Aug 132013
 

dpacxx

Reclaiming Our Futures UK

 

Join this year’s week of action to protest against austerity, fight for our rights and celebrate disabled people

 

From 29th August – 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.

 

 

Our rights are being stripped away day by day, by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems, leaving us without much hope for our futures – or our children’s.

 

We have been here before. Our history is littered with examples of how our community has come together when under attack to fight – and win. From the early campaigns of NLBDP (National League of Blind and Disabled People) through to the founding and manifesto of UPIAS (Union of

 

the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and on to DAN (Direct Action Network)- Now we have DPAC leading direct action and a host of other key grass root campaigns working towards reclaiming our rights and futures.

 

We have fought our corner over 3 centuries. And those fights have brought victories; the Independent Living Movement, our early CILs (Centres for Independent Living) and early active DPO’s (Disabled Peoples Organisations) and the significant rights for disabled people (which are now under attack). They represent big victories, brought about by mobilizing in our communities around our common cause – and having the will and determination to see our demands met without compromising our rights. We have consistently united in anger and celebration.

  

Download easy read information about the week here:

DPAC easy read (2)

 

DPAC Reclaiming our Futures Action

 

This autumn, we are asking our community to come together in anger, and celebration again – and to unite around our demands

 

We will be launching the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto setting out our vision of how the resources, structures and institutions of our society today can be re-designed to empower disabled people to take part in life on our terms. Disabled people are, and always will be, the experts on our lives and our self-determination. It will be a vision and practical plan that we can take forward in our communities, workplaces and lives to reclaim our futures.

 

In the build up to the manifesto launch, DPAC is leading The ‘Reclaiming Our Futures’, seven days of action to protest against the targeting of disabled people by austerity measures, to fight for our rights for inclusion and independence as equal citizens and to celebrate the value, pride and self determination of disabled people.

 

From 29th August – 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.

 

The plan below is only half the story. We want YOU, your Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, your campaign group, your community, your friends to put on events and get involved too. Can’t get to our exhibition? – then put on your own. Can’t get to our direct action? – then do your own. Barbecues, debates, quiz nights, family days, picnics – whatever! ACT – in celebration or in anger! (PS don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing).

 

 

Day by Day: 29th August-4th September

 

 

Thursday 29th August – YOU launch our 7 days of action

 

A range of resources will be available for your use as we ask all supporters to start our week of action with an online blitz. You will be the ones creating the buzz and the hype sending letters and twitter messages to targets of your choice ranging from MPs to disability charities to the media. We will be producing twibbons and memes but make and circulate your own. If you haven’t got a Social Media account (such as Facebook & Twitter) set one up now, link to DPAC ( twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest) and let’s create a cyber wave. #dpacrof

 

The launch will coincide with Transport for All’s Day of Action to make CrossRail accessible: https://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/day-of-action-to-make-crossrail-fully-accessible-thursday-29th-august-2013/

 

 

 

Friday 30th August – Local Protests

 

Last year during the ATOS Games over 30 local actions took place around the UK Local actions mean you get to choose the target of your choice. You could take the Reclaiming Our Futures manifesto to present at your local MP’s constituency office, spread it through social media, protest on the streets against segregated education, the proposed ILF closure or show solidarity at your local Remploy site (for those few factories in their last weeks of operation). Alternatively, you might want to lobby your local Council on the Bedroom Tax and cuts to local services/support. Oh, and as we know ATOS offices are still around too….we’re sure you have other great ideas to add… Remember to let us know what you are doing so we can promote your actions. We will be producing local action resource packs but any materials you develop please send us copies to share with other protests and online.

 

 

Saturday 31st – Disability, Art & Protest Exhibition and Fundraising Gig

 

An exhibition and sharing of work exploring disability, art and protest followed by a ticketed fundraising gig run in partnership with Madpride and Tottenham Chances. Come during the day and join in our banner making workshop to prepare for the big Freedom Drive on the 4th September. If you would like to nominate an artist, collective and/or piece of work please let us know (including any links) and we will try to get them involved. If you want to do a local, street or online art protest too-this could be the day to do it.

 

Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN Times:

 

12 – 7pm Exhibition: disability, art and protest

1 – 3.30pm Banner and placard making workshop

 

4 – 6pm Work Sharing

7.30pm till late Gig

 

 

Sunday 1st September – Reclaiming the Social Model: the social model in the 21st Century

 

Anne Rae: former UPIAS and current chair of the Greater

Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP),

 

Colin Barnes: Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds Centre for Disability Studies

 

 

As government and the private sector increasingly use a so-called ‘modern understanding of disability’ to redefine who is and who isn’t disabled it is more important than ever that we understand, defend and promote the social model of disability. This isn’t helped when the social model is not fully supported within our movement. This event will be a chance to hear from a range of speakers and to discuss why the social model is still relevant today to our lives and our futures and to map out what we need to do to fight for it. The event will be live-streamed with the opportunity for people to participate in the discussion virtually. We will also be promoting a range of resources around the social model.

 

Venue

UNITE House, 128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, WC1X 8TN

Time: 12.30 – 4.30pm

 

 

Monday 2nd September – Direct Action

 

Despite the huge efforts of thousands of disabled people throughout the country, it is increasingly difficult to find spaces where lies, inaccuracies and mis-use of statistics can be challenged. DPAC recently released a study into how the DWP uses all of these to vilify and demonize disabled people.

 

See more at: https://dpac.uk.net/2013/06/lies-damn-ids-and-statistics/#sthash.MAk5nTiU.dpuf

 

But why is this down to us? People should be presented with both sides of the story and this isn’t happening. Disabled people are having to find ways to make sure our truths will be heard. Watch this space…

 

 

Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day

 

A day of online action to reinforce that we want ‘Rights not Charity’, and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people. Dare to ask for Rights not Charity. Dare to be an activist. Dare to ask more of ‘our’ organisations. We aren’t asking for Care, we want Power: Power to write the script for our own lives, and not to be written out or written off by others. A range of actions and captions will be available for you to capture in an image and circulate online.

 

 

Wednesday 4th September – UK FREEDOM DRIVE

 

A final-day march and events in and around Parliament. Four

 

themed ‘blocks’ will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament for a lobby where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our

 

elected representatives.

 

Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:

 

·        Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation (Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)

 

·        Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits (3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)

 

·        Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance (Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)

 

·        Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence (Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)

 

Lobby of Parliament: 5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s

Manifesto

 

WE WANT EVERYBODY TO JOIN US FOR THE FREEDOM DRIVE ideally in person, but also online-this is for everyone everywhere. There will be accessible transport from a variety of towns and cities throughout the country (details to follow) and there is some funding available for transport but we will need your co-operation and patience to make this work for everybody, so please bear with us and note that while DPAC members will be given priority we want to support as many people as we can. If you can’t get there send a photo or your name and you can march with us.

