.

This meeting believes:

That UC can not be fixed.

That UC has to be scrapped.

That as with the Work Capability Assessments an entirely new scheme needs to be created making sure that Disabled Peoples Organisations and other groups affected are included at the heart of how these schemes are designed.

This meeting agrees:

To adopt a position of Stop and Scrap Universal Credits.

To support the national Stop and Scrap campaign called by DPAC, Mental Health Resistance Network, Housing campaigns and others.

To publicise the campaign and promote it to our members urging them to support the campaign.

To lobby the Labour Party and other organisations who currently have a Pause and Fix approach to UC and urge them to adopt and work with the Stop and Scrap campaign.

To support and build for a National Stop and Scrap UC Day of Action on March 1st

To  call on Local Councils and Housing Associations not to evict tenants in rent arrears due to Universal Credit.

Proposed: Seconded:


 Posted by at 21:01
Jan 092018

DPAC Norfolk:

Lobbied against Norfolk STP

Protests against WCA outside Maximus assessment centre

Protest against PIP at Atos assessment centre Norwich

Took part in Norwich Pride parade in July


ROFA -UN CRPD delegation with DPAC.

Dpac Glasgow have built link with RMT, unison & PCS. We are co producing with PCS  a benefit survival tool kit booklet. We aim to distribute it to various locations across the city & continue to build solidarity & members. We have a meeting with PCS officials to strengthen our links & co working to fight welfare reform & office closures. We attended STUC disabled workers conference.

We had a few demonstrations with the RMTand have several actions organised with RMT including a meeting with transport minister all under the banner of access for all. We continue to have our monthly picket at Cadogen St outside ESA MAXIMUS assessment office. 

Suffolk DPAC.

1: UN report briefing on violations of disabled peoples rights (houses of parliament) Tuesday 24th January 2017, chaired by Baroness Deech.

2: Brexit Q&A Burlington Baptist Church Ipswich 1st February.

3: Norfolk DPAC meeting Norwich 6th February ( I attended representing Suffolk DPAC).

4: Public meeting on NHS, co-op education centre 9th February.

5: Save NHS Demo London 4th March.

6: Assistance with an appeal for a lady re ESA 10th March.

7: Protest against Housing Benefit Cuts, Parliament Square 1st April.

8: Ipswich May Day Festival 30th April (Paula Peters spoke after John McDonnell MP) 

9: #Not The Fucking Tories demo Old Palace-yard London 2nd May.

10: Ben Gummer (former Tory MP for Ipswich) Q & A at the Greyhound pub Ipswich 17th May, (gave him a right grilling re ESA & PiP).

11: Ben Gummer (former Tory MP for Ipswich) Kingfisher pub Ipswich 30th May.(I gave him a right grilling again).

12: NUT Question Time, Northgate Arts Centre Ipswich (Ben Gummer got a massive grilling at this event).

13: Peoples assembly #ToriesOut National demonstration London 1st July.

14: Interview with Laura Smith from RT at my home re disabled people turning to crowdfunding for wheelchairs etc, 6th July.

15: National day of action for local DPAC groups, Suffolk DPAC joined Norfolk DPAC at st marys house Norwich 18th july.

16: Attended PiP tribunal for a person with mental health issues at HMCTS tribunal services Ipswich as an advocate 21st August (outcome:-PIP awarded in favour of claimant).

17: Burston Rally Norfolk Suffolk DPAC in attendance.

18: Meeting with Sandy Martin MP in Parliament got him to attend a debate re Universal Credit! then home for ISCRE (Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality) AGM, ISCRE has published two booklets called the “3Ds Project” Disability + Disadvantage = Duty. 1st one is for disabled people claiming JSA and the 2nd one is for disabled people claiming Universal Credit both tell you what you need to know before signing the claimant commitment, 19th September.

19: RMT strike at Ipswich train Station 5th October. 

20: Smash the Cap Rally Norwich 14th October.

21: Liberty Human Rights Award London 24th October.

