A protest group which occupied a government building said that disabled people were being labelled as “scroungers” during the cuts to public services.
The 16-strong group entered the public advice centre at an HM Revenue and Customs building in Glasgow and held up placards, shouting “No to the rich”.
Protesters gathered in George Square in the city centre before walking to the HMRC offices in Cochrane Street.
Peter Lockhart, 51, from Cowdenbeath in Fife, said:
“Disabled people are really suffering under this government. The disability allowance has been abolished.
“There are also all of these stories calling us scroungers. We are being used as scapegoats.
“The big corporations and the really wealthy are not paying their fair portion in taxes.
“They are putting their money in offshore accounts and tax havens. If the government went after them that would tackle the deficit.”
Mr Lockhart has been using a wheelchair since a car accident ten years ago. Around four people also stood outside the entrance to the building.
Protesters ended their occupation after around 40 minutes when police arrived and spoke with them.
John McArdle, from the Black Triangle anti-defamation campaign in defence of disability rights and who also joined the demonstration, said:
“Disabled people have been used as scapegoats in the mass media and labelled as workshy and scroungers. That is based on no empirical facts.
“We believe that these cuts are ideological. We reject the false narrative of there is no alternative.
“Disabled people are having their homecare cut, are being left without care to sit in their own excrement. They have fundamental human rights.”
Mr McArdle said the cuts breach the human rights of disabled people under the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“We are protesting about a £120bn tax gap owed by corporations and private individuals.
“Why should disabled people suffer for a crisis that was caused by systemic flaws in the financial system?”
More info at STV
Over a period of 2 1/2 hours on Monday 6th June around 50 people joined the picket, called by the Crutch Collective and Black Triangle, of the Atos Recruitment Evening in Glasgow. Some had travelled from Edinburgh and as far away as Berwick. Some officials of the PCS union were able to attend at the start and took away some leaflets. The admin. staff at Atos are members of PCS.
Details also at http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/
Glasgow 6th June between 6pm and 8pm.
Atos Medical Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogon Street, Glasgow
London Triton Sq Tuesday, June 14 · 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Atos Origin, 4 Triton Square, London, NW1 3HG
Islington: Thursday, September 29 · 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington N1 0QH
Disabled people, benefits claimants and supporters are to target recruitment events hosted by IT company Atos Origin. Pickets outside two events have been called so far where protesters have vowed to make sure potential Atos ‘Healthcare’ workers will know exactly how their future employers operate.
All claimants on health related benefits are set to be retested by Atos, using a computerised system which has seen thousands wrongly stripped of benefits and been described as ‘unfit for purpose’.
Atos rely on Doctors, nurses and midwives to carry out the tests – as one nurse, and former employee of Atos has said: “It’s against my principles to treat people with long term illnesses in such a disgusting way, so I had to give it up.
“People go into those interviews and talk openly to you because you are a nurse and they trust you.
“Then your skills are used against them, to take away their benefits and destroy their lives.”
Glasgow: The first protest will be held at the Atos Medical Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogon Street, Glasgow on Monday 6th June between 6pm and 8pm.
0795 203 7290
London Triton Sq: Benefit claimants, disabled people and supporters will be attending Atos Healthcare’s Recruitment Day on June 14th at 5pm and have called on people to join them.
Bring bandages, fake blood, banners, placards, CVs, the noise.
Tuesday, June 14 · 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Atos Origin, 4 Triton Square, London, NW1 3HG
In the spirit of actively seeking work we will be demanding that if we are all ‘fit for work’ then Atos, notorious for a lack of disabled access in their premises, should consider us for employment directly.
Islington London: Protesters will also gather outside the BMJ Recruitment Fair on September 29th where Atos plan to exhibit: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/protest-atos-origin-outside-the-bmj-recruitment-fair-29th-september/
Poverty Pimps Atos Origin, the sharks responsible for the harrassment of sick and disabled claimants, are set to recruit hundreds of medical staff to carry out there notorious assessments on everyone receiving Incapacity Benefit.
As part of this Atos will be having a stall at the annual BMJ Recruitment Fair in Islington Design Centre on 29th/30th September.
A protest has been called outside on the 29th where we will be not just demonstrating but handing out information to potential recruits on the devastation these tests have caused to the health of already vulnerable people.
“Please come and see us at stand 54 of the BMJ Careers Fair” say Atos on their website. Ok then we will.
Atos will also be exhibiting at the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair at the same venue on 13/14th September and the CSP Congress in Liverpool on October in Liverpool on 7/8th October. We might go and see them there too.
The BMJ Recruitment Fairs Website is at: http://careersfair.bmj.com/en/1/home.html
No doubt a whole host of private companies itching to get their hands on the NHS will be recruiting there as well. We might have a chat with a few of them as well.
Atos are carrying out more recruitment events around the country. You can find details at: http://www.atoshealthcarejobs.co.uk/events.html