 

This week of action is yours. Please take part at whatever level suits you – BUT MAKE SURE YOU TAKE PART. Share our events, resources and actions as far and wide as you can.

 

 

 

Let’s Reclaim Our Futures, together!

 

 

DPAC web site: www.dpac.uk.net

 

DPAC facebook:

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DPAC-Disabled-People-Against-Cuts/213545112011414?fref=ts(Open Community group- including allupdates from DPAC)

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DPAC2011/?fref=ts(original open groupDPAC page- faster paced and more opinion driven than community group )

 

DPAC Twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest 

 

DPAC email: mail@dpac.uk.net

 

 

Remember if you need help with funding to get to London (4th Sept) email us at mail@dpac.uk.net with details. DPAC members will get first priority but we’re hoping to be able to contribute to all that want to come along. If you are unable to come but would like your picture carried send us a photo or message. Please get in touch with any other queries as well and we’ll try to help.

Download this as a PDF Doc: https://dpac.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Reclaiming-Our-Futures-call-out-long-w-logos-v2.pdf

 Download this as a Word Doc: https://dpac.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Reclaiming-Our-Futures-call-out-long-w-logos-v2-1.doc

 

 Reclaiming our Futures is supported by The Edge Fund, Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust, Network for Social Change, Black Triangle, Mental Health resistance network, Wow Petition, Fuel Poverty Action, Occupy London, TUC, UK UNCUT, Boycott Workfare, Right to Work, Just Fair, Unite Disabled Workers, BFAAWU, European Network on Independent Living, Anti-Bedroom Tax and Benefits Justice Federation, and more…..

 rof8

Feb 102013
 

Benefit Cuts opposition grows as MPs and union leaders back

Union leaders and MPs are publicly backing tenants and campaigners against Benefit cuts which they say ‘must stop’.

The leaders of Britains largest trade unions are lining up in a joint call to action, with Defend Council Housing, Disabled People Against Cuts and others. They say debt, hunger and homelessness will get worse if ‘vicious’ cuts to Council tax, Disability and housing benefits including the Bedroom Tax go ahead. ‘People receiving benefits did not cause the banking and economic crisis and we do not accept them being scapegoated to pay for it.’ A joint letter published today, is signed by Len McCluskey leader of Britain’s biggest trade union Unite, and by Mark Serwotka of the PCS trade union representing Benefits workers and other civil servants.

Four MPs also back the call for a Benefits Summit on 9 March, bringing together campaigns and organisations to step up opposition. Today’s letter says:

Cuts in benefit are an unjust attack on the poor and they must stop.

People are already being driven into debt, hunger and homelessness. From April millions more will be hit by the Bedroom tax, cuts in council tax benefit, ending Disability Living Allowance and further vicious cuts.

In one of the richest countries in the world, the rise of food banks, destitution and poverty is not acceptable. People receiving benefits did not cause the banking and economic crisis and we do not accept them being scapegoated to pay for it.

The Campaign for Benefit Justice has called a summit event on 9 March in central London, bringing together tenants, disabled people, trade unions, the unpaid and the low paid as one national voice to end the war on the poor. All who support us should contact Benefit Justice via info@defendouncilhousing.org.uk or mail@dpac.uk.net

Collecting unpaid corporate tax, capping private rents, insulating, repairing and greening homes and building 100,000 first-class council homes would be a sane and just way to raise funds, build for growth and cut bills and rents.

It is signed by:

Eileen Short Defend Council Housing

Linda Burnip Disabled People Against Cuts

Michael Bradley Right to Work Campaign

Len McCluskey General Secretary Unite the Union

Mark Serwotka General Secretary PCS union

Dave Anderson MP

John McDonnell MP

Austin Mitchell MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Jane Aitchison (PCS) Unite the Resistance joint Secretary

Richard Buckwell Chair Ashfield UNISON Branch & East Midlands member of UNISON’s national Housing Forum

Glyn Robbins (UNITE member)

Dot Gibson National Pensioners Convention general secretary

Claire Glasman WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)

Kim Sparrow Single Mothers Self-Defence

John Davies Leeds Hands off our Homes

Dr Stuart Hodkinson Lecturer School of Geography University of Leeds

Shirley Frost Sheffield Defend Council Housing, Campaign for Benefits Justice, and UNITE Community Members branch Sheffield

Imelda Messenger Hackney tenant, Street Properties

Further information from DCH chair, Eileen Short (07432 098440)

To stop getting DCH press releases reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in subject.

For background information on the demand for investment in council housing and who supports the campaign see www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk

Jan 262013
 

An organising meeting called on Saturday 19th January by Defend Council Housing (DCH), Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Right to Work (RtW) attracted around 40 people representing 32 different campaign groups and union branches to build an umbrella campaign to oppose ConDem attacks on the poor and fight for benefit justice. The idea for the meeting came from a workshop on Welfare and Austerity hosted by DPAC and RtW at the Unite the Resistance conference in London in November.

Anger and desperation are mounting as benefit claimants brace themselves for changes due to come in this April at a time when many are already having to choose between heating and eating. The Bedroom Tax will mean tenants having to find around a £1000 a year to plug the cut in Housing Benefit, something that is simply unaffordable for people also facing a cut in Council Tax Support through what is fast becoming known as the new Poll Tax, and the benefit cap. Disability benefits are under attack on an unprecedented scale with cuts to DLA set to remove essential support from more than 600,000 claimants and the closure of the Independent Living Fund literally returning disabled people to the institutions. Unemployed workers are labelled as skivers and scroungers when the reality is there are no jobs and mandatory work placements are being used to drive down wages. Many low paid workers who will be expected to implement the changes will also be affected by them as research by union PCS has shown.

Campaign groups and actions are multiplying as people are left with no option but to fightback. In Liverpool last week 100 tenants attended a meeting called by Defend Your Homes Against the Bedroom Tax with plans for February to occupy a local housing association that is using housing benefit cuts to push tenants into unpaid work. Local Councils are being targeted with protests called at town halls such as those organised by Camden United for Benefit Justice. A facebook group called Anti Bedroom Tax has over 6000 members, many of whom have never been politically active before. Fuel Poverty Action is linking up with Greater London Pensioners Association and Disabled People Against Cuts on a weekend of action from 15th – 17th February and Boycott Workfare has a week of action planned from 18th – 23rd March.

The Campaign for Benefit Justice is about uniting the growing resistance, overcoming the divide and rule tactics the Government is using to get away with its assault on the 99% and bringing together disabled people, tenants, unemployed workers, trade unions, students, pensioner, single mothers and others to oppose benefit cuts.

We will be holding an event in London in early March with protests planned for budget day. More details to follow. For more information or to sign up to the statement below please contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk.

