Jun 242014
 

A peaceful direct action by disabled people and older people at Sheffield train station against South Yorkshire Transport for revoking free travel from March 31st has been marred once more by aggressive police actions.  There have been peaceful direct actions since April.

Sixty protesters took part yesterday (23rd June) two were arrested and a blind freedom rider was knocked about falling on top of an activist in a wheelchair.  George and Tony who were arrested are in court in Sheffield on 7th July.

David Kirkham (UKUncut Sheffield) said in April:

“SYPTE say they can no longer afford concessionary travel for disabled people and older people on South Yorkshire trains. These concessions are a lifeline for people in South Yorkshire, one of the most deprived areas of the country with the lowest average income. People rely on the concessions to get to work, reach medical appointments and to travel to places of education. The claim that concessions are unaffordable on trains in South Yorkshire sits ill with the fact that the chief operator of trains in South Yorkshire, Northern Rail, made £40.1m profit on the back of inflation busting fare rises, according to latest available figures (4) Northern Rail are also part owned by Serco and Dutch national rail operator Abellio; Serco received billions in public subsidy each year (5) for government contracts and have also been accused of defrauding the taxpayer over their prison contracts. A company that already makes huge profits on the back of profiteering from the tax payer and shifting profits out of the country to The Netherlands, which refuses to disclose how much public money goes into the pockets of shareholders and directors has a hard time convincing people it cannot afford to allow people for whom its trains are a vital lifeline to travel on them for free.”

People from across South Yorkshire have been taking direct action to overturn the decision by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to remove the right to free travel for all concession holders on South Yorkshire trains; the legality of this decision is currently being challenged in the courts.

DPAC sends solidarity to the protesters and to George Arthur and Tony Nuttall. There will be a locally based fund raiser for any fines. Please see video where five police in explicitly hold down one protester despite his lack of resistance.

May 202012
 

Let’s go on a journey back in time to the year 1948 …

 Britain was emerging from a World War and had a huge national debt. Much bigger than the one we face today. Did we see painful cut backs and austerity measures?

No, quite the opposite. We saw the birth of our National Health Service and the Welfare State. The UK was the first country to make health care, social care and financial security accessible to all.

1948 saw the launch of ground-breaking new laws designed to protect and care for everybody in our society, including universal unemployment benefits,, universal child benefits, disability benefits, rights to housing and the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1948: a year when the Olympics were last in town; and the people of Britain were, at last, looking forward to the future.

Britain back then really was “all in it together”. The future looked better than the past. So, we partied in the streets and dreamt of what we could achieve as peo-ple and as a country.

 Fast forward to 2012 and things feel rather different. The government is not playing fair: its spending cuts are the deepest for decades and it’s cheating ordinary people by forcing them to suffer for an economic crisis they didn’t cause.

The government is also lying: it actively enables big business to dodge tax and slashes tax rates for the wealthy. Right now, for us, for ordinary people in this country, the future’s not what it used to be.

So now is the time to party like it was 1948. Street parties are going to be all the rage for the Queen’s Jubilee. But let’s make ours have a twist.

 On Saturday 26th May join UK Uncut’s Great British Street Party to demand that we keep our public services, our rights and our welfare system and to celebrate a new future that isn’t dictated to us by a handful of millionaires but decided by us all – together.

Join Notts Uncut at 12 noon on Listergate outside Topshop. For more info find us on Facebook – Notts-Uncut Part-of UK-Uncut, Twitter @nottsuncut or look for event info on Nottingham Indymedia.

For all actions See http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/actions

For London See: http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/05/ukuncut-great-london-street-party-may-26th/

 

 

Mar 142011
 

Linda Laurie5,000 people turned up to march on the Lib Dem spring conference in Sheffield on Saturday. £2 million was spent on security to protect them so we weren’t allowed to get anywhere near them and surprise, surprise, Nick Clegg didn’t come out to speak to us despite his claiming that he and his ministers wouldn’t hide away. I went to speak at the rally after Linda Burnip (from DPAC) asked for a volunteer (speaker for Disabled people ). This was what I tried to say although speakers were curtailed to a few minutes each.

“Apparently we are all in this together.

Apparently the country doesn’t have any money.

Sorry

Apart from the

* £2 million that we are paying for the security to protect the Coalition govt Lib Dem millionaires, including Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne, inside our City Hall.

* Apart from the £20 million that we are paying for Will and Kate’s wedding.

* Apart from the £6.5 million bonus that the boss of Barclays bank is getting.

* Apart from the £20 billion of our money that the British govt have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Apart from, according to Nick Clegg last April, the £100 billion it will cost us to replace Trident.