22: National Disabled Peoples Summit London 4th November.

23: National day Of Action on Universal credit Ipswich town centre 2nd December.

DPAC occupation of lobby area of houses of parliament 19th july 2017

And anti – ATOS protest in London 21st July.


Berkshire DPAC

Apart from our meetings, the main action we took this year – along with other disability groups, was to take on the Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust. They wanted to close the hydrotherapy pool (the only one for about 30 miles) but prolonged action (demos, speaking at meetings and talking with the CEO ensured that it stayed open in the end. We also demonstrated in Maidenhead Theresa May’s constituency, in the run-up to the elections.

Finally we are engaged in a serious battle with an organisation claiming to support people with mental distress, which is run by an empire builder who doesn’t mind who gets hurt if they are in the way and also struggling to get Reading and District Labour Party to address disability issues properly.

We also improved our online presence and gained new members that way.


Bristol DPAC formed in September 2017

Bristol Austerity March in September

At the momentum/people assembly’s demo to #unseat Crabb in Pembroke

And at Weston General Hospital to save the A&E dept

And we greeted Jeremy Hunt when he visited Callington Hospital in Bristol

We also attended Disability History month at Unite Bristol.


Sheffield DPAC

We’ve mainly been doing supporting stuff really but that has involved Tory party conference prime minister’s speech protest. Supported Mental Health Action Group Sheffield with article on their campaign, one of the DPAC Sheffield activists was one of the founders of it

There’s the save south Yorkshire women’s aid campaign in Doncaster that we’ve been supporting since the end of August.

We attended to the Orgreave Campaign death of justice march on 31st October in Sheffield

We’ve gone and checked out the Sheffield junk food project, but they don’t have much you can share online etc really they’re still starting up

We had some supported the McStrike strike on September 4th

Something else, we tried very hard to fight the closure of Eastern avenue job centre in Sheffield. The first of the list of over 70 proposed job centre closures nationally. Tim Jones and myself both leafleted, joined the picket, attended public meeting to speak as someone who uses that job centre. Did TV and newspapers interview to support the PCS but mainly the community, coming from disabled people’s perspectives but it has been closed down.

Three times this year we have been to support the RMT keep the guards on the trains

The latest local campaign that we’re helping to raise awareness of is the NHS minor injuries unit in Sheffield and the Barnsley maternity unit that are both at risk of closure.


Manchster DPAC

January: Free films screenings of I, Daniel Blake where we spoke to sell out audiences about the reality depicted in the film.

February: Met with Lifeshare charity to discuss ideas for helping disabled homeless people.

March: Planning meeting and questioning mayoral candidates at GMCDP event.

April: GMCDP (Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People) hustings for Mayor elections (Tory candidate failed to attend) and Unite Community Universal Credit talk given.

May: Confronted Government ODI (Office for Disability Issues) member over the UN report of grave and systemic human rights abuses of disabled people live on Al Jazeera.

June: #CripTheVoteUK to increase voting and political representation in the snap general election.

July: Members undergoing PIP assessments supported with our recording equipment (available to all Disabled Great Manchester residents, please ask for details).

August: Plans begin for Tory party conference, liaising with People’s Assembly and assessing access at Partisan communal space (not accessible until 2018).

September: Banner making with GMCDP’s new campaign group, accessibility survey, and final plans for Tory conference. Taking part in creation of Disabled People’s advisory panel to new Greater Manchester Mayor to improve our rights and representation in Greater Manchester.

October: Protest against Tory Party conference. Wall of Noise protest and disruption of Theresa May’s speech on Wednesday, kettling avoided.


November: Planning meeting and further work on advisory panel with Greater Manchester DPO’s. London National Disabled People’s Conference & workshops.

December: Working group to be established for Disabled People’s advisory panel in New Year. And finally Thursday 21st Ashton protest supporting Charlotte Hughes.


