Oct 122012
 

New Chair nominated for Equality and Human Rights Commission

 

Baroness Onora O’Neill has been chosen by the Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller, to be the next Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Her appointment will need to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee before it is confirmed. The selection comes in the wake of Trevor Phillips leaving the Commission after a controversial two terms as Chair.

 

Baroness O’Neill is a philosopher and a crossbench member of the House of Lords, who has held several academic positions and sat on the boards of various organisations to do with public science and bioethics. She has written extensively about choice and autonomy, so it will be interesting to hear her thoughts about disability equality. The incoming Chair’s background is one of privilege – she was privately educated and studied at Oxford and Harvard – and she is used to dealing with abstract academic issues rather than the nuts and bolts of disability politics on the ground. Time will tell whether she can connect with the needs of disabled people at grass roots level. Encouragingly, giving evidence to the Commission on Assisted Dying last year, she recognised the potential pressures on people with impairments and serious illnesses, saying that the idea of effective legal safeguards for assisted dying involved “misleading and unrealisable fantasies about individual autonomy”. She said that assisted suicide is “not safely legislatable”. We will have to wait for her appearance before the Joint Committee on Human Rights to find out more about where she stands on the issues that matter to disabled people.

 

It has been rumoured that Baroness O’Neill will be presiding over a sinking ship. Although the Commission escaped the government’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’, its budget has been slashed, its helpline has been given to a private provider, and its grants programme has been cut. Is the Commission being hollowed out ready to be shut down altogether – or will it be allowed to find a way to struggle on with a new operating model? Under this government, it’s anybody’s guess.

Oct 072012
 

TUC rally 20th October speakers DPAC and Black Triangle

Dear Mr Barber

Both DPAC and Black Triangle have the largest supporter base of any grass root groups of disabled people and have worked tirelessely to raise the issues that this government have been responsible for – we have also made it clear that we support union actions and have supported these through tireless promotion and speakers at major and local union events .

 We were therefore dissapointed and surprised at not to being asked to speak at the TUC Rally on the critical issues that face disabled people.
 
This is something we know a lot about with a combined supporter base of thousands with Black Triangle’s blog rated 3rd on ebuzzing politics ( bigger than Labour’s List) and 4th of all UK blogs for October. DPAC is also in the top 20 for politics and has been at number 1 of UK health blogs for some time
 
However, we understand how difficult it is to organise such an event so assume this may be an oversight.
 
We look forward to hearing from you on this issue.  
 
DPAC and Black Triangle
 
We will be posting this email and the response on our web sites
 
 
 
Oct 062012
 

A successful conference held in London on the 27th September called for a new UK network to challenge the attacks on disability rights in the UK. The conference supported by DPAC, Inclusion London, ALLFIE, Norfolk Coalition of Disabled people and the Joseph Rowntree Trust brought together leading Disabled Peoples Organisations and leading disability activists.

Key speaker Jenny Morris said that the ‘disability movement’ was more vibrant than ever, and that this Government had launched a number of attacks on disabled people and their rights. However others suggested that there may not be a disability movement anymore, but pockets of activity. What was clear was that challenges by disabled people and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) must increase. Speakers also raised issues of how ‘the movement’ could be more inclusive in the speakers ‘from the frontline’ slots.

DPAC was there to add commentary and information on what was happening to disabled people under the regime of Atos and the ESA processes as well as the everyday crisis disabled people were facing under this Government. The whole day was brilliantly co-chaired by Tracey Lazard ( CEO of Inclusion London ) and Tara Flood ( director of the Alliance of Inclusive Education) . Speakers included Jenny Morris, Andrew Lee, Eleanor Lisney, Chris Edwards, Debbie Jolly, Linda Burnip and Geraldine O’Halloran, yet, there was also plenty of time for discussion.

Catch up on conference and presentations with the livestream (with BSL)

Catch up on all presentations and discussions through live stream and see Stephen Lee Hodgkin’s brilliant time-line at http://www.inclusionlondon.co.uk/

Read the excellent John Pring’s ( Disability News Service) account of the day at

 http://www.thefedonline.org.uk/federation-news/item/1828-new-network-aims-to-unite-disability-movement.html

Another option to keep up with what’s happening and have a chance to dicuss your views is to tune into Make Yourself Heard on Tuesdays 2-4p.m with Merry Cross  www.Reading4u.co.uk 

Join up to the new UK network: be part of the increasing outcry on our injustices!

Send an email to mail@dpac.uk.net with subject line ‘UK Network’ to be kept in the loop on this exciting and much needed new network of DPOs and activists.

We can also put you in touch with any local DPAC groups in your area or help you set up your own local DPAC group. We now have 26 DPACs across the UK and along with our sister organisation Black Triangle in Scotland we have made sure that disabled peoples’ issues are vibrant and will continue to be-never again must we allow our ‘movement’ to get sleepy- join the challenge!

 

Oct 062012
 

MP  and DPAC supporter John McDonnell’s Early Day Motion 295 against the system of the WCA and Atos has 111 signatures , not one of them Conservative, what a surprise. It says:

That this House deplores that thousands of sick and disabled constituents are experiencing immense hardship after being deprived of benefits following a work capability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare under a 100 million a year contract; notes that 40 per cent of appeals are successful but people wait up to six months for them to be heard; deplores that last year 1,100 claimants died while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and that a number of those found fit for work and left without income have committed or attempted suicide; condemns the International Paralympic Committee’s promotion of Atos as its top sponsor and the sponsorship of the Olympics by Dow Chemical and other corporations responsible for causing death and disability; welcomes the actions taken by disabled people, carers, bereaved relatives and organisations to end this brutality and uphold entitlement to benefits; and applauds the British Medical Association call for the work capability assessment to end immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not cause harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

see if your MP has signed up here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/295

If not go to http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ to find your MP

If they are the ‘helpful’ type who say they do not sign EDMs write them an email or harress them on twitter re Atos and the misery its inflicting on disabled people

The outcry is growing- add to it

Oct 032012
 

This is the page to see all of the latest news on events that are happening in the space. Be aware dates and times may be subject to change.

Saturday October 6th:

Sunday October 7th:

2-4pm – Occupy Design UK invites you to bring radical design, artwork and ideas to the first of a serious of events we will be doing at the CutsCafe. This will be a space to plan creative responses to the cuts, make some work and decorate the new building with audacious radical art. See:http://occupydesign.org.uk/

Monday October 8th:
7.30-9pm Disabled People Against the Cuts: Direct Action for everybody. Why we do it and how to plan it.

Tuesday October 9th:

1pm-5.30pm Green and Black Cross Legal Observer Training: A hands on training about dealing with the police and supporting protest on mass and smaller direct actions.

7pm-8.30pm Waging a Living Underground: Cleaners fighting back and winning, a talk by Nigerian born RMT organiser Clara Osagiede

7pm-9pm Fitwatch present: Direct Action is a powerful tactic against the snooping and prying of Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and their new sidekicks, Police Liaison Officers. A little organised resistance can stop the FIT / PLOs from getting their ‘intel’ at crucial times -such as when they are recording the clothing and shoes of people in that quiet time when people are gathering for demos. Action like this can be very effective at keeping people out of police and prison cells. This is a meeting to discuss the role of FIT and PLOs, to share experiences of action against them, and to discuss ideas of how we might deal with them on the 20th October.

Wednesday October 10th:

6pm- Atomic Weapons Eradication present: Whats the connection between resisting cuts and resisting the replacement of Trident? We’re all seeing the impact of austerity on our communities. So it’s difficult to believe that Trident submarines are being replaced at a cost of £25 billion and that the arms trade is propped up by £700 million of public funds a year. Come to this workshop to learn more about Trident and military spending and to discuss possibilities for direct action.  http://actionawe.org/

8pm-9.30pm No Pay, No Way: Interns pressure group fighting for entry level positions in workplaces and an end to unpaid labour. The group comprises current, ex interns and those who cant afford internships at all. No Pay No Way organises predominantly but not exclusively the NGO and charity sector. This workshop is about fighting back!

Thursday October 11th:

5pm-6pm- Occupiers present: An Assembly on Assemblies! Groups including #15m and #occupy will talk about their experiences in public assemblies and possible structures, including consensus.

6pm-7pm- Robin Hood Tax: Dispelling the myths of the financial transaction tax and what it could mean for the UK.

7pm-8:30pm- UKUNCUT present: From Anger to Creative Action  www.ukuncut.org.uk/

Friday October 12th:

6pm-7pm: Austerity and Violence Against Women: how women under economic and physical attack are reclaiming their future – with Sarah Day, Caseworker with women surviving domestic abuse.

7/8pm TBC: Open mic, improv, & poetry against the cuts.

Saturday October 13th:

ALL DAY EVENT: 12pm-8pm Capitalism for Anti-Capitalists: Join Kaput and Corporate Watch for an introductory session into the economics of the global capitalist system.

ALL DAY EVENT: 1pm Onwards- A future that works art workshop: A collaborative art workshop

7pm-9pm- Who Polices The Police? The family of Sean Rigg, a 40-year old black musician killed in police custody join with Ken Fero.

Sunday October 14th:

1pm-3pm- Able to Fight: Welfare Reform, Disability and Resistance: Michael Calderbank

3pm-5pm Stop the G8: The G8 conference is in the UK in Summer 2013. Never mind their nonsense about alleviating poverty and hunger, the G8 leaders will use the conference to dismantle borders for capital, financial investment, privatisation and policing. At the same time they will enforce borders for ordinary workers when it suits them and plan to further the domination of
natural resources by global elites.

A coalition of activists has formed to plan a mass mobilisation against the conference on the basis of non-hierarchy and a respect for diversity of tactics. Come and find out how to get involved. More info at https://network23.org/stopg8/

5-7pm Strike Debt: Jonathan Stevenson of the Jubilee Debt Campaign and David Graeber

Monday October 15th:

CUTS CAFE MATINEE 2-4pm Film Showing: SANKARA with Jonathan Stevenson of the Jubilee Debt Campaign

7pm-8pm- Ewa Jasiewicz: Skillshare how to organise your work place? Tools, Tactics, Ideas

8pm-9.30pm Radical London present: ”Community Organising to defeat cuts but also as direct action to build a real alternative to the system that makes them” -http://www.radicallondon.net/

Tuesday October 16th:

6-8pm: No Future in ‘a Future that Works’: Two Critiques of the TUC

A lot of protest in recent years against austerity follows the following blueprint: the TUC (or the NUS etc.) call for a day of
action and people to the left of the TUC seize this opportunity to modify, radicalise, or to oppose the TUC’s politics. What unifies
these radical criticisms is a dissatisfaction with the TUC’s call, aims and tactics. However, what exactly “we” oppose is rarely
discussed – it seems that almost any critique of the TUC and its “conservative” anti-austerity is acceptable.

Consequently we do not engage with each other. Conflicting accounts are not discussed, mere assertion of opposition suffices. This
situation seems to us to be unsatisfactory.

Hence, we call this meeting to discuss our critique of the TUC. “We” is in this case, on the one hand, some students who were active in the 2010 student movement and, on the other hand, the Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London. Each group will present its own critique of the TUC’s call “A future that works”. Afterwards, we
want to critique each other, receive critiques from the audience, and develop a clearer account of why the TUC’s “alternative” to the cuts should be resisted. The guiding question will be: “For what reason do we oppose ‘A future that works’?”.