Campaign for Benefit Justice – Statement

 Cuts in benefits are an unjust attack on the poor.  Cuts concentrated on Housing Benefit are already breaking up families, communities and support networks.  They will mean poverty, debt and evictions.
We oppose all cuts in benefits and tax credits. We did not cause the banking and economic crisis and will not be scapegoated to pay for it.

We reject false divisions and stigmatisation of people who are low-paid or unpaid.

We will join with local and national campaigns including disabled peoples, tenants, unemployed workers, trade unions, students, pensioner, single mothers and others to oppose benefit cuts

We will support and link up local campaigns.

We oppose all evictions and legal action against those hit by benefit cuts and support all actions taken in defence.

 

Signed:

Defend Council Housing

Disabled People Against Cuts

Right to Work

National Shop Stewards Network

Jan 292012
 

Disabled activists from as far away as Edinburgh and Cornwall descended on central London yesterday afternoon determined to make a space for their voices and concerns to be heard.
With the utmost ease 20 wheelchair users were chained up across the road near Oxford Circus bringing the traffic in Regent Street to a total halt. The wheelchair users were supported by many more disabled activists with invisible impairments and supporters from UKUNCUT and Right to Work.
A coach driver who was trying to take passengers to the theatre said he stopped at the traffic lights and then suddenly the coach was trapped and unable to move anywhere. Busses were backed up all along Regent Street for over 2 hours.
It remains wrong that when tax evasion by the wealthy runs at £25 billion and neither the government or opposition parties make any attempt to collect this money disabled people, single parents and unemployed people are being made the scapegoats for the Condems savage and unnecessary austerity cuts.
Disabled people heartened by the success of  yesterday’s actions say this is only the beginning of renewed efforts on their part to have the Welfare Reform Bill overturned, and that even if this is passed their battle against it will continue.
Maria a DPAC supporter said ” we’ve shown today that we aren’t invisible and it’s now time that politicians stop viewing us as vulnerable. We’re not vulnerable and together we can wreak havoc to the streets of London”
More links to press coverage are at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DPAC2011/ and www.dpac.uk.net

 

What needs to be done NOW

More information about the Welfare Reform Bill and how it will push many people including those working on low incomes into destitution and further poverty can be found on DPAC’s website together with a template letter which we are asking people to send to their MPs now asking them to vote against the Welfare Reform Bill in its current form.
On Wednesday February 1st Condem MPs are planning to overturn democracy and vote to ignore amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill passed in the Lords. Please tell your MP this is wrong.
Jan 202012
 

A big thank you to Harpy Marx to let us repost her account of the lobby on here

I attended the vigil and lobby outside Parliament regarding the Welfare Reform Bill and the ongoing attacks on welfare benefits.

Welfare Reform protest

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters - Linda Burnip

Reform Benefit Protestors

Reform Benefit Protestors

First posted at Harpy Marx’s blog

Watch the Guardian video on the previous Welfare Reform protest 12th Jan

As the House of Lords debates amendments to the welfare reform bill, protesters from a range of welfare activist groups such as Single Mothers’ Self Defence, Mad Pride and Right to Work gathered outside to lobby members. They were joined by Labour MP John McDonnell, who called for ‘much more severe and serious opposition’ from the Labour party, in the hope that parts of the bill could be defeated if it comes back to the Commons

Nov 182011
 
Right to Work are compiling a list of all the protests / rallies and demonstrations on November 30. You can check what’s happening in your areas at the link below
Please send your event details to reports@righttowork.org.uk
So far there are marches and protests almost everywhere in the country and more and more unions have balloted members and are joining this protest which will be the biggest general strike ever seen in the UK. Over 3 million trade union members are going to be on strike, including disabled members. This is not just about public sector pensions although that is the only thing unions can legally take strike action about: it is a fight to save the welfare state that we all need, to stop the Condems destroying our NHS, and our lives.
Although you may feel this doesn’t involve you if you’re not a union member or aren’t working it is all very much part of our continuing fight for justice for our community so we would urge anyone who can to take part in these events on November 30th.
John Mc Donnell said at our conference that it would be great to have a disabled person on every picket line in the country. We agree and we need to be seen to be part of this so that we and our fight keep being visible to non-disabled people and trade union leaders.