Ceredigion (Cardigan) DPAC – our newest local group

We’re very new, but so far a group of us approached our local MP Ben Lake regarding access for mobility challenged and wheel chair users in our town. We raised concern about Kinora, our local mental health drop in centre being inaccessible for wheel chair users. We met up with the people running the drop in centre to discuss wheel chair access when they move to their new building which we are told will be completely wheel chair accessible. Same with our local women’s aid group which has been running workshops in a basement till now. They now run some workshops in a local church hall to accommodate disabilities more. We are also encouraging them to do more outreach work with disabled people in the area. We are also campaigning to make our local swimming pool wheel chair friendly.

We will be having a follow up meeting with Ben in the new year regarding pavement dips (lack of them). Also had our first protest against UC, got petitions signed and more members on board. We had a Xmas get together and will be organising a Xmas get together for the Jo Cox campaign in our local town and to raise awareness of how isolation and loneliness affect our community.

We’re a very small seaside type town, so all this is very new here. CAB are really interested in working with us, our MP needs a poke every now and then to remind him what we are doing (could do better, were working on him, he’s very new to the role). The labour party here are also involved and support us with our campaign. Hoping for lots more action in the new year and to start fundraising.


 Posted by at 21:08
Jan 042018
The NHS is facing one of the worst winter crisis in it’s history, but it’s a crisis not caused by the weather alone, it’s caused by this Governments deliberate underfunding, cuts and privatisation. Along with Health Campaigns Together The People’s Assembly are calling a demonstration to demand that the Government fix the NHS crisis now.


12pm, Saturday 3 February 
Assemble: Gower Street, London WC1

The #NHSWinterCrisis has now descended into a perpetual year round  crisis. A crisis that has brought staff to their knees and patients languishing and even dying in overcrowded waiting rooms and hospital corridors.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

When headlines report there is a “third world” crisis in the 6th richest country in the world, let’s be clear and call this what it is: an entirely manufactured political crisis by the Tories.

It is time this Government stops blaming patients, nurses, doctors, immigrants, flu and the elderly for their shortcomings. It’s time they start listening to the country who is sick of empty promises from the mouths of cowardly politicians. The Tories must heed the call of the public, staff and patients alike who demand that #ourNHS is not only funded properly but brought back into public hands away from the waste and demands of shareholders and bankers’ bonuses.

On the 70th year of the NHS we created – we demand that #ourNHS is given back! We must end the NHS crisis now.

Join the demonstration, called by the People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together, on Saturday 3 February, 2018:

March and Demonstration
12pm, Saturday 3 February
Assemble Gower Street Central London WC16

Check out the Facebook Event here and share widely.

More info available soon on our website here.

If you want to get involved, get flyers and other materials sent to you, contact us today on

See you on the streets!

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity

 Posted by at 18:43
Dec 312017

As always we are so grateful to you all for the various types of support we’ve had this year from you. Without that support none of the things we do would be possible. We’ve seconded four extra people to the Steering Group this year and are very happy to welcome their input. We also always need help with the more boring admin tasks that are nevertheless so vital so if anyone has any time or energy to spare please get in touch with us at


Also too I hope nothing vital is missed out of this round up but with around 15 pages of notes it is difficult to make sure everything and everyone is included.

This year saw yet another General Election and that together with the Brexit catastrophe we seem to be facing has made it difficult to raise our issues with politicians although we’ve succeeded in making ourselves very visible to them several times this year.

The unprecedented UN inquiry which we instigated found that the Tories (and indeed the Lib Dems and Sir Nick Clegg) were guilty of both the grave and systematic violation of our rights.

DPAC together with ROFA and Black Triangle Campaign have also been to Geneva in March and August to present further evidence to support these violations to the UN Disability Committee.This year as well as continuing to work on the Inquiry the Committee carried out the normal periodic review of the UK’s implementation of UNCRPD. This involved submitting two further detailed reports proving the regression and abuse disabled people face in the UK .

The UN report from this review was again very damning and Chair of the Committee, Teresia Derenger described what has happened to disabled people under the Tories rule as a “human catastrophe.”


