Press release; Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
For immediate release 27-03-16.
Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly Against Austerity are organising a demonstration outside Stephen Crabb’s Office for this Saturday 2nd which will take place from 11AM till 1PM. Demonstrators will be demanding that Crabb recognises public opinion and resigns as Pembrokeshire Mencap patron following his recent vote to cut ESA by £30 per for disabled people.
Organisers say that as there has as yet been no statement made by Stephen Crabb’s office, nor Mencap Pembrokeshire indicating that Crabb is to resign as Mencap patron so they feel that they have no other option but to press ahead with the demonstration.
The 38degrees petition calling for Crabb to resign as patron of Mencap Pembs is close to reaching 12,000 signatures. It had already achieved 2000 signatures within its first two days. Notably before Crabb was appointed as DWP secretary. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stephen-crabb-resign-as-mencap-patron-pembs-immediately-voted-for-disabled-to-lose-ps30-a-week-esa-1)
Jim Scott, the organiser of the petition said; “There is now overwhelming pressure from all quarters for Crabb to resign this post. The Mencap Facebook page (Stackpole Walled Gardens) https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1211400478871977&id=359545597390807&fref=nf has been inundated with comments requesting that Crabb be removed as their patron. A great many people have written and emailed Mencap locally as well as nationally. Many people have even said that they will be withholding their donations until this matter is resolved. The petition continues to grow. Public pressure as well as the efforts of DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) has already forced 4 ESA voting MP’s to resign their patronages of other disability charities as part of DPAC’s on-going campaign aptly named ‘Operation #ToryDump’ https://dpac.uk.net/2016/03/operation-torydump-lobby-disability-charities-to-reject-esacut-mps-nameandshame/ . It is just a matter of time now. Crabb simply cannot and will-not get away with voting in Westminster for cuts such as the ESA cut which is a ‘done-deal’ now for Crabb and cannot be ‘undone’ . Yet then masquerade as some kind of champion for disabled people while back in Pembrokshire, his game is up! These cuts have already caused widespread poverty, destitution, homelessness and many suicides among our most vulnerable and deserving members of society. Crabb, and all other ESA voting MP’s simply have to go.”
Romayne Phoenix, National Co-Chair of The People’s Assembly said; “With Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation and the government forced to backtrack on Osborne’s disastrous budget, there are many more British people now recognising the hypocrisy of having Tory patrons of these disability charities & charities which focus on care. The pressure is on – and Crabb’s appointment looks to have been a mistake made in a hurry that the `Tories will regret for a long time.”
A spokesperson for DPAC said “The strength of disabled people has been shown over the past few weeks-we will not support any charity or MP who voted for the cuts to ESA. The charities must remove such MPs, if they do not it will be more confirmation for disabled people whos side the charities are really on”
Natalie Bennett – Green Party leader publically signed the 38degrees petition calling for Crabb to resign when visiting Fishguard last week for an anti-cuts debate. Bennett was joined in signing the petition by Alice Hooker Stroud – Wales Green Party leader, Chris Overton – Withybush Hospital campaigner and Kay Dearing of SOS (Save our Sixth Forms Pembrokeshire).
Other MP’s are facing similar pressure including Liam Fox, another Mencap Patron who has had a petition lodged against him to resign as Mencap patron for North Somerset. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/liam-fox-please-resign-as-patron-of-mencap-north-somerset?bucket&source=twitter-share-button
Speakers invited to Saturdays demonstration include, National People’s Assembly Against Austerity, DPAC (disabled People Against cuts) and other local disability groups, Wales Green Party, Plaid Cymru, The Labour Party, The Green Party, Lib-Dems, Plaid for Pride, Welsh Green Pride, TUSC, Left unity, and many more local campaigners.
Organisers say “This will be a united show of strength demonstrating cross-Party & multi-Campaign support, this will show Crabb and the Charity involved that even just a few weeks from a major election here in Wales, all Parties and campaigns are willing to stand together to show a united front in the face of such injustice. Austerity is ideologically driven and is ruining people’s lives, people are dying out there yet wealth among the richest has doubled in the past 5 years. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what Crabb’s Government is up to, but we need to be united in order to put a stop to it.”
The organisers urge all concerned citizens of Pembrokeshire and elsewhere to attend the demonstration and add their number to those demanding- Crabb must go! They also welcome spokespeople to attend and speak on behalf any other respective organisations who wish to be represented. You can contact them via their Facebook page for more information. (Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly (against austerity) https://www.facebook.com/groups/172685536228983/
Protestors will gather shortly before 11AM on Saturday at Crabb’s office, Upper Market St Haverfordwest, SA61 1QA.
Notes to editors;
The speakers list for this event is being constantly updated and can be checked here; (Facebook event page). https://www.facebook.com/events/1037182496327308/
Attached showing Sticker and campaign banner picture.
A special sticker has even been created for the event , these stickers are available at; https://stickittothetories.org.uk/product/crabb-resign-as-mencap-patron/