If you have any pictures and words from the day and would like them put on the website send them to mail@dpac.uk.net
Aberdeen – March from St Nicholas Churchyard to a Rally in the Castlegait. Times TBC Contact: aberdeentradesunion@tiscali.co.uk
Barnet Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Barnsley – 10am, demonstration in Churchfield road, S70 2JT. 10.30am, rally at YMCA, Blucher Street, S70 1AP.
Bathgate – 10am-2pm rally at Fairway Hotel, EH48 1BA.
Bedford – 10am, The Salvation Army, Bedford Congress Hall, Commercial Road, Bedford, MK40 1QS
Belfast – noon, four feeder marches assemble at: Central Railway Station, Bridge Street, BT1 3PB; Mater Hospital, Crumlin Road, BT14 7AB; Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, BT12 6BA; City Hospital, Lisburn Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT9 7ER. They will march to a rally at 1pm at Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square, BT1 5GS.
Birmingham – Assemble 11.30am Lionel St, B3 1AT to march to TUC Rally Birmingham Indoor Arena
Blackburn – 11.30am Assemble King William Street, outside old Town Hall
Blackpool – Assemble opposite St John’s Church in the town centre 1.15pm – Rally in the Ruskin Hotel, Albert Road, Blackpool
Bolton – 11.30am, rally at Victoria Square, BL1 1RU. 12.30pm march to Derby Ward Labour Club, Deane Road, BL3 5AH, for rally at 1pm.
Bournemouth – 12noon assemble Central Library, The Triange, 12.30pm March thro town 1.30pm Rally at Royal Bath Hotel, Bath Road
Bradford – 11am, rally at Centenary Square, BD1 1HY.
Brighton – 11.30am, assemble at Victoria Gardens, BN2 1UG. March to The Level, BN1 4SB, for rally at 1pm.
Bristol – 11am, assemble at College Green, BS1 5TA. March to Castle Park, Castle Street, BS1 3XD.
Cambridge – noon, Parkers Piece, CB2 1AA
Cardiff – noon, assemble at Cathays Park, CF10 3AT, for march to a rally at 1pm at the SWALEC stadium, Sophia Gardens, CF11 9XR.
Chester – noon, assemble at Castle Drive, CH1 1SL for march to Guildhall, Watergate Street, CH1 2LA, stopping at the Chester Cross junction, CH1 1PD, at 1pm for a protest.
Chesterfield – Assemble 11.00 am Rykneld Square (By Crooked Spire) S40 1SB.March to Rally at Club Chesterfield, Chester Street ( Formerly Chesterfield Miners Welfare) at 12.30.S40 1DL
Croydon Hospital Protest 12 – 2pm
Derby – Silk Mill 11.15am march to Market Place for rally at noon.
Dumphries – Rally Cairndale Hotel 10.45 – 12 noon Contact:Dumfries@eis.org.uk
Dundee -March & Rally Dudhope Park West gate from 12noon. March off 12:30pm to City Square for Rally Contact: dundeetuc@ymail.com
Ealing – 10.30am, Ealing Town Hall W5 2BY
Edinburgh – 11.30am, assemble outside Usher Hall, Lothian Road, EH1 2EA
Falkirk – Rally 12 noon at St Martha’s Hall, Hope Street, Falkirk. Contact: duncanmac@blueyonder.co.uk
Glasgow – Assemble 12 noon Shuttle Street (near High St station) March to Barrowlands Ballroom for 1.15pm Contact: triciagtuc@hotmail.co.uk
Glenrothes – 10.30am, rally outside Fife House, North Street, KY7 9TB
Halifax – 10am, assemble at Town Hall, Crossley Street, HX1 1UJ
Hastings – 11.30am, assemble at Hastings Pier, 34 White Rock, TN34 1JY, before marching to the Town centre. Rally, to take place after the march, in Robertson Street, TN34 1H; between Debenhams and the Havelock public house.
Hertford – Hartham Common, Hartham Lane, Hertford, at 11.30am March to County Hall rally about 1.30pm
Huddersfield – 10.30am, assemble at St George’s Square, HD1 1JA, march around the town centre followed by a rally.
Hull – 11am, rally at the Queen’s Gardens, Paragon Street, HU1 3NA
Inverness – 12 noon, short march and rally at Mercure Hotel, Church Street, IV1 1QY
Ipswich – 11.30am Russell Rd. March thru town centre. Rally Ipswich Cornhill 12.45pm
Kingston Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Lancaster – 11.00am – Assemble at Dalton Square, 12.30pm – Rally at Market Square
Leeds – Assemble 10.30 Woodhouse Moor to march down to the rally, noon,  outside the Art Gallery, The Headrow, LS1 5RG
Leicester – 12.30pm, rally at The Athena, Queen Street, LE1 1QD
Liverpool – 11.30am, assemble outside St George’s Hall, St George’s Place, L1 1JJ. March to a rally at Castle Street, L2 0NA
London
12 noon, Lincolns Inn Fields march to rally on Victoria Embankment
GLA protest 12 noon
Hackney Town Hall protest 12 noon
Haringey Civic Centre protest 12 noon
Islington Green Protest 12 noon
Lambeth Protest 12 noon, Windrush Square
Tower Hamlets protest 12 noon, Town Hall, Cable Street
London Hospitals
Lewisham Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Northwick Park Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Queen Elizabeth Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Queens Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
St Thomas’ Hospital protest – 12 – 2pm
St Mary’s Hospital 12 – 2pm
St Georges Hospital Protest 12 – 2pm
UCLH protest 12 – 2pm
Luton – Assemble 11am Manor Park, Manor Rd, Luton. March to markey Hill for rally and speeches
Maidstone – 1pm, rally at County Hall, ME14 1XD
Manchester – March & Rally 11am Liverpool Rd off Deansgate March departs 11.30am Rally Whitworth Park 12.30pm
Chorlton House – 8am – Rally at Chorlton House, Manchester Rd. Chorlton
Chorlton Library – 9am outside Chorlton Library, Manchester Rd. M21 9PN
Milton Keynes – noon, assemble at Campbell Park, MK9 3FZ
Motherwell – noon, rally at North Lanarkshire council building, Windmillhill Street, ML1 1AB.
Newcastle – Gateshead Civic Centre 10.30am march to rally 12 noon Spillers Wharf Newcastle
Norwich – Assemble 11am city college. March from 11.30 into city hall. Rally 12.30
Nottingham – 12.30pm, rally at The Albert Hall, North Circus Street, NG1 5AA.
Oldham – 12.00pm – Assemble on Albion Street (close to Iceland shop)
Oxford – Main march assembly 2pm Cowley Plain OX4 1DZ: Feeder march assemblies to go to Cowley Plain; Education workers and students, 1.30 pm Harburton Mead, Off Marston Road; Healthworkers 1.30 pm Corner Gipsy Lane/ London Rd; Council workers and civil servants 1.30 pm Manzil Way, Cowley Rd; Disabled assembly Carfax Tower 2.30 pm to join main march; Rally Broad St 3.30 pm
Preston – 11.00am – Assemble at Avenham Park, 12 noon rally at Flag Market
Reading – March assembles Queens walk 12.15 for 12.30 start. March to Forbury Gardens for Rally
Rotherham – 10am, assemble at Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, S60 2RB. 10.30am, march to rally in All Saints Square, S60 1QX
Salford – 11.30am, assemble at Bexley Square to march to rally in Manchester. M3 6BZ.
Sandwell – 10.30am outside Sandwell Council House, Oldbury.
Sheffield – 11am, rally at the Peace Gardens, Pinstone Street,S1 2HH
N30 @ Plug, Matilda Street, Sheffield 6pm – 10pm https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=282859655080195
Telford – 12.30pm, rally at Cordingley Hall, Wellington Road, TF2 8JS
Warrington – 11.30am – Assemble at GMB Office on Town Hill, Warrington. march to Warrington Town Hall for 12.30pm
Wigan– 12.00 – March to Wigan Town Centre, from Whelley Labour Club 1.00pm – Town Centre Rally in Market Place, Wigan
York – noon at Tower Gardens, opposite Clifford’s Tower, march to York Minster for 1pm rally with union and service user speakers.

Picket Line Support Centre, 7am to 11am at St Lawrence’s Church Hall, York

Aug 052011
 

Disabled lead Protestors at March in Birmingham Oct3

Disabled lead Protestors at March in Birmingham Oct3 2010

DPAC demands the right for disabled people to protest and march with Right to Work as we did last year! Please download, use and return the filled petition

In a deja vu moment the West Midlands police and the home office have again denied people the right to march in Birmingham – this time past the Lib Dem Party conference on Sunday 18th September.

In 2010 the Tories and the West Midlands police prevented Right to Work’s march going past the Tory party conference in the city. Right to Work again initiated this years march but the TUC will act as event organiser and build on the ‘March for the Alternative‘ theme.

Paul Brandon National Secretary of Right to Work said, ” I sat in the meeting with the TUC and was dumbstruck on hearing the news. I can only echo the view in the meeting of the TUC that this represents an outrageous decision. This is a direct attack on the right to protest in a so called free and democratic society. There now needs to be a massive demonstration in Birmingham on the 18th September to reassert working peoples hard won freedoms as we face attacks on pensions, savage cuts to public services and an attack on the NHS to pay for a financial crisis we didn’t create. There is still time for the police and the home office to rethink their decision, and I urge them to do so. ‘

Linda Burnip, of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “These are our elected politicians and they are accountable to us as voters. It is unacceptable that they can be hidden away from us in this way.”