The TUC’s campaign pamphlet can be accessed here:
– http://afuturethatworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/aftw-booklet.pdf

Wednesday October 17th:

3pm-5pm- Ken Loach Presents: “which side are you on?”, Short film on 9/11 and Q and A

6pm-7:30pm- London Coalition Against Poverty:  Fighting for our rights to housing and welfare: Mutual support and direct action work!

7.30pm Film Screening: Riot From Wrong

Thursday October 18th:

6pm-7.30pm Marindela – The Spanish Communist Utopia: Dan Hancox, Guardian journalist and author.

6-8pm The future isn’t working: Life beyond the wage and work beyond the wage by Michael Calderbank, Red Pepper

7:30-9:00pm Fuel Poverty Action present: What is fuel poverty in relation to cuts/ capitalism/ climate change and how can we take action against those causing it over the coming winter.

For more see: http://cutscafelondon.wordpress.com/events/

 

Sep 252012
 

The United Kingdom Disabled Peoples Council Response to the Fulfilling Potential Disability Strategy issued by the DWP.
The United Kingdom Disabled Peoples Council (UKDPC) initially had welcomed the long awaited publication of the Government Disability Strategy, Fulfilling Potential.

This important document would have guided the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and been a public declaration of intent to support disabled people to exercise full participation in every aspect of society.

UKDPC was surprised and disappointed to find that the action plan, Fulfilling Potential Next Steps, has set out the intention of creating a Disability Action Alliance, convened by Disability Rights UK, (DRUK). This alliance is apparently intended to be a partnership of ‘organisations from the voluntary, public and private sector who have expertise and influence’.

UKDPC is unable to support this action based on the following:

  • The contracting of DRUK to convene such a group was not obviously opened to expressions of interest or tendering by any other organisation. Alongside the appointment of the CEO to lead an employment review commissioned by Lord Freud without public tender, this places DRUK in a position of preferred supplier to the ODI.
  • The continued contracting of DRUK by the ODI and the convening of an unaccountable group could be construed as the creation of a Quango, which is against the principals of co-partnership and accountability.
  • This is a ‘top down’ structure that excludes disabled people from setting the agenda or defining the terms of reference. The creation of this alliance by the government is antagonistic to the principals of the CRPD which advocates the value of consulting and full involvement of disabled people.
  • Without clear terms of reference there is the possibility that the service providers or corporate employers represented would have a potential conflict of interest, eg if participating in government backed schemes such as Workfare or if being awarded contracts determined by changes in the benefits system.
  • The use of the name, Disability Action Alliance, gives rise to potential confusion with Disability Awareness in Action, a human rights based disabled peoples organisation that closed last year, with a well earned respect not just within the sector but also internationally.
  • As UKDPC considers the convening of the alliance as a flawed process then it follows that the function of such a group would similarly be flawed.
  • UKDPC wishes to state these concerns publically, and calls for:
  1. The process of contracting DRUK as the convenors be questioned and an open response be sought from government.
  2. The potential for forming a Quango be questioned and an open response from government.
  3.  Any proposed alliance be guided by disabled people with agreed terms of reference drawn up by the participants.
  4. Any further move to implement this alliance be suspended pending the questioning and satisfactory response to these concerns.

DPAC says….

We’d also like to add some further concerns as the inclusion of corporate partners and private for profit partners is not something DPAC endorses due to the activities of ATOS, UNUM and CAPITA being involved in actions through government partnerships and contracts that have clearly led to devastating outcomes for many disabled people. These outcomes have impacted on the core principles of independent living, dignity, respect and equality for disabled people throughout theUK.

We also feel that involving those who will profit from their exploitation of disabled people is against the intentions of the UNCRPD and the involvement of disabled people in self-determination of their lives and may lead to a conflict of interests with DRUK’s ability to carry out their functions.

Sep 222012
 

When George Osborne was booed at the Paralympics it was the clearest expression yet of the anger building up against the Tory / Liberal coalition’s welfare reforms, and their treatment of disabled people and those who are ill.

 The death of cancer patient Cecilia Burns on 27 August and her treatment by the benefits system managed by the Department for Work and Pensions and in part the private company ATOS Healthcare illustrates the nightmare situation anyone can find themselves in if they become disabled or fall ill.

 While undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Cecilia approached the state for help. She was subjected to the new Work Capability Assessment (WCA) system that was introduced in October 2008 alongside Employment and Support Allowance. This resulted from New Labour’s long-term policy of reducing the numbers on incapacity benefits by one million.

 The WCA, which is administered by ATOS, usually lasts about 15 minutes and uses a points system that looks at how a person is able to function physically, intellectually and socially. This assessment is so flawed that at their conference in May 2012, representatives of Britain’s 44,000 General Practitioners voted to campaign to end it.

 Like hundreds of thousands of others, Cecilia was badly let down and told despite her ongoing treatment she was ‘fit to work’. Her benefits were reduced by about £30 a week. At a time when Cecilia should have been allowed to concentrate on her health and be free of pressure, she had to appeal this decision. Her appeal was successful and she had her benefits restored a few weeks before her death.

 Cecilia said herself:

I was treated badly. I’ve been working since I was 17, I’ve paid all my stamps, all my National Insurance. The only time I was ever sick was when I was pregnant with my two sons. It has had a financial effect on me but it’s more (that) they’re getting away with it. They are just treating you like a second class citizen. That’s how I feel – that I don’t count, I don’t matter.”

What Cecilia Burns went through could easily be experienced by your mum, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, son, daughter, partner or you.

 Even those disabled and ill people who are assessed as being unfit for work are facing the prospect of fines of £71 a week if they fail to take part in work-related activities such as training or ‘condition management programmes’.

 At present about 70,000 claimants lose some or all of their benefits every month when they are sanctioned. The WCA is resulting in people being found fit to work who very few employers would ever consider giving a job to. People with moderate and mild learning disabilities, long-term and enduring mental health problems, and other complex conditions find it difficult to understand or complete the tasks demanded by the jobseekers benefit system. They face losing benefits for months for failing to do enough to find work they’ll never get.

 Disabled people have had enough and are fighting back. Disabled People Against Cuts organised 21 protests against ATOS on 28 August, and several other high profile protests in London during the Paralympics.

 ATOS has made hundreds of millions from running the Work Capability Assessment for the DWP, and is now about to heap more misery as they reassess millions of disabled people for the new Personal Independence Payments. We call for the WCA and recent Welfare Reform Acts to be scrapped, the DWP’s contracts with ATOS to end immediately, and the introduction of a more humane and compassionate welfare system.

 One person’s nightmare……

 I became disabled when I was hit by a car during my first year at University.  The collision put me in a critical condition with multiple injuries including a severe brain injury.  I survived the accident but was left with permanent disabilities as well as suffering from epilepsy.

 
I had wanted to study Law and become a Solicitor, but my disabilities have made that impossible.  In fact my disabilities, combined with the psychological trauma I suffered, have meant that I haven’t worked since my accident.
 
Until recently I was claiming two benefits, Disability Living Allowance as well as Incapacity Benefit.  My benefits didn’t amount to much but at least they allowed me to lead some kind of life.  Earlier this year that all changed when ATOS called me in for a Work Capability Test.
 
I was so angry when I first received the letter from ATOS.  After attending a Work Capability Test I was passed fit to work by ATOS and had all my benefits stopped.  ATOS made their decision based on a 15 minute interview.  They never contacted any of the medical professionals treating me; they never even researched my case history. 
 
Now I face a lengthy and stressful appeals process against ATOS.  I’m being treated for depression and at times have experienced suicidal thoughts.  ATOS never seemed to care what affect their ruling would have on my health or on the health of those around me.
 

A DPAC North East member

 
 
Sep 022012
 

This list is work in progress; there are many more articles to add……

With thanks to @Blacktriangle1 @WelfareUnion @Dis_PPL_Protest who provided the links to many of these articles.

DPAC thanks to Bob Ellard see http://llxs.blogspot.co.uk/ for more great stuff 

Publishing this list does not represent acceptance of the content of any articles in the list by DPAC.

Articles from September 2012

  1. Socialist Worker ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ ‘ATOS forced me to crawl on floor in tears’ ~ http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29452
  2. Socialist Worker ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ ‘Seven medals but now Tories want my benefits’ ~ http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29451
  3. Irish Times ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ Death of cancer patient who went public over benefit cuts ~ http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0901/1224323462479.html
  4. Socialist Worker ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ Hundreds protest outside ATOS headquarters then blockade DWP ~ http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29461
  5. Independent ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympics stars urged to denounce ATOS ~ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/paralympics-stars-urged-to-denounce-atos-8100016.html
  6. Google News ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ Protest over ‘fit for work’ tests ~ http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jFfy_GCYe5Mgv-_IUyNpsbZqkxlA?docId=B15689781346426077A00000
  7. RT News ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ Sponsorship scandal mars Paralympics ~ http://rt.com/sport/people-atos-work-disabled-126/
  8. Morning Star ~ 09 ~ 2012 ~ What game is ATOS playing? ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/122971

Articles from August 2012

Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ‘Is this country worth dying for?’ ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/123285