We await the government’s response to that report which will no doubt be yet another barrage of lies and deceits as they thrash around trying to justify their horrendous treatment of disabled people. Meanwhile the research team continue to work closely with the UN to gather further detailed evidence of the atrocities faced on a daily basis.


Protests – both local and national

January started off with a protest at the High Court supporting Doug Paulley in his discrimination case against First Bus company.

We also protested against underhand changes to PIP regulations which were sneaked in and which have now been legally challenged.

LetmeLook TV


The judgement for the legal challenge is due any day now and we have been actively involved in supporting this including in November a vigil once again at the High Court with Mental Health Resistance Network and Winvisible.

We continue to work closely with the free psychotherapy network made up of MH survivors and professionals plus a smattering of others and had a lively early morning protest outside the Savoy Conference Centre with them.

We joined in with UNITE’s National Day of Action against Benefit sanctions as did many local DPAC groups at the end of March.

March and April saw a lot of joint actions with RMT over the plans to introduce Driver Only Operated trains which for disabled people will be a disaster further reducing our ability to travel when and where we want. Further protests with RMT have continued throughout the year in London, Yorkshire, Ipswich and Brighton in particular.


April and May also saw us very busy both visibly and invisibly fighting to #TrashtheTories as part of our #NotthefuckingTories election campaigning. We held our week of action from April 14th-21st.

We held a Tories Out protest at parliament and tried to get into Tory party HQ although surprisingly they didn’t let us in and barricaded themselves behind locked doors.


As part of  #TrashtheTories we joined activists from Berkshire DPAC in Maidenhead (Theresa’s constituency) on June 2nd and also on the same day activists in Windsor to get our message about her and Theresa’s team out to the electorate. We had earlier considered visiting the village she lives in, Sonning, but the many heavily armed guards and lack of accessible toilets made it an undesirable target. What it is to be so popular you have to be protected by dozens of armed police.

We also invested a lot of money, time and effort into facebook adverts during the election campaign which allowed us to reach over half a million voters in the most marginal constituencies with a series of messages. Not all of the responses we got back to the adverts were positive as some of those we reached were Tory or UKIP voters. In London we had an active and successful campaign in Croydon to get rid of the sitting Tory MP and held hustings in several places as well as enrolling disabled voters.

DPAC Launches Election Film Series

Given the election and the loss of time for serious lobbying we thought in July just before MPs went off for the summer recess that they needed to be reminded we’re still here so we blocked the lobby entrance in parliament getting much needed media attention from that action. Later this year we were shortlisted for a Liberty Human Rights prize for this.

We also joined a number of other protests the Budget Day Protest, various NHS protests both against STPs and calling for a Scrap to the Cap on pay, Anti-Atos protest in July, and a National Day of Action against Universal Credit about which we are calling for #StopandScrap and not merely #PauseandFix as we do not believe UC can be fixed as it is like the WCA essentially flawed based as it is on conditionality.

Manchester DPAC also planned and hosted the protest at the Tory Party Conference there organising a wall of noise to disrupt Theresa’s speech.

Local groups have also been involved in many local campaigns and protests against STPs, Atos, Maximus and DWP assessments, Housing Benefit cuts, against loss of local services, and against closures of Job Centres and women’s refuges to name but a few.

Speaking and other activities

DPAC activists have spoken at events and meetings around the country far too many to mention them all but some events DPAC speakers spoke at include Bridges without Walls, RMT rallies, International Women’s Day, Norwich May Day rally, National Pensioners Party Conference, Marxism, CWU disabled workers conference, Reb Law, South West UNITE Bristol history seminar, Bristol Austerity March, Pembrokeshire demo to unseat Stephen Crabb, Weston General Hospital save A&E department, anti DUP rally called by Owen Jones, NEU disabled workers’ conference,  LRC fringe at PCS conference, and speech sent to UCU Equalities Conference.

At the Labour Party Conference Paula spoke as a CLP delegate and raised the attacks against disabled people and Ellen spoke at the PCS meeting on transforming social security, at Momentum’s a World Transformed festival and was also on a panel with Dawn Butler and Owen Jones. Roger also spoke at a fringe meeting.