As in 2010 marchers will be denied access to the part of Broad Street in Birmingham city centre which goes past the conference centre. Police will seal off the area round the conference with fixed barriers

We are asking everybody to sign the following statement:

“For the second year West Midlands Police have confirmed their intention to bar protesters from marching past a major political conference in Birmingham . The police are erecting a “Ring of steel” around the International Convention Centre during the Liberal Democrat Party conference. In 2010 the Con-Dem council and West Midlands police prevented the 7,000 strong Right to Work’s march going past the Tory party conference.

The TUC, which represents millions of trade union members, is now organising the protest, initiated by the Right to Work Campaign, at the Lib-Dem conference on 18 September. On 26th March the TUC organised a peaceful demonstration of over 500,000 through Central London .

West Midlands Police claim restrictions on the right to protest are about the security of conference delegates. Yet no such restrictions are being placed on the similar demonstration Right to Work has initiated and the TUC are now organising at the Tory Party conference in Manchester .
We feel the actions of West Midlands police are a violation of our right to protest peacefully against government policies. Peaceful protest has a central place in any democratic society and people have taken their opposition to government actions to their conferences for decades. The decision of the West Midlands Police takes that right away.

We are concerned that West Midlands Police is attempting to make political decisions about how visible protests against the cuts can be.

We believe that West Midlands Police should permit the demonstrators to march past the Liberal Democrats conference on Sunday 18th September.”

We will be putting the statement on our website asap so that people can sign up.  You can download the attached petition to use in your workplace, college, etc. You can also email mail@dpac.uk.net directly to get your name, organisation, etc added.

Please download, use and return the filled petition to:

West Midlands Right To Work, C/O CWU Office, 46-48 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3TH

Thank you for your support.

Jul 072011
 

Thank you to Birmingham Against the Cuts for this post

A lobby at the council house was held yesterday, called jointly by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Social Work Action Network (SWAN), UNISON Birmingham Council Branch, Right to Work and Birmingham Against the Cuts.

The five groups have come together this month to campaign on cuts to social and care services that the ConDem council are seeking to bring in, as part of the £212m council cuts.

The council plans to cut back services to disabled people in particular, with care only being available to those adults judged to have “critical” needs.  This means that adults with only “substantial” needs will no longer have access to care services.  Originally the council said that this would affect 11,000 people, but have more recently said that it will only be 4,500 people who are affected – we, like Graeme Horn from UNISON, are inclined to believe the original figure as the council are likely to have tried to massage the numbers down following an outcry from the people of Birmingham about these horrendous cuts.

Following the announcement of the cuts, a legal case was started which resulted in a judicial review in May that the cuts were unlawful, as the council had not done an equality impact assessment or consulted properly over the cuts.  This review has forced the council to start a new consultation, which begins shortly.  DPAC and SWAN decided to use July to campaign on this because the UN is currently monitoring the convention on the rights of disabled people – so at the same time the government is monitoring the report from the UN, they are cutting services to disabled people.  They then contacted UNISON, Right to Work and Birmingham Against the Cuts to build a united campaign which can be effective in its resistance to these cuts.

Graeme Horn from UNISON Birmingham said:

We need to make sure that during the consultation as many people as possible examine what the council are doing and speak up in defence of vulnerable and disabled people

Rich Moth from SWAN added that

We have chosen to start the campaign now because of the court victory under the Disability Discrimination Act concerning the £33m cuts to care and support services.  What we want to do coming out of that judgement is to build a campaign because Birmingham City Council will come back with proposals that we expect to be more or less the same and we need to build a campaign to fight these discriminatory cuts which kind of show who is really going to suffer – not the bankers who caused the crisis but disabled and vulnerable people.

Godfrey Webster from Birmingham Against The Cuts spoke about how it is important to make sure that the narrative of the neccesity of cuts is defeated

The problem is that the majority of people think the cuts are inevitable and there is no alternative.  We need to get the message out that there is an alternative

False Economy is a good website to start with to explore the alternatives to cuts, which broadly speaking encompass ideas such as closing the £120bn tax gap – especially the £25bn of tax avoided each year by wealthy individuals and large corporations; a robin hood and/or bankers bonus tax to ensure that the people and organisations that caused the crisis play their part in helping to get us out of it and investing in the economy (particularly in green manufacturing) to stimulate growth and prevent a double-dip recession which would cause tax revenues to fall, welfare payments to rise and the deficit to increase.

Matt Raine from Right to Work chose to highlight one particular cut

Mobility allowance is being stripped from old people.  This will mean that they are effectively prisoners in their care homes

He talked about the importance of linking up this struggle with the wider struggle against cuts, mentioning the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham in September, and the Tory conference in Manchester in October.

Sam Brackenbury

Finally, DPAC Sam Brackenbury spoke about how disabled people need to be active in this struggle.  He said that he was fighting so that he could have the support that he needed to have an independent life, to not be dependent on other people or have to accept the scraps that fall from the table.  Calling for all disabled people to be proactive in this struggle and to join DPAC in taking action to defend their benefits he said

Don’t cause a fuss, stop a bus

referring to this action that he took with Members of the Greater London Pensioners’ Association took to highlight issues of access and the cutting of mobility allowance, as well as broader cuts to benefits (Sam is one of the activists handcuffed to the back of the bus)

There will be more events from this campaign this month, as well as ongoing work as we seek to prevent the council from cutting vital services.  To steal SWAN’s slogan we want the budget to be based on peoples needs, not private greed.

On Thursday (7th July) Birmingham Trades Council has its monthly meeting, at 7:30pm in the Council House.  Bob Findlay-Williams from DPAC will be speaking.

On the 20th July there will be a public meeting at Transport House on Broad Street (TGWU/UNITE building) with speakers from the groups and services affected by these cuts.  Join the Facebook Event and invite your friends.

Come along to these events and help the campaign to ensure that the consultation that the council are being forced to undertake is not a sham, and that vital services for vulnerable and disabled people are protected.

All photos (c) Geoff Dexter Sherborne Publications – see more photos in his Flickr stream

Jul 042011
 
hand palm with words'hands off'

hands off our services...

Hands Off Our Care and Support Services, Our Benefits, and Our Futures!