  1. This is Hull and East Riding ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ‘Responsibility to treat disabled people fairly’ ~ http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Responsibility-treat-disabled-people-fairly/story-16780701-detail/story.html
  2. Sourcing Focus ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ “Disability activists prepare to protest against ATOS” ~ http://www.sourcingfocus.com/index.php/site/newsitem/6144/ Washington Post ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Activist Patrick Lynch sobs during a protest next to ATOS’s London headquarters ~ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2012-paralympic-games-begin-in-london/2012/08/29/e759c3a6-f201-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_gallery.html#photo=14
  3. Washington Post ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ As Paralympics start, Britain’s disabled decry cuts ~ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/as-paralympics-start-britains-disabled-decry-cuts/2012/08/25/124b4756-ee10-11e1-b624-99dee49d8d67_story.html
  4. Computer Weekly ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS and Capita win £540m in controversial DWP disabilities testing contract ~ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240160775/Atos-and-Capita-win-540m-in-controversial-DWP-disabilities-testing-contract
  5. Times of News ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS benefit appeal woman dies ~ http://timesofnews.co/2012/08/31/atos-benefit-appeal-woman-dies
  6. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS doctors could be struck off ~ http://gu.com/p/3x7jd/tw
  7. Computer Weekly ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS employees to be investigated over Facebook remarks about disability benefit applicants ~ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240105368/Atos-employees-to-be-investigated-over-Facebook-remarks-about-disability-benefit-applicants
  8. The Daily Shame ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS parasites, sorry, employees have fun on Facebook ~ http://www.dailyshame.co.uk/2012/08/satire/atos-parasites-sorry-employees-have-fun-on-facebook/
  9. BBC News London ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Atos protest: Disability rights groups target firm ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19437785
  10. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS protests climax with ‘day of action’ against Paralympics sponsor ~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/31/atos-protest-paralympics-sponsor
  11. Press TV ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS protests climax with ‘day of action’ against Paralympics sponsors‎ ~ http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/31/259221/atos-protests-paralympics-sponsors/
  12. Mirror ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS protests: “Grand finale” to a week of action against ‘fit for work’ testing firm ~ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/atos-protests-grand-finale-to-a-week-1293518
  13. Blottr ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS: Public criticism gains momentum after inspirational Paralympics Opening Ceremony ~ http://www.blottr.com/breaking-news/atos-public-criticism-gains-momentum-after-inspirational-paralympics-opening-ceremony
  14. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Beggaring the nation ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/122744
  15. BBC News Northern Ireland ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Benefits appeal woman Cecilia Burns from Strabane has died ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19433535
  16. Rocket News ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Benefits cut appeal woman dies ~ http://www.rocketnews.com/2012/08/benefits-cut-appeal-woman-dies/
  17. This is Hull and East Riding ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Benefits protest at Hull branch of ATOS over Paralympic Games ‘hypocrisy’ ~ http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Benefits-protest-Hull-branch-Atos-Paralympic/story-16780711-detail/story.html
  18. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ British Paralympic team deny ‘anti-ATOS protest’ ~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/30/paralympics-gb-atos-protest
  19. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Callousness beyond belief ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/layout/set/print/…/122249
  20. Huffington Post ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Cecilia Burns Dead: Benefits Campaigner, Who Appealed Against ‘Fit To Work’ Report By ATOS, Dies ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/31/cecilia-burns-benefits-atos-fit-to-work-cancer-northern-ireland_n_1846314.html
  21. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Celebrate Paralympians, but remember they needed state help to get there ~ http://gu.com/p/3axvb/tw
  22. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Coalition told it must punish ATOS for mess ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/122842
  23. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Cuts to disability services threaten our Paralympian future – Sue Marsh ~ http://gu.com/p/3a3cy/tw
  24. Computer Weekly ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disability activists hijack Paralympics for ATOS protest ~ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240162193/Disability-activists-hijack-Paralympics-for-Atos-protest
  25. Sourcing Focus ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disability activists prepare to protest against ATOS ~ http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsitem/disability_activists_prepare_to_protest_against_atos/
  26. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disability campaigners are set to descend on Paralympic sponsor ATOS yet again tomorrow ~ http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/123345
  27. BBC News London ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disability protests at benefits contractor ATOS HQ ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19437785#
  28. Channel 4 News ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disability rights protesters invade government building ~ http://www.channel4.com/news/disability-rights-protestors-lobby-paralympic-sponsors-hq
  29. This is South Wales ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled groups in sponsor protest ~ http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Disabled-groups-sponsor-protest/story-16781328-detail/story.html
  30. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled people protest against ATOS role in Paralympics ~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2012/aug/31/disabled-protest-atos-paralympics-video
  31. Womens Views on News ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled people slam ‘hypocrisy’ of Paralympics sponsor ~ http://www.womensviewsonnews.org/2012/08/disabled-people-slam-hypocrisy-of-paralympics-sponsor/
  32. Metro ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled rights campaigners protest at ATOS and DWP ~ http://www.metro.co.uk/news/910348-disabled-rights-campaigners-protest-at-atos-and-dwp#ixzz25D1fzhhN
  33. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled storm DWP in daring anti-ATOS raid ~ http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/123345
  34. This is Derbyshire ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Fury at Paralympic ‘hypocrisy’ of private firm ATOS behind fit-to-work tests ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Fury-Paralympic-hypocrisy-private-firm-Atos-fit/story-16781044-detail/story.html
  35. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Home carer calls for hypocrite Cameron to be prosecuted ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/122682
  36. Independent ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Hundreds protest against Paralympics sponsor ATOS as anger about its role in slashing benefits bill intensifies ~ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hundreds-protest-against-paralympics-sponsor-atos-as-anger-about-its-role-in-slashing-benefits-bill-intensifies-8092512.html
  37. New Statesman ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Is benefit-bashing the next Osborne gamble to go wrong? ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/benefit-bashing-next-osborne-gamble-go-wrong
  38. New Statesman ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Labour must lead the way in restoring politics after its abuse by elites ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/188064/
  39. Independent ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Leading article: These Games are about ability and inspiration ~ http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-these-games-are-about-ability-and-inspiration-8084634.html
  40. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Letter: Paralympic paradox ~ http://gu.com/p/3a4xj/tw
  41. BBC News Kent ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Maidstone CAB ‘wins 95% of work test benefit appeals’ ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-19436358
  42. BBC News UK ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Minister for Disabled People: ‘We need to get changes right’ ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19419243
  43. Sourcing Focus ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ National Audit Office criticises ATOS ‘under-performance’ ~ http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsitem/national_audit_office_criticises_atos_under-performance/
  44. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ New disability test will ’cause suicides’ ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/layout/view/full/122317
  45. Computer Weekly ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympic protests against ATOS reaches Whitehall ~ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240162538/Paralympic-protests-against-Atos-reaches-Whitehall
  46. Independent ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympic sponsor ATOS engulfed by disability tests row ~ http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/paralympics/paralympic-sponsor-engulfed-by-disability-tests-row-8084799.html
  47. Brand Channel ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympic Sponsor ATOS Getting Grief From Athletes ~ http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post.aspx?id=e179ece3-4a27-4936-8c21-d0dacf1dd9a7
  48. Londonist ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympic Sponsor ATOS Provokes Protests ~ http://londonist.com/2012/08/paralympic-sponsor-atos-provokes-protests.php
  49. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympics 2012: crossing London can be an obstacle course for disabled fans ~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/aug/31/paralympics-2012-disabled-travel?CMP=twt_gu
  50. Tech Week Europe ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympics Sponsor ATOS Hits Back At Disability Protesters ~ http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/paralympics-atos-disability-protest-benefits-90709 
  51. Socialist Party Magazine ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympics, ATOS scandal, Remploy closures… Con-Dems win gold for hypocrisy! ~ http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15093
  52. Huffington Post ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympics: Government Accused Of ‘Hypocrisy’ Towards Disabled People ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/29/atos-paralympic-sponsors-under-fire-disabled-attitude_n_1838614.html?ref=topbar
  53. New Statesman ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Perhaps Iain Duncan Smith will accuse me of peeing on the data ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/economics/economics/2012/08/perhaps-iain-duncan-smith-will-accuse-me-peeing-data?page=3
  54. Guardian ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Phil Disley on ATOS‘s involvement with the Paralympics – cartoon ~ http://gu.com/p/3a5xx/tw
  55. This is Derbyshire ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Pressure mounts against firm over assessments for sickness support ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Pressure-mounts-firm-assessments-sickness-support/story-16732273-detail/story.html
  56. ITV News Wales ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Protest in Cardiff over tests for incapacity benefit ~ http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2012-08-29/protest-in-cardiff-over-tests-for-incapacity-benefit/
  57. Yahoo! News ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Protest over ‘fit for work’ tests ~ http://uk.news.yahoo.com/protest-over-fit-tests-153541825.html?ugccmtnav=v1%2Fcomments%2Fcontext%2F9dfabedf-b407-3eb5-9188-941d329dea3c%2Fcomments%3Fcount%3D20%26sortBy%3DhighestRated%26isNext%3Dtrue%26offset%3D20%26pageNumber%3D1
  58. Metro ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Protesters show anger at Paralympic sponsor over disability benefit work ~ http://www.metro.co.uk/olympics/910105-protesters-show-anger-at-paralympic-sponsor-over-disability-benefit-work?ITO=socialnet-twitter-button
  59. Blottr ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Protesters stage ‘die-in’ against ATOS sponsorship of Paralympics ~ http://www.blottr.com/breaking-news/protesters-stage-die-against-atos-sponsorship-paralympics
  60. Huffington Post ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Scuffles At Atos Paralympics Protest As Police And Disability Campaigners Clash (VIDEO) (PICTURES) ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/31/atos-paralympics-protest-uk-uncut-disability-_n_1846633.html
  61. Sheffield Telegraph ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Sheffield’s disabled join Paralympic protest ~ http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/sheffield-s-disabled-join-paralympic-protest-1-4873379#.UD-mQYBDVYY.twitter
  62. BBC News UK ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Sickness benefit contractor ATOS Healthcare to review letters ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19370200
  63. Independent ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ The lasting legacy of the Paralympics should be to see disabled people as equal ~ http://ind.pn/NC2ewG
  64. Mail ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ The Paralympics celebrate the strength of disabled people – and so do all the protests that accompany them ~ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2195885/The-Paralympics-celebrate-strength-disabled-people–protests-accompany-them.html#ixzz259Ao8YTb
  65. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Tycoonery ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/122651
  66. Telegraph ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Video: Disability rights protesters clash with police outside Department for Work and Pensions ~ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/9512523/Disability-rights-protesters-clash-with-police-outside-Department-for-Work-and-Pensions.html
  67. BBC News UK ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Watchdog finds ‘weaknesses’ in sickness benefit system ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19244639
  68. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2012 ~ Where the real greed lies ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/content/view/full/122290

July 2012

  1. Computer Weekly ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS profits grow 2% in first half of 2012 to €102m ~ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240160348/Atos-profits-grow-2-in-first-half-of-2012-to-102m
  2. Guardian ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Benefits assessment firm causing ‘fear and loathing’ among claimants, says MP ~ http://gu.com/p/3vn6j/tw
  3. Telegraph ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Disability tests ‘sending sick and disabled back to work’ ~ http://soc.li/gCxerBI
  4. Morning Star ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled means-test to be challenged at High Court ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/121944
  5. Guardian ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Fitness-for-work tests hit by technical chaos ~ http://gu.com/p/3974x/tw
  6. This is Derbyshire ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Hundreds in Derbyshire win victory in sickness benefits battle ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Hundreds-Derbyshire-win-victory-sickness-benefits/story-16337459-detail/story.html
  7. Sourcing Focus ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Olympic sponsor ATOS faces summer strikes ~ http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsitem/olympic_sponsor_atos_faces_summer_strikes/
  8. This is Derbyshire ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Review into flawed benefits system assessment praised ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Review-flawed-benefits-assessment-praised/story-16602404-detail/story.html
  9. New Statesman ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Welfare reform suicides must not be overlooked ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/187216/
  10. New Statesman ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Withdrawing benefits when there are no jobs to find is just cruel ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/187543/
  11. New Statesman ~ 07 ~ 2012 ~ Work capability assessments: the fightback ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/staggers/2012/07/work-capability-assessments-fightback

June 2012

  1. This is Derbyshire ~ 06 ~ 2012 ~ ‘The whole system needs sorting out’ says patient after benefit claim saga ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Whitehall-departments-told-save-cash/story-15900034-detail/story.html
  2. Camden New Journal ~ 06 ~ 2012 ~ FORUM: ‘Don’t play games with lives – disabled people won’t be silenced during the Olympics’ ~ http://www.camdennewjournal.com/forum-dont-play-games-lives-disabled-people-wont-be-silenced-during-olympics
  3. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2012 ~ How many more disabled people will die … ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/186565/
  4. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2012 ~ Human cost of welfare reform ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/38773/
  5. Morning Star ~ 06 ~ 2012 ~ MP reveals fight against depression ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/120230
  6. Morning Star ~ 06 ~ 2012 ~ Tory brushes off suicide warning ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/120518

May 2012

  1. New Statesman ~ 05 ~ 2012 ~ 500,000 could lose their disability benefits ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/185655/
  2. This is Derbyshire ~ 05 ~ 2012 ~ Council’s cuts will have devastating impact on homeless, warns group ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Council-s-cuts-devastating-impact-homeless-warns/story-16236934-detail/story.html
  3. Computer Weekly ~ 05 ~ 2012 ~ Department for Work and Pensions spent £24m with ATOS in 2011 ~ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240149963/DWP-spent-24m-with-Atos-last-year
  4. Morning Star ~ 05 ~ 2012 ~ Living at the sharp end ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/layout/view/full/119588
  5. Morning Star ~ 05 ~ 2012 ~ Media is fuelling hate against disabled benefit claimants ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/119655
  6. Morning Star ~ 05 ~ 2012 ~ Paralympians join calls to stop cuts ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/119279