We also had a number of successful local direct action workshops through our Lock Up Your Wheelchairs tour.

Last February we also exhibited various art installations at the LUSH summit which lasted for 2 days and had over 2,000 visitors.

We’ve also with help from some of you been interviewed for numerous programmes both for viewing in the UK and abroad, written articles for publication both here and abroad and generally kept spreading the word whenever possible. As well as this we’ve had various research interviews for projects and helped with film work especially for the election campaign.

More recently a DPAC steering group member was involved in co-ordinating the National Disabled People’s Summit including 14 workshops to look at how we can more effectively co-ordinate our resistance to the Tories and bringing together ROFA and TUC disabled members. We also funded and organised with support from ROFA an Independent Living Campaign Conference and have been working closely with Fuel Poverty Action group against restrictions on the cap on energy Bills which at the moment will exclude many people who should get this help.

We have also supported disabled and anti-racism campaigners in Bristol to respond to the murder of disabled asylum seeker Kamil Ahmed and plan a national event for next year.

Next year we also plan a major campaign to #StopandScrap Universal Credit and will continue as always to fight for disabled people’s right to live independently with the right levels of support.

 Posted by at 18:38
Dec 232017

with thanks to Crippen, cartoonist extraordinaire


The DPAC steering group would like to wish everyone our best wishes for the festive season and the New Year. We’ll be posting an update of our activities, and those of some of our local groups, this year as soon as possible and have some exciting events and plans for 2018. Our fightback against injustice and oppression will continue.

 Posted by at 16:24
Dec 212017

Today, the 21st  of December, the High Court judge Mr Justice Mostyn allowed the claim in the case of RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The case was brought by a Disabled person with mental health support needs to challenge the changes the government made to Personal Independence Payment Regulations in March 2017[i].

These changes were urgently introduced to reverse the impact of the Upper Tribunal Judgement in the case of MH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PIP): [2016] UKUT 531[ii] 

These changes prevent thousands of people who cannot plan and follow a journey due to psychological distress from qualifying for higher rates of this benefit or qualifying at all[iii].

The Public Law Project, who represented RF argued in court that the changes are discriminatory and unlawful, because they go against original policy intent of PIP[iv].


The court said today that the regulations were discriminatory, and they have been quashed but it won’t take affect until the court of appeal decides the government can appeal

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London  said:

“This is a hugely important case.  It challenges the discriminatory way the government treats Disabled people with mental health support needs.  The outcome can make a difference to thousands upon thousands of Disabled people.  We have always believed that these changes are discriminatory and unfair and should have never been introduced. It is incomprehensible that the government pledges more support for people with mental health support needs and at the same time introduces, through the back door regulation changes  that prevent many thousands of Disabled people with mental health support needs from qualifying for this essential benefit.

The government’s actions to change PIP regulations and single out people who cannot travel because of psychological distress are a brutal attack on the rights of Disabled people.  Today’s case illustrates the lack of concern for Disabled people and the government’s inability to listen to us and engage with us.  It is extremely worrying that many of us feel the legal action is the only way for us to get heard”.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts said:

“We are pleased with the judgement today. It will make a huge difference for thousands of Disabled people with mental health support needs.

We have to remember that this challenge is taken in a context when the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities found systematic and grave violations of Disabled people’s rights a year ago.  And again in August it called the situation Disabled people are in a ‘human catastrophe’.  The UN specifically called on the Government to repeal changes to PIP regulations because they breach our human rights under the Convention”.


[i] Personal Independence Payment is a new benefit which replaced Disability Living Allowance for Disabled working-age claimants.  The purpose of the benefit is to compensate for extra costs of disability.  Eligibility for PIP is a points-based system where points are assigned to descriptors illustrating the difficulties person experiences in carrying out specific activities.

[ii] See the judgement here


[iii] The Government’s own Equality Impact Assessment stated that changes will prevent 164000 people from current PIP caseload from qualifying, 143.000 of those people will be prevented from qualifying at all.