Apart from the £210bn in avoided, evaded and uncollected taxes according to the Public and Commercial Services Union who organise Inland Revenue Staff, so they should know!

That is how they spend our money.

Yet the Lib Dem Coalition govt says that it is your fault – students, disabled people, pensioners, trade unionists – that the country has a budget deficit.

They say we must pay for the deficit with the destruction of the welfare state.

* The Liberals and their Tory friends say the NHS must pay with cuts of £20bn and the loss of 53,000 jobs including 6,346 jobs in mental health services by 2015.

* The ConDems say public services must pay with spending cuts of £31.9bn and job losses of 725,000 by 2015.

* The Liberals meeting today in City Hall say that poor people must pay with welfare spending cuts of £11bn.

They say that workers in the public sector must pay by having their pay frozen for 2 years.

* The Liberals and Tories (is there any difference any more?) all say that children must pay with a 3-year freeze in Child Benefit.

* The ConDems say that 3,000 council workers in Nottingham must pay by losing their jobs.

They say that public sector workers must pay through cuts in their pensions.

Our own council in Sheffield – run by the Lib Dems – says that the youth training charity Sheffield Futures must pay by losing 28% of their funding.

* Sheffield’s Lib Dem Council says that South Yorkshire Police have to pay with £40m of savings and 1,100 job cuts.

They say that 270 Sheffield council workers have to pay with their jobs.

They said that Sheffield Forgemasters had to pay by axing an £80m loan to them.

* The Liberals and Tories say that 120 carers in Barnsley have to pay by losing their jobs.

The Coalition govt says that disabled people have to pay by losing their Disability Living Allowance, by losing Employment Support Allowance after 12 months, support from the Independent Living Fund which has been abolished, support from the DWP Access to Work scheme that enables many of us to work and pay taxes, by having our housing benefit cut which will put up to 450,000 disabled people at risk of losing their homes according to independent BBC research and the National Federation of Housing Associations, and by disabled people living in residential homes losing their Mobility Allowance,

Disabled people are more likely to be unqualified, unemployed with only 47% being in paid employment in 2009, be paid less than non-disabled people, experience barriers to employment, incur more expense as a result of living with an impairment, have to rely on public services and live in low-income families.

* The ConDems say that the Big Society will provide the services lost through the cuts. We are told by the Tories and their LibDem allies that the Big Society is supposed to be about communities taking more control, more charitable giving, social enterprises taking on a bigger role, people establishing public services themselves.

The Big Society is a big con that is headed by the big con himself – David Cameron – supported by his lackeys – the Lib Dems

The Big Society is a cover up for the cuts being made by Nick Clegg and his mates the Tories whilst they award contracts like the £500m one given to the French owned company Atos, to bully people, like those with terminal cancer back into work, and harass people such as a former miner in Chesterfield whose family say they believe the stress of undergoing 2 Atos medical assessments led to his death from heart failure.

The main difference between the Big Society and the Big Issue is that some people buy the Big Issue.

The Lib Dems didn’t have to have their spring conference here in Sheffield where:

270 council workers face losing their jobs

1,100 staff from South Yorkshire Police face losing their jobs

A £80million loan for Sheffield Forgemaster was axed.

156 job cuts are expected in Barnsley NHS

145 job cuts are expected from Doncaster NHS

Having their conference here demonstrates their contempt for people here in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

· Yesterday in the House of Commons, Labour had an opportunity to vote against the Coalition’s planned attacks on Disabled People, but they abstained! Trade unions, which have been described in the past as ‘Lions led by donkeys’, now need to take a lead too! Organising a mass demo of 2 milllion plus on 26th March is great, but that has to be just the start. Demonstrating is not enough.

· Disabled People call upon the TUC and the public sector trade union leaders to join with us, with students and others to take action now before it is too late to save our NHS, to save our public services, to save our universities, our schools, our jobs, our city, our country.

Disabled People say Rights Not Charity.

Disabled People say Can’t pay, Won’t pay.

Disabled People say “We have no time to waste, a new campaign coalition is needed; a coalition that brings together both disabled and non-disabled people. We need an active voice in the mainstream – a voice that challenges the lies about DLA, exposes the real agenda – cuts in welfare – and combats the ideology that says DLA should only be for the “most vulnerable”, If we don’t all stand up and be counted then many of us will see our benefits stolen from us by one hand and a one-way ticket to the euthanasia clinic Dignitas in Switzerland offered by the other!”

We say to Nick Clegg and the other traitors inside that building = shame, shame, shame on you. Shame on you for turning blue.

—-Linda Laurie