April 2012

  1. Morning Star ~ 04 ~ 2012 ~ Disabled activists target Olympics
  2. ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/117813
  3. This is Derbyshire ~ 04 ~ 2012 ~ Half of those on incapacity in Derbyshire are deemed ‘fit for work’ ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Half-incapacity-Derbyshire-deemed-fit-work/story-15874524-detail/story.html
  4. New Statesman ~ 04 ~ 2012 ~ Raising the pension age will just turn 69-year-olds … ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/184902/

March 2012

  1. New Statesman ~ 03 ~ 2012 ~ Cameron’s desperate offer to voters: nastiness in the national interest ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2012/03/work-party-benefits-cameron?page=2
  2. Belfast Telegraph ~ 03 ~ 2012 ~ Cancer sufferer furious at being told she’s fit to work ~ http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/cancer-sufferer-furious-at-being-told-shes-fit-to-work-16135094.html
  3. This is Derbyshire ~ 03 ~ 2012 ~ Parkinson’s patient faces having his benefit halved ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Parkinson-s-patient-faces-having-benefit-halved/story-15599461-detail/story.html
  4. This is Derbyshire ~ 03 ~ 2012 ~ Robin Mitchell who sufferes from Parkinson’s faces fit-to-work test ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Family-s-anger-Parkinson-s-sufferer-faces-fit/story-15557891-detail/story.html
  5. BBC News Northern Ireland ~ 03 ~ 2012 ~ Strabane cancer woman’s fury at benefit cut ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17480630
  6. Telegraph ~ 03 ~ 2012 ~ Twice as many judges needed to handle benefits appeals ~ http://soc.li/MIRGOTB

February 2012

  1. Morning Star ~ 02 ~ 2012 ~ ATOS protesters brave bitter chill to picket firm’s HQ ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/content/view/full/115001
  2. BBC News UK ~ 02 ~ 2012 ~ Ministers admit to sickness benefits backlog ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16937742
  3. New Statesman ~ 02 ~ 2012 ~ The revolt against workfare spreads ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/02/scheme-greggs-grayling

January 2012

  1. Independent ~ 01 ~ 2012 ~ The big questions: Should ATOS be sponsoring the Paralympics? ~ http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/the-big-questions-should-atos-be-sponsoring-the-paralympics-is-a-wealth-tax-a-good-idea-8099839.html
  2. Morning Star ~ 01 ~ 2012 ~ Trespass charges dropped ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/114186
  3. New Statesman ~ 01 ~ 2012 ~ Why British journalists are taught to be dishonest ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/182282/ 

2011

  1. Morning Star ~ 12 ~ 2011 ~ ‘Victorian picnic’ picket hits ATOS ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/113242
  2. BBC News Scotland ~ 11 ~ 2011 ~ Disabled ‘suicidal’ over Welfare Reform Bill ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-15839685
  3. Morning Star ~ 10 ~ 2011 ~ Hardest hit fight back against cuts
  4. ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/111068
  5. New Statesman ~ 10 ~ 2011 ~ How Osborne could squeeze benefits again ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/10/benefits-inflation-osborne
  6. New Statesman ~ 10 ~ 2011 ~ Let’s help Dave get his facts straight ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-blanchflower/2011/10/sector-employment-yesterday
  7. This is Hull and East Riding ~ 09 ~ 2011 ~ Bridlington soldier Aron Shelton, who lost leg in Afghanistan bomb blast, wins benefits battle ~ ttp://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Soldier-lost-leg-Afghanistan-wins-benefits-battle/story-13382683-detail/story.html
  8. Morning Star ~ 09 ~ 2011 ~ CarerWatch forum up after ATOS libel threat ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/108925
  9. Morning Star ~ 09 ~ 2011 ~ Claimants on streets over ATOS national protests ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/110193
  10. This is Hull and East Riding ~ 09 ~ 2011 ~ Heartache of Bridlington soldier Aron Shelton, who lost leg in Afghanistan bomb blast, only to face benefits battle ~ http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Heartache-soldier-lost-leg-bomb-blast-face/story-13387697-detail/story.html
  11. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2011 ~ Activist sings the benefit blues
  12. ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/108556
  13. Sourcing Focus ~ 08 ~ 2011 ~ ATOS Healthcare Employees Investigated ~ http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsitem/atos_healthcare_employees_investigated/
  14. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2011 ~ Care firm silences its critics ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/108578
  15. Morning Star ~ 08 ~ 2011 ~ Firm to negotiate over closure of disabled forum ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/108656
  16. This is Derbyshire ~ 08 ~ 2011 ~ Why is Government using private firm for checks? ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Government-using-private-firm-checks/story-13083568-detail/story.html
  17. Guardian ~ 07 ~ 2011 ~ A contract to terrify 1.5m people on incapacity benefit ~ http://gu.com/p/3vnqh/tw
  18. Guardian ~ 07 ~ 2011 ~ Disability benefit reform: is the government hiding behind ATOS errors? ~ http://gu.com/p/3vyf9/tw
  19. Camden New Journal ~ 07 ~ 2011 ~ Disabled protest over ‘fit for work’ tests at ATOS in Holloway ~ http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/jul/disabled-protest-over-%E2%80%98fit-work%E2%80%99-tests-atos-holloway
  20. Camden New Journal ~ 07 ~ 2011 ~ Ex-soldier who served in Afghanistan and Iraq is refused benefits under assessment system ~ http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/jun/ex-soldier-who-served-afghanistan-and-iraq-refused-benefits-under-assessment-system
  21. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2011 ~ Archbishop of Canterbury: “no one voted” for the coalition’s policies ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/06/rowan-williams-government?page=1
  22. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2011 ~ Dignity in life, dignity in death ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/39049/
  23. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2011 ~ How Labour got welfare wrong – and how it can put it right ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/06/welfare-system-labour-work
  24. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2011 ~ The government needs to know how afraid people are ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2011/06/long-term-government-democracy
  25. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2011 ~ The poorest deserve a change from our broken benefits system ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2011/06/benefits-system-work-support
  26. Morning Star ~ 05 ~ 2011 ~ Disabled activists claim new testing system ignores advice of medical ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/104424
  27. Channel 4 News ~ 05 ~ 2011 ~ Disabled people protest against cuts ~ http://www.channel4.com/news/disabled-people-protest-against-cuts
  28. Camden New Journal ~ 05 ~ 2011 ~ MP Emily Thornberry intervenes to win benefits for ex-housing worker put through ‘humiliating’ assessment ~ http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/may/mp-emily-thornberry-intervenes-win-benefits-ex-housing-worker-put-through-%E2%80%98humiliating
  29. Camden New Journal ~ 04 ~ 2011 ~ ATOS Healthcare’s fit-to-work testing ‘demeans’ disabled ~ http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/apr/atos-healthcares-fit-work-testing-%E2%80%98demeans%E2%80%99-disabled
  30. Camden New Journal ~ 04 ~ 2011 ~ Claimants lose out ~ http://www.camdennewjournal.com/letters/2011/apr/claimants-lose-out
  31. New Statesman ~ 04 ~ 2011 ~ The shame is all theirs ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/37583/
  32. New Statesman ~ 04 ~ 2011 ~ The war on welfare scroungers, part 94 ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/37647/
  33. This is Derbyshire ~ 02 ~ 2011 ~ PROTESTERS who gathered outside a city job centre to demonstrate against cuts in benefits have vowed to help people when they are made redundant. ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Protesters-benefit-cuts-nul-points/story-11603004-detail/story.html
  34. New Statesman ~ 02 ~ 2011 ~ Tory welfare reforms are misguided ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/02/universal-credit-work-welfare
  35. BBC News UK ~ 01 ~ 2011 ~ Campaigners warn over incapacity benefit changes ~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13611298
  36. New Statesman ~ 01 ~ 2011 ~ Tales from the front line: public-sector workers speak out ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/01/workers-speak-books-fears

2010

  1.  
  2. Sourcing Focus ~ 11 ~ 2010 ~ ATOS Origin’s healthcare division awarded £300 million contract extension ~ http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsitem/atos_origins_healthcare_division_awarded_300_million_contract_extension/
  3. New Statesman ~ 11 ~ 2010 ~ James Purnell: I could have been Iain Duncan Smith ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/11/universal-credit-purnell-brown
  4. New Statesman ~ 10 ~ 2010 ~ 500,000 people could lose sick pay ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/2010/10/work-payments-benefit
  5. New Statesman ~ 10 ~ 2010 ~ ATOS is “black and white” on fitness and disability ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/182441
  6. This is Hull and East Riding ~ 10 ~ 2010 ~ East Riding councillors have backed injured ex-soldier Aron Shelton’s fight to keep his disability benefit. ~ http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/East-Riding-councillors-unite-ex-soldier-s-fight-benefits/story-11976200-detail/story.html
  7. New Statesman ~ 10 ~ 2010 ~ Judged fit to work? You could lose your benefits if you appeal ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/10/work-fit-appeal-ruling
  8. Morning Star ~ 10 ~ 2010 ~ On the shoulders of the vulnerable ~ www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/97072
  9. New Statesman ~ 10 ~ 2010 ~ The war on welfare scroungers, part 77 ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/179503/
  10. New Statesman ~ 09 ~ 2010 ~ The cuts will destroy lives ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/177838/
  11. New Statesman ~ 08 ~ 2010 ~ Cameron’s war on benefit fraud: the unanswered questions ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/08/40bn-lost-savings-avoidance
  12. New Statesman ~ 08 ~ 2010 ~ Reducing the number on sickness benefits must be fair ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/08/work-benefits-number-system
  13. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2010 ~ Pre-Budget briefings: huge cuts to welfare ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/public-accounts/2010/06/160-support-cameron-huge
  14. New Statesman ~ 06 ~ 2010 ~ The mass unemployment Budget ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/174659/
  15. This is Derbyshire ~ 05 ~ 2010 ~ Medical details sent in error ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Medical-details-sent-error/story-11628552-detail/story.html
  16. This is Hull and East Riding ~ 05 ~ 2010 ~ Mum of Hull soldier killed on frontline praises resigning officer for taking a stand ~ http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Mum-Hull-soldier-killed-frontline-praises-resigning-officer-taking-stand/story-11955497-detail/story.html
  17. New Statesman ~ 05 ~ 2010 ~ The truth about those cuts . . . ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/172995/
  18. New Statesman ~ 01 ~ 2010 ~ The battle against benefit cuts and “poverty pimps” ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/node/36138/

 Pre-2010

  1. This is Derbyshire ~ 11 ~ 2008 ~ Centre approved ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Centre-approved/story-11596774-detail/story.html
  2. This is Derbyshire ~ 10 ~ 2008 ~ Medics to move in at restaurant? ~ http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Medics-restaurant/story-11612528-detail/story.html
  3. New Statesman ~ 05 ~ 2008 ~ Is Labour abolishing illness? ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2008/05/work-benefit-claimants-reform?page=1
  4. New Statesman ~ 11 ~ 2007 ~ Labour and the sick note ~ http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2007/11/work-benefit-welfare-tories

Most recent articles to be added:

  1. When are you going to stand up for our sick and disabled, Mr. Miliband? | Mail Online
  2. Paralympics buzz will not drown out chorus of disapproval of Atos – Personal Finance – Scotsman.com
  3. Right to Work | Atos Shamed And DWP Occupied
  4. Paralympics propaganda for welfare cuts, claim disabled – News – Scotsman.com
  5. Analysis: Are Paralympians being used as tools in the propaganda war against disability benefits? – Comment – Scotsman.com
  6. Politics and the Paralympics: Voters are against cuts to disability benefits – Paralympics – Olympics – The Independent
  7. Dogged and decent, Chris Grayling shows how to get reform right – Telegraph
  8. Francesca Martinez: Empty words don't fund a full life for disabled people – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent
  9. PressTV – ‘Paralympics welfare cuts propaganda’
  10. Il paradosso delle Paralimpiadi – Salute per tutti – ComUnità – l'Unità
  11. As low as you can get / Comment / Home – Morning Star
  12. Huddersfield protestors campaign against Paralympic sponsor Atos – Local West Yorkshire News – News – Huddersfield Examiner
  13. BBC News – Thalidomide apology insulting, campaigners say
  14. Paralympics stars urged to denounce Atos – UK Politics – UK – The Independent
  15. Olympic sponsor targeted by angry disability groups over links to London 2012 Paralympics | Sponsor News | insidethegames.biz
  16. Death of cancer patient who went public over benefit cuts – The Irish Times – Sat, Sep 01, 2012
  17. Joyce McMillan: Cynically demonising the disabled – News – Scotsman.com
  18. Bristol MP backs protest against Paralympics sponsor
  19. Protests against Paralympics partner get senior support – Public Service
  20. Crowd voices Atos anger – Northern Ireland, Local & National – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk
  21. David Cameron wins gold medal for hypocrisy for his treatment of disabled people – Kevin Maguire – Mirror Online
  22. Atos holds £3bn of government contracts | Society | guardian.co.uk
  23. Video: Disability rights protesters clash with police outside Department for Work and Pensions – Telegraph
  24. The Press Association: Protest over 'fit for work' tests
  25. ITN News » Disability protesters clash with police
  26. Behind the Paralympics, the reality for disabled people in Britain 2012 | Society | The Guardian
  27. Disability campaigners stage central London protest against welfare reforms | Society | guardian.co.uk
  28. Disability rights protesters bring Trafalgar Square traffic to a standstill | Society | guardian.co.uk
  29. British people are committing suicide to escape poverty. Is this what the State wants? – Mail Online – Sonia Poulton's blog
  30. Remploy workers strike over planned closures – video | Society | guardian.co.uk
  31. Statement on social care plans of Worcestershire County Council
  32. SEN reforms: Government pushes ahead with anti-inclusion plans – DisabledGo News Blog
  33. Flaws exposed in fit for work test | UK news | The Guardian
  34. Access to Work figures are ‘disgraceful’, says shadow minister
  35. EMERGENCY BUDGET: DLA reforms will ‘hit disabled people hard’ – DisabledGo News Blog
  36. Dispatches – Britain on the Sick – Channel 4
  37. BBC iPlayer – Panorama: Disabled or Faking It?
  38. 32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit – Investigations
  39. theConsultant.eu – Atos, Capita scoop £500 million in UK DWP disability award.
  40. Atos sponsors the Paralympics? It’s enough to make you scream | Red Pepper

Further articles to be added:

  1. Judge considers judicial review of Work Capability Assessment | Society | guardian.co.uk
  2. BBC News – Benefit cheats 'colour attitudes to disabled people'
  3. New Statesman – Work capability assessments: the fightback
  4. UK is breaching human rights of disabled, UN told | Herald Scotland
  5. The Paralympics celebrate the strength of disabled people – and so do all the protests that accompany them – Mail Online – Sonia Poulton's blog
  6. Fury over £1m bonus for chief exec of controversial Sickness benefit test company – Daily Record
  7. Oh, dear Dave. Now GPs have turned on you. Time for an exit strategy on the disabled, perhaps? … | Atos Victims Group News
  8. New Statesman – How many more disabled people will die frightened that their benefits will be taken away?
  9. Atos and Capita named as preferred bidders for PIP disability assessments | Guardian Government Computing | Guardian Professional
  10. Did GB Paralympians choose to hide Atos branding? – Channel 4 News
  11. Campaigners threaten Paralympics boycott – Channel 4 News
  12. Benefits reform: disabled people 'terrified' by changes – Channel 4 News
  13. Paralympic Games open with a message of inspiration – Channel 4 News
  14. Atos | Atos Victims Group News Mail Online – Sonia Poulton's blog
  15. When Are You Going To Stand Up For Our Sick And Disabled, Mr. Miliband? – Mail Online – Sonia Poulton's blog
  16. Wheelchair users banned from using lift at assessment centre for disability benefits | Mail Online
  17. British people are committing suicide to escape poverty. Is this what the State wants? | Mail Online
  18. Out… Boss of incapacity benefit crackdown who called for more humanity | Mail Online
  19. Widow awaiting cancer surgery told to get back to work by benefits inspectors following Government welfare reforms | Mail Online
  20. Triple amputee warned he will lose his benefits unless he can prove he is disabled | Mail Online
  21. Flawed disability tests 'send those who are genuinely sick and unable back to work' | Mail Online
  22. The Coalition want people with mental health issues to get working. And what work would that be then? | Mail Online
  23. Suicide training in Job Centres? Cancer patients scrubbing floors? Welcome to Cameron¿s Brave New World | Mail Online
  24. This is not wartime Nazi Germany and Cameron's attacks on the vulnerable and needy must be stopped | Mail Online
  25. Why does David Cameron insist on disability cuts that even sickened his own party? | Mail Online
  26. Welfare Reform Bill: Where is our national conscience? | Mail Online
  27. David Cameron's Welfare Reform Bill: Hiding the truth is not the way to achieve it | Mail Online
  28. Hundreds protest against Paralympics sponsor Atos as anger about its role in slashing benefits bill intensifies – Home News – UK – The Independent
  29. Leading article: A fantastic show – but it wasn't the whole story – Leading Articles – Opinion – The Independent
  30. Mark Steel: Odd choice for a Paralympics sponsor – hei-fi-views – hei-fi – The Independent
  31. Paralympic sponsor engulfed by disability tests row – Paralympics – Olympics – The Independent
  32. Owen Jones: David Cameron praises Paralympians, but his policies will crush them – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent
  33. Atos contract does not offer value for money, says National Audit Office – UK Politics – UK – The Independent
  34. Jim Armitage: Gold for UK plc, but no podium for sponsors – Business Comment – Business – The Independent
  35. Letters: A bitter blow for disabled people – Letters – Opinion – The Independent
  36. Half a million disabled people may lose benefits under reforms – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent
  37. Deaf and disabled artists take centre stage – Features – Theatre & Dance – The Independent
  38. Sponsors urged to waive Olympic tax breaks worth tens of millions – Other events – Olympics – The Independent
  39. Tanni Grey-Thompson: Paragon of the Paralympics – Paralympics – Olympics – The Independent
  40. MP calls for Atos contract review | UK News | Express.co.uk – Home of the Daily and Sunday Express
  41. Steven Bick: Doctor claims Government has issued targets for 7 out of 8 to be reclassified as eligible for work – Mirror Online
  42. 32 disability benefit claimants die after being forced into jobs – Mirror Online
  43. David Cameron wins gold medal for hypocrisy for his treatment of disabled people – Kevin Maguire – Mirror Online
  44. Atos fatcat lands £1m bonus for helping to slash disability benefits bill – Mirror Online
  45. Tories' savage disability benefit reform in chaos as two in five appeals – Mirror Online
  46. Terminally ill face being forced to do work experience or lose their benefits – Mirror Online
  47. Grandad declared capable of work by testing firm died one month later – Mirror Online
  48. Outrage as firm accused of 'smearing' disabled is named Paralympics sponsor – Mirror Online
  49. Atos complaint suspends carerwatch website – Mirror Online
  50. ATOS worker sneers at “down and outs” – Mirror Online
  51. Only 7% of people on sickness benefit are unable to work – Mirror Online
  52. Atos, company paid to drive people off disability benefits, slammed by MPs after blunders – Mirror Online
  53. Steve Cram runs into conflict – mirror Administrator – Mirror Online
  54. Stress of Tory benefits tests killed our dad, family claims – Mirror Online
  55. No answers to our Atos Origin questions – Mirror Online
  56. Another sick attack on the ill – Mirror Online
  57. Spinning the sick note myth – Mirror Online
  58. Sick? Computer says no. – Mirror Online
  59. Tories hold £25k champagne party before announcing huge benefits cuts – Mirror Online
  60. Council tell teenager she's too unfit to work for job, but is then refused benefits for being too healthy – Mirror Online
  61. Pressure piles up on sick profiteers Atos / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  62. Anti-cuts demo targets Atos HQ / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  63. Atos workers to vote on Olympic strikes / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  64. Campaigners take Atos fight to firm's HQ / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  65. Exclusive: Atos threatens legal action against disabled man / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  66. Paralympic hero joins Atos protest / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  67. The company that doesn't give Atos about disability / Features / Home – Morning Star
  68. Paralympians join action against Atos / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  69. Disabled target Atos on eve of Paralympics / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  70. Campaigners target Games sponsor Atos / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  71. Coalition told it must punish Atos for mess / Britain / Britain/World / Home – Morning Star
  72. What game is Atos playing? / Letters / Home – Morning Star
  73. Tough love or tough luck: assessing disability benefits: TBIJ
  74. NAO finds faults in disability assessments contract | Public Finance — official CIPFA magazine
  75. A desperate embrace | The Economist Business and the Olympics: Victors and spoils | The Economist
  76. 32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit – Investigations
  77. The Paralympics celebrate the strength of disabled people – and so do all the protests that accompany them | Mail Online
  78. Atos holds £3bn of government contracts | Society | guardian.co.uk
  79. Public critical as Paralympics sponsor wins £400m disability testing contract – UK news – Blottr
  80. DISABILITY PAYMENTS ATOS to CLAIMANT, “WHY AREN,T YOU DEAD YET! – UK news – Blottr
  81. Disabled groups in sponsor protest | This is South Wales
  82. Review finds a third on benefits are fit to work | This is South Wales
  83. Tory plans could see 3,000 lose £25 per week in benefits | This is South Wales
  84. A PORT Talbot mum has travelled to London to lobby against new benefit rules that might lead to her son losing his independence. | This is South Wales
  85. Week Of Action For Disability Rights | Londonist
  86. Paralympics: Government Accused Of 'Hypocrisy' Towards Disabled People
  87. Kit Marsters: Government's Use of Atos to Combat Benefit Fraud is Flawed, Costly and Counterproductive
  88. Hugh Salmon: Disability Living Allowance Disgrace
  89. Paralympic Organisers Accused Of Discriminating Against Wheelchair Users
  90. Matt Carr: Disabled people: heroes or scapegoats?
  91. Welfare Payment Cuts: Chris Grayling Refused To Hear Case Of Breast Cancer Sufferer
  92. Richard Miller: Legal aid reveals government test for incapacity benefit is inaccurate
  93. Paralympics 2012 Could Improve Public Attitudes To Disability, Scope Research Shows
  94. Natalie Bennett: Could We Have a Corporate-Free Olympics? Yes We Could!
  95. Protest over 'fit for work' tests – National – Sheffield Telegraph
  96. MP calls for Atos contract review – National – Sheffield Telegraph
  97. Sheffield’s disabled join Paralympic protest – Local – Sheffield Telegraph
  98. Disabled rights campaigners protest at Atos and DWP | Metro.co.uk
  99. Anorexic deemed unfit to work | Metro.co.uk
  100. Disabled protest over ‘fit for work’ tests at Atos in Holloway | Camden New Journal
  101. Judge considers judicial review of Work Capability Assessment | Society | guardian.co.uk
  102. MP calls for Atos contract review – National – Northamptonshire Telegraph

 

 

Aug 302012
 

Friday 31st August
Atos HQ,Triton Square, London
12:45pm 
Don’t let Atos be a winner at the Paralympic Games – join us for The Closing Atos Ceremony, the grand finale to Disabled People Against Cuts’ week of Atos Games.
Atos are sponsoring the Paralympics, whilst wrecking disabled people’s lives. George Osborne has vowed to slash £18 billion from the welfare budget, regardless of peoples’ needs and ignoring the alternatives. To help them do their dirty work, the Government are paying Atos £100 million a year to ‘test’ sick and disabled people and decide whether they’re ‘fit for work’.
But Atos’ Work Capability Assessments are driving disabled people to suicide and over 1,000 people have died of their illnesses soon after being found ‘fit for work’.
The Government claim that the welfare system is being abused- this just isn’t true. Less than 0.4% of Incapacity benefit payments are fraudulent, but the government want to cut welfare spending by 20%. And instead of helping to get people into work; the government are closing workplaces for disabled people.
The Government and Atos don’t give a toss about disabled people. This is about making ordinary people pay for a crisis caused by the bankers. It’s about making disabled people pay, instead of super-rich tax dodgers who cost us over £25billion every year. This is an ideological attack on the welfare state; these cuts are a political choice. But we’re fighting back.