Inclusion London supported the case from the start and provided a witness statement.

[iv] Statements made by the Government prior to 2014 as well as the Government’s 2012 Response to the consultation on PIP clearly express the intention of PIP to assess need rather than make decisions on the basis of impairment labels.

Statement from PLP

Statutory Instrument Quashed by the High Court

2017 Personal Independence Payment Regulations are Discriminatory

The High Court has found that part of the rules governing Personal Independence Payments are unlawfully discriminatory against people with mental health impairments. The Public Law Project’s client, RF, won on all three grounds of her challenge (RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions). The judge quashed the 2017 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Regulations because they discriminate against those with disabilities in breach of Human Rights Act 1998 obligations. Because they were discriminatory, the judge also found that the Secretary of State did not have lawful power to make the Regulations (i.e. they were “ultra vires”), and that he should have consulted before making them, because they went against the very purpose of what PIP regime sought to achieve.

The judge heard that the Regulations were laid by negative resolution in February 2017, received relatively little parliamentary attention, and were rushed through the parliamentary process by the Secretary of State without prior reference to checks by relevant committees.  Contrary to the Secretary of State’s defence, the judge found that the decision to introduce the Regulations was ‘manifestly without reasonable foundation’ and commented that the wish to save money could not justify such an unreasonable measure.

During the course of the trial, the Secretary of State accepted that the testing carried out for PIP had not looked at whether the basis for treating those with psychological distress differently was sound or not, and the testing actually done was limited. 

RF’s claim was supported by The National Autistic Society, Inclusion London, Revolving Doors and Disability Rights UK. All of those organisations gave statements to the court that the Regulations were unfair and that the intention to treat those with psychological distress differently had not been made clear in the early PIP consultation stages. The claim was also supported by two interveners: Mind and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC made written submissions to the Court on the ongoing and persistent breaches by the UK Government of its obligations under UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities arising from its austerity measures. The Judge found that this inconsistency with the UN Convention supported his finding that the measure had no objective justification.

RF commented: “This judgment is important for a community of people with mental health problems fighting for their lives against discrimination.”  

Note to Editors:

The case was previously known as SM and RF, but is now known as RF v Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions. There is an anonymity order in place protecting SM and RF.

The Government intends to appeal the decision. The Regulations will not be quashed until the Court of Appeal decides whether or not the appeal should proceed. RF is anticipating a decision on this in early 2018.

 A digital version of the decision will be available shortly here:

Further enquiries can be made to

 Posted by at 10:58
Dec 202017

Assistive technology for Deaf and Disabled people in work  – your experience

There is a Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry on assistive technology for Deaf and Disabled people in work.

To inform Inclusion London’s evidence to the inquiry I would be grateful if you can send me:

  • Your experience of assistive technology, both the process of getting it and how useful it is to you for obtaining and maintaining employment and/or
  • Your answers to the questions below, which have been set by the Select Committee and some additional ones by Inclusion London. 

Please send all responses to Henrietta.Doyle by Monday 15 January 2018.

‘Scope of the inquiry

The Committee invites evidence on the role of assistive technology in improving disabled people’s employment rates, drawing on the Government’s response to the Committee’s Disability employment gap report.

The Committee welcomes submissions addressing any or all of the following questions:

  • What role can assistive technology play in removing barriers to work and helping disabled people stay in work?
  • How should the Government support the development of this technology, and are there any particular innovations it should look to support?
  • Is Access to Work the most effective means of providing access to assistive technology? Should other funding models be considered?’

Additional questions from Inclusion London:

  • Are there barriers to obtaining assistive technology needed, if so what are the solutions to this?
  • What are the greatest barriers to disabled people obtaining and maintaining work – is it lack of assistive technology or other issues?

You are welcome to send a submission directly to the Select Committee. The deadline for this inquiry is 19 January 2018. 

Information about the inquiry is available at:

 Posted by at 11:39