From Disabled People Against Cuts
Event in London at Dept. of Work and Pensions.
DPAC is delighted to extend an open invitation to celebrate Independent Living Day with us on the 4th of July at the ‘Independent Living Tea Party ‘.
The party will begin at 2pm at the DWP, Caxton House in Tothill Street SW1. There will be fun & games, and entertainment; and of course, some civil disobedience.
We have come a long way since the demand for Independent Living was first made nearly 50 years ago. Then, as now, IL was our solution for how society supports disabled people to take our place as equals. For how society addresses inaccessible institutions, structures and process it created, which do more to disable people than their impairments ever could.
There are many strands of Independent Living, and all are under threat. Cuts to:
· Support funding – such Social Care, the ILF & Disabled Students Allowance;
· Education – in areas like the wholesale destruction of SEN Statements and the continued segregation of disabled children into ‘special’ schools;
· Transport – the withdrawal of Taxi-cards, freedom passes and the halting of planned works to make infrastructure more accessible, amongst a host of other cuts combine to make disabled people second-class citizens in society.
But we have fought this fight before – and won. Our Disabled Peoples Organisations, legal gains and the policy victories we have won previously are testament to the power, know how and skills disabled people have to develop solutions to problems created by society. We must celebrate these achievements and remind ourselves that each of these successes have had to be earned, no-one ever gave them to us without a struggle.
So celebrate with us, or alternatively create your own party. Get together with friends and supporters, and create the kind of vibrant, positive spaces we have always created. Bring the noise – bells, whistles, drums, pots & pans etc. Bring food to share. Bring your enthusiasm.
if you are planning your own party, here are some suggestions:
1) Choose your target –
focus on the important issues locally; support, education, transport etc – its up to you. Identify what you want to celebrate and who represents the biggest threat to that locally. Is it your local council or Uni? Is it a transport provider? Or is it someone else?
2) Tell everyone –
yes, EVERYONE. Media, campaign networks, activists, local people. DONT FORGET TO TELL DPAC so we can list and support your action!
3) Be heard, be seen –
make your event loud and proud. Bring music, choirs, drum, bells, whistles. Remind everyone out there that we won‘t be separated from society, we are society. We won ‘t go quietly.
4) We’re also holding a Twitter Party on the Hashtag
#IL4JULY so that people at the DWP and at other events round the country
can tweet in pictures of their events and we can all join in. Further
details to follow, watch this space.
The famous Boston teaparty led to a revolution against the British government let’s see where our teaparty leads…..
Press Release from Nottingham Defence Campaign
PROTEST AGAINST ATOS & POLICE REPRESSION IN HOCKLEY
Activists have called to a protest against the conduct of Atos ‘Healthcare’ and what they describe as ‘police repression’ coming Friday (3rd February 2012).
In September 2011, two Nottingham residents, a retired paediatric nurse and a wheelchair user were arrested following a peaceful protest at the local offices of Atos ‘Healthcare’. Faced with an impressive solidarity campaign and apparently worried that their case had no chance of holding up in court, the CPS and Atos backed down. The charges of aggravated trespass were dropped.
The case of the ‘Atos Two’ was followed by arrests of Notts Uncut activists just before Christmas and the confiscation of a photography student’s tapes after he filmed an arrest.
Supporters of the arrestees have described these events as worrying signs that the local force is changing its attitude towards peaceful protesters. This seems to have been confirmed by a police officers’ remark who commented on the arrest of the ‘Atos Two’ by stating that there “had been too much of this sort of thing and we were told to crack down on it”.
Jamie Kennedy from the Nottingham Defense Campaign said: “The police have wasted time and resources on ridiculous charges. Meanwhile, Atos’ biased and abusive conduct against benefit claimants remains unchanged. They might have backed off from going after the Atos Two but we will certainly not let them off the hook!”
Protesters will gather on Friday 3rd February 2012 from 12.30pm at the junction of Carlton Street and Heathcote Street, Hockley, Nottingham; see http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2335
Nottingham Defence Campaign
Notes for editors
1) Regarding the original protest against Atos see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2053
2) Regarding the charges against the ‘Atos Two’ see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2168
3) Regarding the solidarity campaign for the ‘Atos Two’ see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2207
4) Regarding the arrests of Notts Uncut activists see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2276
5) Regarding the harassment of student photographer see: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2238
6) A Statement of Support for the Atos Two has been signed by more than a hundred persons and organisations, including Welfare Rights Groups, Councillors and John McDonnell MP: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2195
7) Atos Healthcare was selected by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to administer the Work Capability Assessments (WCA).
Campaigners claim that WCA are part of a deliberate policy by the coalition government designed to force as many people as possible off disability benefits regardless of their physical and/or psychological abilities.
Critics of Atos Healthcare point to the high number of successful appeals against decisions by the company. A report by BBC Inside Out East found that more than one third of appeals were successful: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15681502
Furthermore the expertise and conduct of the so called ‘healthcare professionals’ undertaking the assessments has been severely questioned by campaigners. In August it emerged that twelve doctors employed by the company were being investigated by the General Medical Council over allegations of improper conduct: http://gu.com/p/3x7jd