British disabled keep fighting Atos

This video from Britain is called Atos protesters clash with police at DWP.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Disabled storm DWP in daring anti-Atos raid

Friday 31 August 2012

Disabled activists occupied the Department for Work and Pensions today in a daring act of defiance against government plans to cut their benefits.

The surprise action followed a hundreds-strong protest outside welfare profiteer Atos‘s headquarters in Triton Square, London, at 12.45pm that marked the grand finale of a spectacular week of demonstrations against the “fitness for work” assessors.

At the “closing Atos ceremony” disabled people spoke of how the assessments have put them “in fear of their lives” at the prospect of losing the little money they rely on to get by.

Disability activists including wheelchair users used the distraction to blockade the doors of the department, which has handed Atos a £100 million-a-year contract to boot as many sick and disabled people off their benefits as possible.

Hundreds of disabled people and their supporters from the first protest at Atos HQ then made their way by Tube, bus and taxi to join the disabled activists at the DWP.

They demanded an end to the “fitness for work” assessments, the termination of Atos’s contract and a reversal of the government’s welfare cuts.

The Con-Dem coalition wants to chop the welfare bill by a fifth, despite its own figures showing a fraud rate of less than 0.5 per cent clear alternatives such as clamping down on tax avoidance, campaigners argued.

Disabled People Against Cuts spokeswoman Lydia Foxton said: “We have been targeting Atos but they are just doing the government’s dirty work.

“Cutting welfare is devastating people’s lives and removing dignity, security and independence from thousands of sick and disabled people.

“At the same time David Cameron and his government are using the Paralympics to show themselves to be champions of disabled people. It’s a disgrace.”

The week of action, timed to coincide with the start of the Paralympic Games, began as another Atos victim became the latest to lose their life.

Breast cancer sufferer Cecilia Burns of Strabane, Northern Ireland, was found “fit for work” by Atos assessors and had been campaigning since February to against the decision.

She won her appeal just a few weeks ago but died on Monday.

UK Uncut spokesman Sam Kennard said: “The government are making disabled people a scapegoat for the economic crisis.

“They are being punished with welfare cuts while the banks and big business get off scot-free.

“The government could clamp down on tax avoidance and get back billions. The savings they will make from cutting welfare do not even come close and they are devastating people’s lives.”

See also here.

Carers hit by government reforms to disability benefits said today that David Cameron should keep away from the Paralympic Games.

Unions have urged the public to get behind disabled Remploy workers as they step up their fight to save their jobs, writes Peter Lazenby.

THE majority of disabled workers who lost their jobs following the government’s heartless closure of Britain’s Remploy factories are still out of work, new figures revealed yesterday: here.

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7 thoughts on “British disabled keep fighting Atos

  1. Pingback: British anti-disabled police brutality | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. Pingback: British disabled people keep fighting Atos | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Atos anti-disabled corporation goes nuclear | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Remploy workers betrayed by union leaders

    Socialist Worker has given unparalleled support to Remploy workers, arguing for a strategy to save jobs and stop the Tories’ factory closures. But I don’t think you have been critical enough of the union leaders, whose conduct over the issue has frankly been criminal.

    Remploy workers are well-unionised. Most are members of the GMB or Unite. The latter is led by left winger Len McCluskey, who often says we need strikes to stop Tory attacks.

    The nationwide Remploy strikes in July were so successful that some workers seriouslyconsidered occupying their factories. But then Unite and GMB leaders abruptly called off the next national strike. Individual factories were left to fight on their own.

    Here are thousands of disabled trade unionists challenging not just Tory hypocrisy over the Paralympics, but also the stereotypes of disabled people as either workshy or passive victims.

    Remploy workers could have been touring Britain at TUC-sponsored public meetings, building solidarity for a campaign of coordinated strike action.

    But McCluskey & Co worried that a successful campaign over Remploy would embarrass Labour. After all, Gordon Brown’s government sacked 3,000 Remploy workers in 2008.

    It helps our side when leaders like McCluskey call for action. But we need to criticise them loud and clear when their actions betray thousands of Remploy workers.

    Roddy Slorach, east London


  6. Pingback: Disabled people-killing corporation Atos in retreat | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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