Rally of Birmingham City Council Meeting

5.00pm Tuesday 5 July 2011

Outside Council House, Victoria Square

It is becoming increasingly clear that those who will be hardest hit by austerity cuts are those with least money and resources  –disabled people, mental health service users, carers, older people and those on benefits. In Birmingham the council plans to cut £33.2m from support and care services by raising eligibility thresholds. This will mean five thousand people in the city losing vital support. Cuts include the closure of six older people’s residential homes, increased charges for personal care, and the loss of skilled care workers as services become increasingly reliant on lower paid casual staff. A recent Panorama on the abuse of disabled residents at the Castlebeck unit showed the horrific results of providing social care on the cheap through privatised companies. Yet now the council is also proposing to privatise social work services using social enterprises. This will mean social work is turned into a business and workers forced to compete for contracts.

In addition many of those affected by cuts, disabled people and those with severe and terminal medical conditions, are also being forced to undergo  ‘work capability assessments’ and declared fit for work by the hated multinational Atos Origin which will profit from an outsourced £300 million government contract. This system has already led several claimants to commit suicide.

However, care service users and social and care workers are increasingly questioning why they should pay for a crisis caused not by them but by bankers. And so care staff and their unions in Birmingham are joining forces with disabled people to save our services and campaign against these discriminatory cuts.

In May a High Court judge ruled Birmingham council’s plans were unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act and these cutback plans were put on hold. This is a fantastic victory but will only be the start of the fight back necessary. To build on this campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts, Birmingham City Unison,  West Midlands Social Work Action Network, Right to Work campaign and Birmingham Against the Cuts have launched a joint campaign.

unison logoThere will be a month of action in July against austerity measures in Birmingham to coincide with the first UK monitoring report of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Activities will include a lobby of the first full council meeting since the election at 5pm on 5th July in Victoria Square and a public meeting on

20th July at the Unite (TGWU) Offices, 211 Broad Street from right to work logo630pm

We invite you to join us in demanding better public services for service users and those working in them not more cuts and marketisation.

Later in July, there will be a public meeting of all five sponsoring organisations (DPAC, SWAN, RtoW, Birmingham UNISON, and BATC). This will take place as follows

Hands Off Our Care and Support Services, Our Benefits and Our Futures Public Meeting

6.00pm Tuesday 20 July 2011
Transport House Broad Street, Birmingham

The five sponsoring groups are preparing a detailed pamphlet setting out the range of threats to services and benefits for disabled people, from council cuts in services, the privatisation of Social Work, to the cuts in benefits and the new medical assessment process. This will be published at the end of July.

Email us on mail@dpac.uk.net if you would like to take an active part in our campaign.

Jun 272011
 
June 30th placard

June 30th placard

In Birmingham

(with Birmingham Against the Cuts)

Assemble at 12 noon in Victoria Square for a rally and march.. This will be a regional demonstration with anti-cuts groups from around the region, and striking workers will be coming to the city centre from picket lines to demonstrate.

Confirmed Speakers:

Kevin Courtney (Deputy General Secratary of the NUT),

Hugh Lanning (Deputy General Secretary of PCS)

Michael McNeil (UCU Head of HE)

Local UNISON Branch speaker

DPAC speaker

+More speakers from Unions to be confirmed

Whilst for the unions this can only be about the specific cut they are striking about, for everyone else this can be about the cuts in general. DPAC will be supporting to show solidarity with the workers going on strike and to show resistance to the ConDem administrations both locally and nationally

We will join the rally at 12 noon at Victoria Square, and hope that people will be able to come on their lunch break or even better book annual leave for that day. If you can’t make it, then show support in whatever way you can.

In London

Unite the Fights June 30th

Unite the Fights June 30th

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Right to Work is looking for activists who can volunteer between now & the 30th June to help with stalls, campaigning, placard & banner making. We will be running campaign stalls at major demos across the country, see the battle map for protests & contact us on 07961 337 640 or 07749 481 600 to volunteer or be put in touch with the Right to Work group in your area.

Event

JOINT RALLY AND MARCH IN CENTRAL LONDON 30 Jun 2011 11:00 Assemble in Lincoln’s Inn Fields (Holborn Tube) at 11 am and march down Whitehall to joint union rally in Central Hall, Westminster.

Have a look at the  map of protest rallies in the rest of the country –

Jun 242011
 

Unite the Fights June 30th

Unite the Fights June 30th

Right to Work – Volunteers needed!


Over 800,000 trade unionists are set to strike next Thursday in the biggest confrontation with the government so far.
The country will be awash with picket lines and protests, see the battle map on the Right to Work website for more information. We are urging all our supporters to visit picket lines in solidarity, take breakfast, take banners, etc.
We are looking for activists who can volunteer between now & the 30th June to help with stalls, campaigning, placard & banner making. If you are able to offer your time please get in touch. We will be running campaign stalls at major demos across the country, see the battle map for protests & contact us on 07961 337 640 or 07749 481 600 to volunteer or be put in touch with the Right to Work group in your area.
Text us for 30 June strikes/materials/volunteers – Text on 07961 337 640 or 07749 481 600
Materials available to order for local protests:
Badges – Right to Work – Fight the Cuts
Placards – Unite the Fights – click here to view
Bulletin – ‘Carnival of Resistance’ – click here to view
Broadsheet – 30 June Strikes – coming soon
All other materials are available to download from our website  www.righttowork.org.uk
30th June Battle Map
We have over 50 rallies and demonstrations on the Battle Map now. Please send in any action you are taking.
Other news about 30th June
Reporting the 30th June
Pictures
We will have a slideshow of pictures from the pickets, rallies and demonstrations on our front page.
Please email, from your computer or phone, pictures to
put a title in the subject line and then “tags:30june” – this will drop it automatically into the slideshow on the website.
Eg subject line – Birmingham rally tags:30june
Reports
Please send reports from your picket lines, protests etc to reports@righttowork.org.uk and we will add then as fast as we can!
Unite the Resistance Rallies
Kevin Courtney Deputy General Secretary of the NUT, John McDonnell MP, and PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka were the headline speakers.
Striking lecturers, disability campaigners, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, young teachers and anti cuts activists spoke at a 850 strong rally in the Friends Meeting House in Central London on Wednesday.
The event had an electric atmosphere.
Estelle Cooch from Right to Work spoke at the meeting. See her speech here

March to defend the NHS from cuts and privatisation 5th July

On 5th July it will be 63 years since the NHS was founded. It’s even more important to mark the birthday of Britain’s most popular institution this year, as we face the potential dismantling of the NHS in the form of Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill.