On Friday 31 August, UK Uncut and DPAC will be shutting down Atos’ London HQ for the Closing ATOS Ceremony. Meet in Triton Square at 12:45pm for direct action and creative protest, with plenty of surprises…
The nearest fully accessible underground station is Kings Cross. From there, catch Bus 30 towards Marble Arch or Bus 205 towards Paddington from stop R or A, and get off at Warren Street, bus stop V. BSL Interpretted event.

This action needs you! Join for the afternoon, or come on your lunch break. There will be lots of ways to take part – hand out leaflets hold banners, or get involved in creative and daring ways. If you’re not in London, check the DPAC website for details and other ways to get involved in The Atos Games.

Atos are making millions of pounds enforcing the government’s unnecessary cuts. It’s up to all of us to fight back, defend our welfare system, and demand the alternatives. Let’s show them that we do give a toss.

See you at Atos HQ!

_______________________________________________________________

 

Aug 282012
 

 

 Belfast 31st August

ROYSTON HOUSE 34 Upper Queen Street, Belfast, BT1 6FD FRIDAY, 31st AUGUST 2012: 12.30 PM – 1.30 PM

A number of community based welfare rights and women’s groups together with the ICTU have organised a protest outside the offices of ATOS Health Care, the private company which operates the Medical Referee Service, to support the “Atos Games” – Showcasing Disabled People’s Anger at Paralympic Sponsors, Atos. The function ATOS Health Care are performing was previously delivered by the public sector but was privatised in 2010. Since the service was privatised disabled clients have not been able to be examined at Royston House because the private company, ATOS, claim they cannot facilitate evacuation in the case of an emergency. In addition, new assessment criteria for disability benefits has made it much more difficult for disabled people to obtain and retain the relevant benefits.

Glasgow 31st August

Friday 31 August, 2-4pm, we are having our end of month picket of Atos at Atos Medical Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogon Street, Glasgow

All groups banners and leaflets etc are welcome. The picket is called by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Aug 282012
 

Reposted from Birmingham Against the Cuts with thanks

 

Report and Photos From Today’s DPAC Demonstration in Birmingham


Around 20 people demonstrated today outside the ATOS assessment centre in Birmingham as part of a week of actionprotesting the Working Capability Assessment (WCA) which is run by ATOS for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is supposed to assess whether someone on disability benefits is fit for work, but has come under large amounts of criticism for failing to do that – and in the process punishing many disabled people by pushing them off disability benefits onto unemployment benefits and workfare.The week of action is taking place during the Paralympics because ATOS are one of the main sponsors. Their core business is as an IT outsourcing company, but like Capita and Serco they have moved into taking all government outsourcing contracts. The contract to run the WCA is £100m/year – and we pay an additional £50m each yearfor the appeals process to correct the huge number of people that ATOS declare fit for work who go through the appeal process and have the decision reversed – a process that can take over a year.Around 40% of appeal are successful – a figure that rises to 70% for people who have advocates or legal advice. Many people go to CAB for this advice, but Birmingham residents will soon find their access restricted, as funding cuts mean that CAB will probably be closing all but the city centre branch. At the same time, legal aid is being cut for welfare & benefit appeals, firmly closing the door on disabled people accessing legal advice.In a recent Dispatches program, a doctor went undercover to record the training process for ATOS, and was told by his trainer that ESA (the new disability benefit brought in by New Labour in 2008 to replace Incapacity Benefit) and the WCA are designed to remove people from disability benefits, and that they expect ATOS to find 89% of people fit for work.

The human cost of this target is huge, with 32 people a week dying after being declared fit for work. Many disabled people have died from their illness shortly after being told they are fit for work, including a local man who died of his heart condition just 3 weeks after ATOS told him he was fit to work.

Talk to disabled people about ATOS and the one thing you will hear time and time again is fear. The fear strikes when the letter arrives calling you for assessment. This letter comes even if you have an incurable, unchanging or degenerative condition. The tests can happen annually, and some people even find themselves called for reassessment just weeks after they have had a successful appeal. Or it comes when you receive the ESA50 form to apply for the benefit, a big lump of paper, designed to scare and confuse, intended so that people will not complete it properly. If you’re filling one of these in, do get advice, especially if you have a variable condition.

The fear continues as you wait for the assessment, knowing that doctors advice will be ignored in favour of a ticklist that doesn’t take into account variable conditions, doesn’t mention work and will award no points for manual dexterity if you can use one finger on one hand. (zero points means there is no problem).
Fear stays there until you receive the letter telling you if you are fit for work or not. You might get put in the “support group” where it’s accepted that you aren’t going to be able to work. Or the “Work Related Activity Group” (WRAG), where they say you are fit for work of some kind with the right support (and if there were jobs available, or employers willing to take on someone who will need more time off than other people for medical appointments, or runs the risk of falling very ill very quickly.. but they don’t mention these barriers to employment of course). Or you get told you are fit for work and pushed off to JSA unemployment benefit.
And the fear doesn’t stop then – the wait for the reassessment for those in the support and WRAG groups, the loss of income and support for those kicked off to JSA, the impending prospect of the Work Programme and workfare for those found fit for work (either in the WRAG group or like anyone else unemployed and on JSA), and the sanctions regime that has seen tens of thousands of disabled people lose benefits for up to 6 months.

The fear needs to end, the WCA needs to be suspended now, and altered in a major way so that it is a fair assessment, and ATOS need to be removed from the contract.

You can still take part in the ATOS games and help to make this happen:

Tommorrow (Wed 29th), DPAC will deliver a coffin full of messages from you.

On Thursday 30th: Phone jam! Let’s flood Atos with calls, and generate a Twitter-storm they can’t ignore!

Then on Friday 31st, join DPAC in London where they’re teaming up with UK Uncut for the Closing ATOS ceremony, at ATOS HQ in Triton Square, London from 12:45.

For more information on these events, go to the DPAC website

Thanks for the photos from @BrumProtestor on Twitter.

More photos from Stalingrad O’Neill with thanks!

Aug 282012
 

Report from Swansea

Disabled people, family members and anti-cuts campaigners took a
protest to the Atos assessment centre in Swansea today against the
flawed and hated “work capability assessment” and disability cuts.

On a main road with banners reading “Cuts are Disabling: Fight Every
Cut”, “ATOS: Not fit for purpose”, “Scrap these flawed tests”, “Stop
privatisation of the DWP” we got lots of support from passers by,
including a speaker from the Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council who
spoke in support at the rally.

  swansea Atos Protest

 

 

Aug 272012
 

In spite of implicit claims in the Brindle article1 that there is no ‘fight back’ disabled people have stopped traffic in Oxford Street 2, Trafalgar Square 3, protested against and closed the offices of Atos, protested online through blogs and social media, provided briefing notes and researched and gained significant victories in publicising exactly what is happening -both DPAC and Black Triangle hope they have been an impetus, along with the growing network of allies, user-led disabled peoples’ organisations and key anti-cuts groups across the UK and in Europe –all of us recognise the severe harm that the ‘cuts’ are doing to large groups of ordinary people.

 In the very first DPAC protest on 3rd October 2010 disabled people came together to lead the march against the cuts proposed by this Government, liaised with unions and other anti-cuts groups- it poured with rain, but DPAC were the first to have a synchronised online protest too. Disabled people saw a need for early action at a time when many formal disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) made few public statements on spending reviews or cuts and when the big disability charities remained silent. From the 100 or so original October 2010 protesters and campaigners –there are now thousands, overall numbers are growing at rapid rate- contra Brindle, disabled leaders are emerging in their hundreds trained by anger and despair at what is happening to their lives and the lives of others under this Government.

 The reality of the impact of the cuts on the lives of disabled people are much worse than any of us imagined on that rainy day in October: framed by an apparent media campaign in some sections to demonise disabled people as ‘scroungers (despite administrative error and fraud at 0.04 and 0.5% for disability support) 4, we have seen a rising level of disability hate crime, increasing suicides amongst disabled people 5, more and more disabled people relying on handouts from family and friends because they are being left without any income, disabled people losing their homes, disabled people with paid jobs seeing those jobs removed in a clear ‘cuts agenda’ 6, basic support from local authorities being cut to the bone, a move back to the threat of institutionalisation and away from independent living[7], and a move away from inclusive education for disabled children[8]

 The UK was once a European example of how disabled people’s inclusion, support and equality could be applied. It’s now an example of how fast these basic human rights can be reversed. In two years we have witnessed: the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) to new applicants[9], disability living allowance (DLA) to pay for the additional costs of disability being stripped from individuals, DLA to be replaced by an expensive and unnecessary round of reassessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with a pre-assessment criteria that 500,000 people will lose all support[10], cut backs and a steep fall in Access to Work applicants[11] with a tightening of criteria and more costs being passed to employers. We see that some individuals pronounced as ‘fit for work’ by Atos are dying days after leaving their assessment centres[12], while those with terminal illness and less than 12 months to live
are being told to seek work, and having income stopped[13].

 This regime is not about supporting disabled people nor is it about supporting disabled people into work – it’s about cuts. It’s about erasing the years that individuals have worked and paid national insurance for welfare support. It’s not about saying the social model has failed- it hasn’t, if anything it’s been made stronger. It’s about recognising the imposition of a bio-psycho social model- a model
that the Government and its partner companies use to provide a bizarre focus on denying disability, impairment and ill-health each of which are being reconstructed as individual failings brought about by individuals adopting the wrong attitude-thinking yourself ‘well’[14] is cheap-it’s also impossible.

 The recent Dispatches[15] and Panorama[16] television programmes on the work capability assessment (WCA) and the regime used by Atos exposed what many of us have known for too long to a wider audience: a system designed to remove over a million disabled people from welfare support that has caused misery, anxiety and the premature deaths and suicides of an estimated 32 people a week[17]. The WCA – a revolving door of Atos assessment, appeal, tribunal, and reassessment has produced horror stories of inhuman proportions. In one of the programs an Atos ‘assessor’ asked someone who had taken several overdoses why they weren’t dead yet. There are stories of people being forced to walk until they collapse and being declared ‘fit for work’ and those that Atos has signed off as unfit for work on employee schemes being declared ‘fit to work’ on the state schemes of cuts under the WCA. Atos have recently been awarded the PIP contract[18] and are official sponsors of the Olympics[19]. These are additional reasons why the Atos games: a week of activities for people to raise the issues of the inhumanity of these ‘tests’ and the callous removal of vital supports is happening.