The NHS is working: Public satisfaction with the NHS is at an all-time high. Doctors, nurses, midwives, support staff, patients groups and more have all spoken out about the dangers of these changes.
Tuesday 5th July
Assemble: 5.30pm, Savoy St, Strand, WC2E
March to: Old Palace Yard, opposite Parliament
called by UNITE the Union and Socialist Health Association
Hound the ConDems
Right to Work calls on all anti cuts campaigners to make sure that wherever the ConDems go they are hounded.
Hound Nick Clegg – Birmingham – 29 June see here for details
Hound Andrew Lansley  –  Manchester  – 7 July see here for details
Click here for more info Hound the Con-Dems
Other News and events
Affiliate to Right to Work
The latest national union to affiliate to Right to Work is the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union.
To affiliate your organisation to Right to Work click here
Please send coming events and reports to reports@righttowork.org.uk
Jun 202011
 

We marched together- Now why disabled people should support the June 30th strikes…

Unite the Fights June 30th

Unite the Fights June 30th

The millionaire wreckers now in government are determined to continue the wholesale destruction of our National Health Service and welfare state both of which most of us rely on. The National Health Service and the welfare state were fought for through generations of poverty and misery by working class people, likewise disability rights came because of the strength of those disabled people who would not accept less then their human rights. Everything worked for is being destroyed in the biggest onslaught on social justice in our life-times.

DPAC believes in the united strength of disabled people to fight these savage ideological attacks. We also believe that supporting and joining in with the June 30th public sector strikes is an important part of our fight. On June 30th over 700,000 public sector workers will strike. Disabled people must be an important part of shaping the resistance to these cuts on June 30th.

This strike is not just about public sector pensions, the proposed changes to public sector pensions is only a very small part of how the welfare state has already been dismantled in other countries such as US, Canada, Australia. It is vital that we join together to protect hardwon services and rights for working class and disabled people and tell the millionaire politicians who have no need of these services that they were never elected to destroy them.

Added to all of that we have now witnessed the appalling ignorance and prejudice of Conservative MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, who publicly stated that disabled people should be willing to work for less then the minimum wage as employers may then be more willing to employ them. This type of outdated attitude helps to show the importance to disabled people in employment of strong unions both in the public and private sectors.

That’s why we’re asking our supporters to join in with any strike action in your area. If you’re unable to attend in person please send emails or telephone to

Andrew Lansley (architect of the destruction of our National Health Service)

lansleya@parliament.uk

constituency office 01954 211 625

Department of Health 0207 210 4850

Miller the Killer (alias Maria Miller monster ‘against’ disabled people)

Either- ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk

Westminster office 020 7219 5749

Ian Duncan Smith (man who tells disabled and unemployed people they are all ‘scroungers’) either ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or alambridgesl@parliament.uk

Westminster office 0207 2191210

Nick Clegg (a man who said his party would abolish H.E. tuition fees and then agreed to treble them)

Google him either in parliament or his constituency and there is an email form to fill in with your message

Write to him at Deputy Prime minister’s office, 70, Whitehall, SW1A 2AS

Constituency office 0114 230 9002

David Cameron (A multimillionaire who smiles as he takes away peoples’ income and presides over tougher WCA tests)

http://www.number10.gov.uk/footer/contact-us

http://www.facebook.com/DavidCameron

Ed Miliband (Red Ed leading the ‘opposition’) milibande@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01302 875 462

Philip Davies daviesp@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01274 592248

Westminster office 020 72198264

May 152011
 

From Right to Work website
Tuesday 17 May Assemble 5.30pm

This is set to be an extremely important demonstration. With the ConDems reeling from the resistance to their attacks on the NHS we need to make sure this is as big as possible.
University College Hospital, Gower St, WC1
(Euston, Warren Street, Euston Square tube).
6pm march to Department of Health, Whitehall.
More information

Help Right to Work

Right to Work will have placards and leaflets on the ‘March to save the NHS’. If you can help us distribute them please contact 07961 337 640 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 07961 337 640 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or info@righttowork.org.uk We will be setting up from 4.30pm at UCH.
We will preparing the placards on Monday 16th May. If you are able to help with this please let us know.

watch the video

Short Version Wake Up Call Episode 1 No Decision About Me Without Me from Health Emergency on Vimeo.

Dr John Lister provides a witty insight into the true intent of the government’s plans to reform the health service – a privatised, unaccountable NHS.

Peppered with jokes and cartoons from the likes of Steve Bell, the film is an easily understood explanation of how the NHS, as we now know it, will be demolished, if these plans succeed.

With the danger of the reforms slipping through in a fog of jargon and marketing spin, John Lister talks us through why they will be disastrous for NHS patients and staff

May 142011
 

Information about associated events with the National Week Against Atos Origin can be found at the National Claimants Against Benefit Cuts website

West Midlands anti cuts co-ordinating meeting press release.

At West Bromwich Town Hall on Tuesday 10 May, anti-cuts groups from across the West Midlands met to plan and coordinate opposition to the ConDem Government’s assault on the Public Sector and Welfare System.

Groups from Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Shropshire and Walsall and DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) called upon anyone opposed to the cuts to join them in supporting the Trade Unions currently in dispute or balloting their members over the vicious attacks on pensions, and to take part in rallies and demonstrations on 30 June when nearly a million workers could take the first step in the industrial action needed to defeat the Government’s plans.

more from Right to Work website
‘Who are they targeting and How can we stop them?’ Birmingham meeting

On Thursday 12th May Right to Work, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Social Work Action Network (SWAN ) hosted a meeting at Unison headquarters in Birmingham about ConDems attacks on the disabled and cuts to benefits. It posed two questions – Who are they targeting and How can we stop them?

Linda Burnip from DPAC outlined the detail and depth of the attacks on disabled people. Linda highlighted the savage cuts to housing, disability, sickness and welfare benefits, with disabled people likely to see a drastic drop in disposable income with many slipping below the poverty line.

Polly Sweeney, a solicitor from Irwin Mitchell spoke about how discrimination law can be used to stop the cuts to disabled people and gave us a report on a case she’s just won preventing Birmingham City Council changing eligibility criteria for care funding.

Nicki Ward and Barbara Marshall from SWAN pointed out British social welfare policy under the Coalition Government is undergoing a breathtaking upheaval. Profit and care are not compatible. SWAN are urging those involved in social work to make a stand against the social violence being unleashed by the ConDem coalition: to speak out, campaign and join the movements of resistance.

Paul Brandon National Secretary of Right to Work urged everyone to remember this is a bankers created crisis and we should not be made to pay for it. He urged everyone to support coordinated strike action on the 30th June and to build for massive demonstrations outside the Lib Dem conference on the 18 Sep in Birmingham and the Tory party conference on the 2nd October with them ultimate aim of bringing the ConDem coalition down.

More from Right to Work website

Linda Burnip’s report on ATOS WEEK OF ACTION

A successful week of actions called by various disabled and claimants groups and supported by Right to Work protesting against ATOS the private firm milking millions of tax payers money from the testing of disabled people through their tick box computer Work Capability Assessments occurred all around the country. Over 50 anti- cuts groups also supported the week of action.

Several events took place in London supported on Monday by PCS members who share the hatred disabled people feel towards ATOS since they also make profits from testing civil servants who have been off work sick. In Northern Ireland NIPSA, the largest public sector union, whose members are losing their jobs next month to ATOS expressed support for the protests.