 The use of Tom Shakespeare’s quote in the Brindle piece that ‘… the politics of disability seem to have run out of steam.’ is grossly misleading: disabled people are fighting back in every way we can: Black Triangles’ tireless campaign to secure a total condemnation of the WCA by the British Medical Association resulting in the call for ‘the WCA to end with immediate effect’[20], the Mental Health Resistance Network’s successful case for a judicial review of the WCA[21], the exposure of the ‘tampering’ with the Ministry of Justice’s You Tube video to help people through appeals against
Atos decisions’ by Government, the continuing evidence and fight back for Atos assessments to be scrapped[22], the continuing legal challenges, the use of social media to spread information, undercover work with and by researchers, Freedom of Information requests and gains from empathetic media, lawyers, and MPs are all part of the ‘steam’-This is not being led by well paid Charity directors, nor as Macrae suggests by those who see themselves as victims but by disabled people without any funds fuelled by a raging sense of injustice and the will to fight back.

 John McDonnell’s words from the opposition day debate on disability benefits and
social care in which he stated his support for DPAC, Black Triangle and the Remploy
workers warned:

…the Government should not think that this issue or these people are going
to go away because they are not: these people are mobilising. We now have
a disability movement of which we have not seen the equal of before…these
people are not going to go away. They will be in our face-and rightly so’[23] 

 The Atos games are an opportunity for all to show their anger at the disproportionate cuts being imposed on disabled people. They are an opportunity to mobilise against the carnage the cuts administered by this Government are causing.

 Details and resources including local actions pack and a minute menu of protest
activities on DPAC dpac.uk.net

 We want to thank the Guardian for publishing ‘The Atos Games will showcase disabled peoples anger at the Paralympic sponsers’ and all those that helped get the CiF piece online here

See you on the streets and online

 


 

Aug 262012
 

Disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be holding a vigil and rememberence event for those who have died due to the actions of Paralympic sponsor Atos.  The event will take place outside the company’s UK Head Office in Triton Square, Euston on Wednesday August 29th, the same day as the opening of the Paralympic Games. Meet 3.45pm for 4pm start.

Atos are responsible for carrying out the Government’s notorious Work Capability Assessment, a relentless health and disability assessment regime which has been used to slash vital benefits from hundred of thousands of sick and disabled people.  Tragically several people have committed suicide due to the endless, stressful assessments and the threat of poverty and destitution they bring.  An  investigation by the Daily Mirror found that 32 people a week die after being declared ‘fit for work’ by the company, whilst Channel 4’s Dispatches recently exposed the system as ‘toxic’ in the words of Atos’ own staff.
Campaigners will gather in the square at 3.30pm and will deliver a coffin full of messages from victims of Atos to the front door of the company’s headquarters.  A memorial service will then take place, involving a reading of the names of those who have died due to the company’s actions.  Some of the messages will be attached to black balloons and released and members of the congregation will speak of their own experiences at the hands of Atos.  All are welcome to attend and are asked to wear black if possible.
This event takes place during the National Week of Action Against Atos called by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), to coincide with the London Paralympic Games.  Events are scheduled to take place in towns and cities around around the UK and in London disabled people and supporters will be back at Triton Square on Friday 31st August for the Closing Atos Ceremony.

Aug 262012
 

Share your fightback. Send pictures, stories and links to mail@dpac.uk.net

 

 

On Saturday NORTHAMPTON DPAC held a stall in Abington Street, Northampton
Included in the many that put their name to our petition was deaf and blind medal-winning paralympic swimmer Janice Tillett, from Crofters Close, East Hunsbury,Northampton, who represented Great Britain in the pool at the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992, winning two relay silver medals. She also won four European Championships golds for her country.
Janice as been recorded in the local press:
We hope that Janice will join us at Atos on the 28 Aug.
Anti-Atos images sent in by Fred Peachum:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Aug 232012
 

Pay a Visit to Your Local Atos Office as part of the Atos Games, a week of action against poverty pimps Atos, the company who profit from pushing disabled people to death and despair – we are calling on members and supporters to take the protest nationally by paying a visit to your local Atos office.

How you do this is entirely up to you but there is a set of resources to download below that might be useful to ensure you get as much local publicity as possible and could give you more time to concentrate on building bigger protests.

Thanks to the local groups who have shared these with us and if you have any resources that other actions and campaigns might find useful please do send them in.

We can help promote your actions on the DPAC website to build as much support as possible so send us information that we can publish about when and where local actions are taking place.

We will also have anti-cuts and Atos kills sticker and stencil packs we can post out to you on request by emailing: mail@dpac.uk.net

Coming soon…. Barbie shows us how to organise a demo….

Resources to download:

–  Guide to organising a local acton: How to Guide

–  Easy read ‘Planning a Campaign’ information: campaigns (DPAC)

– Template action against Atos flyer: action flyer

– Template press release:  Press Release

– Atos information 1: Atos Origin leafletfinal

– Atos information 2: DPAC ATOS

– DPAC flyer: DPAC flyer

– Flyer promoting final action on 31st August: ATOS-UkUncut-DPAC-A5-landscape2

– List of local Atos offices

– A “red peter” cut-out Atos medal: Atos gets gold DPAC aug12

Aug 112012
 

Please find below an open letter from staff working at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) to Baroness Margaret Prosser who chairs the Commission’s Resources committee. This committee approved proposals in June this year that would see the Commission reduce its staff headcount to 150. These proposals are now the subject of a 90 day statutory consultation with the trade unions representing staff at the Commission.

 

The Resources committee arrived at this new headcount by assuming that the Government will reduce the Commission’s budget to £18 million by the financial year 2014/15. However, the committee has recommended that these staff cuts should be implemented by the end of 2012. This assumed budget of £18 million represents an additional 30% cut to the budget already announced in the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review when the Government said that the budget would be reduced from its original budget of £70 million to £26 million by 2014/15. The Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone MP, confirmed the £26 million budget as recently as March this year in answer to a parliamentary question http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2012-03-27a.100388.h&s=speaker%3A11641#g100388.r0

Over 200 skilled and experienced staff have already left the Commission in the past year and if these proposals are implemented a further 100 staff will leave. More staff will be lost when the Commission’s helpline is outsourced to Sitel in the autumn because Sitel has only one site based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Staff do not believe that the Commission will be subjected to yet more draconian budget cuts given that it has already had its budget reduced by 62%, a hugely disproportionate cut compared to those imposed on other public bodies. Indeed, we would expect stakeholders, parliamentarians and the UN International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs to vigorously oppose any Government plans to make further cuts to the Commission’s budget.

 

Staff believe that the Resources committee should withdraw these proposals and commence a meaningful consultation based on the actual budget of £26 million. Following the statutory consultation period the proposals must be approved by the full Board of the Commission in early October before they can be implemented. So the time to take action is now.

 

What you can do:

Write to Baroness Prosser, EHRC, 3 More London, Riverside Tooley Street, London SE1 2RG

Write to members of the Commission’s Board at 3 More London: Stephen Alambritis, Kaliani Lyle, Sarah Anderson, Meral Hussein Ece, Simon Woolley, Kay Carberry, Ann Beynon, Trevor Phillips, Professor Geraldine Van Beuren, Baroness Sally Greengross, Dr Jean Irvine, Angela Mason and Michael Smith

Ask your MP to lobby the Chairs of the following Parliamentary Select Committees requesting an inquiry into the Commission’s restructuring plans: Home Affairs, Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Public Accounts Committee

Join our Facebook Group – Save the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Follow us on twitter #savetheehrc

Prosser Final 23 07 12

 

 

 
 
Aug 022012
 

Last Thursday striking Remploy members closed production down for a second day of industrial action at factories threatened with closure across the country.

In Barking the sun shone, music played and passing cars, lorries and buses hooted. The workers were joined in solidarity by their families, union members, and disability activists. Paul was in fine voice as he led the chants of Maria Miller Factor Killer and “What do we want? Jobs! When do we want them? Now!”  A waste collector asked “Are you striking every Thursday now?” before adding “No worries, I’ll come back tomorrow”.

For all the positive, supportive mood on the Barking picket line, workers and their families are deeply upset by the proposed date of closure of 18th August. They feel especially aggrieved at the way their voices have been ignored, by disability organisations supporting the closures, by government ministers and MPS who have failed to respond to the numerous letters written by the workers and their families and by the shambolic nature of the flawed and inaccessible 90 day consultation.

Paul, was keen to share his experiences of working for Remploy, first at the Woolwich factory which closed in 2008 and then at Barking. Instead of going on terms and conditions as other Woolwich workers chose, Paul wanted to keep working and was transferred to the Barking factory, enduring a two and a half hour journey through rush hour each way each day until he was eventually able to relocate housing nearer his workplace. Paul still carries a photo of the Woolwich factory on his mobile phone. He feels that having lost Woolwich, losing Barking as well with no other job to go to will be unbearable.

Cathy Collins, mother of one of the workers, spoke about rising levels of disability hate crime in the area. Her other son works for a local leisure centre and is frequently the victim of abuse and harassment from members of the public accessing his workplace. During a recent incident a man known to Cathy’s family who happened to be in the leisure centre intervened as two young men verbally taunted the son with the outcome that the man trying to protect her son ended up being arrested. Cathy’s letters to Iain Duncan Smith about the value of the Remploy factories have been ignored.

Unfortunately for all the concerns voiced by the Remploy workers and their families and for all the public support these have elicited, the Government are still determined to pursue their decision to close 27 of the 54 factories before December making thousands of disabled workers jobless.

There are talks of a third day of strikes to take place on 6th August. Watch this space for more information…

 

Every girl and every boy,

Turned up to save Remploy,

‘Cause no-where else,

They could be employed.

 

Some say ‘Remploy is a soft choice’,

But they won’t listen to our voice,

It ain’t our first choice,

It’s just a place,

Where people understand us,

Let us go at our own pace.

 

Some say Remploy costs too much money,

That’s a thing that I find funny,

‘Cause ain’t they going to be paying anyway,

For unemployment benefit pay?

 

When we all go to the JCP,

We’ll all feel so destroyed,

As we all look back to the job we now lack,

We’ll remember Remploy.

 

All of us we’ll remember Remploy,

As it filled all our hearts with such joy,

How it kept so many disabled employed,

We’ll remember Remploy.

Lyrics by Peter Hawes, Remploy worker, and Konstantja, DPAC

 

 

Jul 222012
 

Defiant Remploy Strikes Boost Jobs Fight –

From Barking to to Bridgend and from Derbyshire to Dundee, up and down the country Remploy workers walked-out on strike together in defiance of Tory plans throw them on the scrapheap.

Last week, the Minister for Disabled People, Maria “Factory Killer” Miller announced the closure of 27 of the 54 Remploy factories meaning the sacking of more than 1,200 mainly disabled workers.

The outrage at this callous Tory decision was not only reflected in the solid strikes, the first of two 24-hour stoppages (the next being next Thursday 26th July), but also in the solidarity from other workers on display at each picket line.

Teachers, council staff , IT workers, construction workers, students and more brought banners and collections to the picket-lines. Postal workers and lorry-drivers refused to cross picket lines.