On Thursday the Islington event picketing both ATOS and A4e was supported by RMT staff whose jobs are being replaced by the use of unemployed people through workfare programmes. This is something we feel union members will start noticing much more of in the near future as these schemes continue to be rolled out nationwide.

Other major protests took place in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Truro, Nottingham, Hastings, Cardiff, York, Chatham, Plymouth and Bristol plus on 2 days in Brighton, and on 2 days in Birmingham. In Birmingham protesters performed Brighton Benefits Campaign play ‘The Computer says NO’ with RtW’s Simon Furze playing the part of the wicked computer. In Cambridge there was an occupation of the ATOS office.

Fuller details can be found at http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Protesters-occupy-healthcare-building-12052011.htm

http://www.demotix.com/news/685823/atos-origin-demonstration-london

pics from Monday’s Triton square demo can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteriches/sets/72157626569684887/ Whilst The Guardian has a video at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/may/11/disability-protest-atos-origin-video

Birmingham, May 13th

http://www.flickr.com/photos/disabledpeopleprotest/sets/72157626712433434/

Cross posted on the Right to Work website

Medway anti cuts campaigners protest over disability benefits

Campaigners from Medway Against the Cuts protested outside a Medical Testing Centre in Batchelor St Chatham on Friday against ATOS Origin the private company that run the centre.
More from RtW website

‘We will be back!’ says ATOS protesters in Manchester

In Manchester thirty protesters rallied outside the assessment offices of ATOS. They marched into the grounds chanting, ‘Benefit Cuts No Way! Make the Greedy Bankers Pay!’

‘These attacks on disabled people are designed to force people into work when they clearly are not fit for work. The process is designed to drive down wages of those who are in work. It is an attack on everyone,’ said Lesley Barrington.

‘A diagnosis of mental health problems can take years to reach. ATOS is putting people under pressure, some become suicidal over these cuts. When they take away benefits from people with mental health problems they do tremendous damage. It is obscene to take away people’s basic rights in the 21st Century.” Paul Reed, Manchester Users Network, a charity that helps users and ex users of mental health facilities in Manchester.

‘Basically I am really scared about being forced into work. A lot of other people are in the same situation. We end up being numbers not people. I am really proud to be here with everyone on this protest.’ Sharon Hooley, Disability Adult Action Network

More at RtW website

Apr 262011
 

Right to Work Fight the cutsDPAC logo

Millions are set to be affected by savage cuts to housing, disability, sickness and welfare benefits. Disabled people, those with long term illness, the unemployed, single parents, carers the low waged, part time students, volunteers, homeless people and college students are all likely to see a devastating drop in disposable income with many slipping even further below the poverty line.

Thursday 12th May, 7pm

Speakers: the solicitor from Irwin Mitchell who has just won a case preventing Birmingham City Council changing eligibility criteria for care funding, Linda Burnip, Disabled People Against Cuts; Michael Bradley, Right to Work

Unison offices, 19th floor McClaren Tower, Priory Queensway. B4 7NN

Friday  13th, May, 12 noon

Outside Waterstones bookshop opposite bull statue in Bullring centre join us for leafleting and street theatre ‘ The Computer Says NO’ an adaptation of a Brighton Benefit Campaign play.

Demo at the Daily Mail 14th April

Demo at the Daily Mail 14th April

Apr 042011
 
Right to Work public meeting on After 26 March –Building the Fightback

Tuesday 5th April, 7.30pm, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
Speakers: John McDonnell MP, striking Camden & Tower Hamlets teachers, Tower Hamlets council workers & UCU lecturers.
Roger Lewis of Lambeth DPAC will be speaking for us.

The aim is to build support for the strikes taking place and to have a discussion on how to build for strike action where you are

Mar 242011
 

We got the chance of trying out our new DPAC banner today at the Budget Day protest rally from Trafalgar Sq to Downing St organised by Right to Work and Coalition of Resistance. This is supported by Stop the War, Labour Representation Committee, CND & DPAC.

When we arrived at Trafalgar Sq there was already a good number of people with banners and placards. Some of our fellow activists from the Atos demo were also there. At just a little after 5, we set off – it gave us a fore taste of what it might be like in 3 days time but obviously it was a short route and there were not that many of us. It made me realise that I cannot hold up a banner, drive a wheelchair and tweet at the same time!

At Trafalgar Sq with DPAC new banner

We were told that the Tories hid from the protestors that morning and did not turn up – they cancelled. What does that say to us?

We heard a few speeches, I gave mine – we all took photos and networked and went our separate ways fired up for the big day on Saturday.

Photos are at DPAC Flickr.

—–Eleanor Lisney

Mar 232011
 

On Budget Day, 23 March, Right to Work is calling for nationwide protests against Osborne’s cuts and to build for 26 March. DPAC will be attending.

In London Right to Work and the Coalition of Resistance are jointly organising a protest – assemble 5pm Trafalgar Square to march to rally outside Downing Street.

Pass the following motion in your anti-cuts group, trade union branch, campaign group:

“We believe that ordinary people should not have to pay for a crisis caused by the bankers and the corporate hyenas. We reject Osborne, Cameron and Clegg’s austerity programme and cuts.

Accordingly on Budget Day, 23 March, we agree to sponsor and support the protest called by the Right to Work Campaign and the Coalition of Resistance – assemble 5pm in Trafalgar Square for a march to a rally opposite Downing Street.

This protest will be used to help publicise the TUC demonstration on the following Saturday.”

Mar 092011
 
Budget day leafletOn Budget Day 23rd March in London Right to Work has initiated two protests.
In the morning the Tory in charge of cuts, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  will address the ‘Redesigning Local Services – Change for the Better’ at the Barbican Centre in the City of London on the morning of Budget Day, Wednesday 23 March.
Right to Work is calling a protest from 9am onwards and invites all of those opposed to cuts to come along.
Also speaking at the conference will be Jeremy Pembroke the Conservative leader of Suffolk County Council who speaks on “Redesigning local services”. The conference blurb says: “Suffolk are leading the way with a new commissioning model of local government that will see the running of services such as libraries, youth clubs, highway services and children’s centres contracted out.” Suffolk is the model for Cameron’s ‘Big Society.’
Wednesday 23 March, 9am onwards, outside the Barbican Conference Centre, Silk Street , London , EC2Y 8DS
At 5pm we are asking people to assemble at 5pm in Trafalgar Square to march to a rally outside Downing Street at 6pm. This is organized by RtW and the Coalition of Resistance supported by Stop the War, Labour Representation Committee, CND & DPAC.
We are asking anti-cuts groups from across London to bring their banners. It has been agreed that public sector workers in uniform will lead the march behind a banner with ‘Defend Public Services – March With Us on 26 March.’