The stand taken by Unite and GMB members at Remploy is an example to the whole trade union movement about how to fight job losses.

Work and Pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith says that he says that he wants to get disabled workers into mainstream employment or “proper jobs”.

Daniel Garvin’s film on the Guardian website contradicts IDS’s despicable insult that Remploy workers were “not doing any work… just making cups of coffee”

But millions can see through the Tories – they know that with more than 2.5 million unemployed and disability benefits being slashed, the standard of living for many Remploy workers will be immeasurably damaged, should their factories close.

Since the last wave of Remploy factory closures in 2008, 85% of those made redundant have not worked since, and 95% of those that found employment were on less pay.

Today’s marvellous show of solidarity was a step towards winning the battle for jobs. Next week the picket-lines need to be bigger and a strategy implemented for forcing another Tory U-turn and saving the factories.

(Above reposted courtesy of Right to Work. For full article see http://righttowork.org.uk/2012/07/defiant-remploy-strikes-boost-jobs-fight/)

 
At the Barking factory in East London more than seventy workers, their families and supporters came to support the picket throughout the day. Just one day earlier the factory workers had learned that the date they have been given for closure is 30th September. Although shocked and upset the strike day was a chance to rally round and rebuild confidence and spirits.
 
Every hoot from passing buses, lorries and cars was met with a cheer while deliveries and post were turned away. Paul, who has worked at the factory for the past 21 years and who prior to that had turned to street drinking as a consequence of a period of unemployment, led the chants of “Maria Miller Factory Killer”.
 
George Barratt, independent councillor for Barking and Dagenham, spoke to workers and expressed his support in the fight to keep the factories open. Solidarity also came from further away with a group of Unite workers hailing from as far afield as Rochester on a nearby course joining the picket in their lunch hour. One of the union reps commented that when he worked for the Ministry of Defence all the best quality manufacturing came from Remploy factories.
 
Messages of solidarity and support were read out from disabled people and union members across the country. Mark Holloway, GMB rep for the Barking factory expressed thanks to everyone who took part, He said he had only expected “three men and a dog” to turn up and was completely blown away by the level of support.
 
A DOZEN striking workers gathered outside Remploy Acton on Thursday. They were joined by local trade unionists from Ealing council, as well as by John McDonnell MP.
 
The workers argued that their factory is profit-making, and produces vital equipment, such as fire-safe clothing for the fire brigades. They made the point that they are skilled workers, and that the closure of their factory would mean the loss of their skills, as well as the destruction of the community they have built in their workplace.
 
The pickets turned away four delivery lorries, and used the picket line as a base to coordinate an even bigger presence for the next strike on Thursday 26th July. Local trade unionists pledged their solidarity and support for the next walk out. One striker remarked, “this is just the beginning. This campaign will get bigger and bigger.”
 
To find out where your nearest factory is and to find out how you can get involved in supporting the workers please contact mail@dpac.uk.net
 
Thanks to Richard Donnelly for his report from the Acton strike
Jul 222012
 

Organised by Fuel Poverty Action (fuelpovertyaction.org.uk) Thursday October 4th 7-9pm Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, London NW5 2DX
Last Winter, one in four UK households were unable to heat their homes to a safe level. Millions of us faced a choice between heating and eating, being unable to afford both. As the Big Six energy companies keep pushing up our energy bills, the government cuts its Warm Front scheme and private landlords become less and less regulated, the cold is set to bite harder than ever in the winter to come.
The struggle against fuel poverty connects to struggles around austerity, economic justice, environmental destruction, poor housing, disabled peoples’ rights and pensioners’ rights. If we want to win warm homes and affordable, sustainably produced energy for all, we need to work together to take on profiteering energy companies and the ConDem government in their pockets.
This public meeting will be a chance for different groups working on issues connecting to fuel poverty to get together, hear about each others’ work, network and plan how we can take action together to tackle fuel poverty in the winter to come.
All welcome!
More details tbc nearer the time. —- Website: www.fuelpovertyaction.org.uk Email: fuelpovertyaction@gmail.com Twitter: @FuelPovAction Facebook: Fuel Poverty Action

Jul 222012
 

Right to Ride, disabled activists block traffic outside Westminster

DPAC is pleased that London’s 28,000 bus drivers who threatened strike action on 5 and 24 July have won their right to receive an Olympic bonus which other transport workers have been offered in recognition of the extra strain the Games will put on their working conditions. The deal follows the first capital-wide bus strike in decades and six days of negotiations. It has been signed by all 20 bus operators amid fears the network could be brought to a standstill, heaping embarrassment on the London as it staged the Games.

DPAC calls for a fully accessible public transport system that provides disabled passengers with the same opportunities to travel as anyone else. We recognise that an important part of a fully functioning system entails respect and fair terms and conditions for transport staff in order to enable them to do their jobs fairly. DPAC supports the bus drivers in any action they feel they need to take in order to get their voices heard.

Last month DPAC and Transport for All staged a successful direct action with activists blocking the path of an 87 bus outside Westminster for more than two hours. The action which was featured on a Channel Four news debate drew attention to the barriers that disabled people face in accessing London buses ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games when campaigners fear that poor disability access will make London a laughing stock. http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/06/right-to-ride-report/

In speaking out against the daily discrimination and frustration disabled people experience trying to access bus transport DPAC does not blame the bus drivers themselves. Drivers are held back from delivering a fair service to disabled passengers by cutbacks which have seen conductors removed from buses whilst drivers are not allowed to leave their cabs for safety reason, by strict regulation of timetables that do not give drivers adequate time to meet the needs of disabled people and by a lack of investment in fully user led disability equality training that could be delivered around drivers’ shift patterns.

DPAC encourages our members to show solidarity to bus drivers in any further actions.

 

Jul 212012
 

by Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC), Black Triangle and Social Welfare Union (SWU) 

In an answer to a parliamentary question on Atos from Frank Field (lab) Chris Grayling said:

“Based on the results of a trial during 2011, we have not implemented universal recording for claimants going through the work capability assessment (WCA).
We have asked Atos Healthcare to accommodate requests for audio recording, where a claimant makes a request in advance of their assessment.
This approach began in late 2011 and we will monitor take up during 2012 before making a decision on the requirement for recording assessments, taking into account factors such as value for money and the value it adds to the WCA process. As part of this process we are also reviewing Atos capacity to provide recordings for those claimants who currently request one”.

We at Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC), Black Triangle and Social Welfare Union (SWU) want to make sure that we gather the REAL facts on what people are experiencing. We suspect that the government will try to pull the option for recordings of WCA completely due to what they will say is a lack of demand, so we have put together a short survey to gather information on the demand for recordings and on other issues on the WCA.

Please pass this survey on to as many people as possible. If you know someone who would like a printed paper copy of this survey please send their details to mail@dpac.net.uk

 Go to survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FGKJBSQ

 

Jul 202012
 

What are you currently working on?

I work at the Alliance for Inclusive Education which is a Disabled People’s Organisation that campaigns for all disabled learners to have access to mainstream education, no ifs, and no buts. Our current campaign is to fight the government’s continued attacks on inclusive education, as if disabled people ever had the right to inclusive education in the first place. Disabled learners are the only group of people who can be lawfully discriminated against when accessing mainstream education despite the government’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Article 24 which states that disabled people should not be “excluded from general education system and receive the support required.      Moreover we mustn’t forget that in terms of accessing 16+ education there is not a squeak on segregated education.

We are campaigning vigorously against the Government’s plans to remove the bias towards inclusive education through increasing segregated and education provision in both schools and colleges that is being proposed in the Government’s proposals for young disabled people in their draft Children and Families Bill.

We have been fighting against the outright attacks on disabled people’s right to mainstream education through the government’s academies programme and their attempts to weaken the special educational needs legal framework.    Additionally we have been campaigning against the Government’s attack on local authority’s role in providing coordinated specialist SEN services that are available free of charge for all state funded schools.   Such services may include behaviour support, educational psychologists, occupational psychologists, dyslexia therapists which can make a real difference in supporting mainstream schools capacity to support inclusive education practise for a whole range of disabled kids.

ALLFIE were successful in ensuring academies complied with the SEN framework and generally required to be have an intake of pupils of all abilities.    This doesn’t get away from the covert discrimination that disabled people and parents face in accessing mainstream education through admission procedures.

Please see ALLFIE’s website for on-going campaigning activity: www.allfie.org.uk

 

What do you see as the biggest threat to disabled people at the moment?  The Government’s

Disregard for the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, European Human Rights Convention, Human Rights and Equality Acts duties in their responsibility for promoting inclusion of disabled people in mainstream
society.

Constant attack on anyone relying on the state for any kind of support, welfare benefits, housing, social and health care and so on.     Individualism, capitalism, competitiveness and productivity are the driving force of Government policy.   They are wrecking any kind of collective responsibility for supporting each other in times of need.

Plans linking duties to being entitled to state funded support – i.e. requirement to be looking for work whilst having a social housing tenancy or being in receipt of employment and support allowance.

Then we have disabled people being seen as scroungers when accessing benefits when time and time again it has been shown there is little evidence of fraud.

State’s responsibilities and Public sector’s duties being privatised by commissioning such services to the private sector such as profit making organisations, ‘social enterprises’ and charities.  This will undermine the integrity and democratic accountability for decisions that will have a huge impact upon disabled peoples’ lives.   ATOS is an example where the Work Capability Assessment should be under the direct supervision of the Department for Work and Pensions as opposed to a private company that is only interested in meeting the Government’s targets of getting disabled people off benefits so they get their contract renewed.   Simarily, private companies are involved in determining whether job seekers are doing enough to find work and if not they can contribute to the decision of withdrawing job seeker’s benefits.

Market determines what services will or will not be made available for disabled people.   Just because disabled people need services does not mean that the market will deliver – as it depends on whether a profit can be made by the provider.

The idea of objectivity and assessments without recognising the whole move towards carrying out individual assessments is based on a universal application of ideas.    There is an assumption in the work capability assessment that an ability to read, write, use a computer, lift objects and so on at home is an indicator of a disabled person’s ability to do paid work.     An ability to concentrate in a work setting is assumed if a disabled person has the ability to watch Eastenders.

The Big Society Bank where we are going to have the elite deciding who will be deserving poor or ‘needy’ and who will be providing those services.   As the bank will be providing loans instead of grants, only companies that can pay back the money will be considered – Disabled peoples organisations are unlikely to get any assistance.

Another major threat is the bio-psycho-social model replacing the good old social model of disability in terms of understanding the barriers that disabled people face.

What can disabled people do in the face of all these threats?

I think disabled people need to get together and think through what needs to happen in order for things to change. Reconceptualising how we understand disabling barriers in today’s society in order to challenge our most pressing threats, for example the bio-psycho-social model.

We need to work together in developing an ideal world that promotes inclusion, both in theory and in practise.

In terms of campaigns we need to link to wider anti-capitalist campaigns because we are affected differently but equally. Capitalism is there to divide us, it is about squeezing out the resources from the many (disabled people, women, Black and Minority Ethnic groups, the working poor and so on) for the benefit of an elite. We need to stand firm to this continuing threat to our freedoms.

 

What is the best action you have ever taken part in?

Anti-discrimination, Apprenticeships and the Jodie and Mary’s Equal  Right to Life campaigns.

Throwing stink bombs into a Leonard Cheshire Ballroom which stopped a charity ball and throwing false shit and sitting on a very doggy toilet outside the Department of Health against cuts to social care campaign.

 

Is there any message you would like to give DPAC members?

Kick some butt!