Young Iraqi woman painter interviewed

Teenage Iraqi artist Samaa al-Ameer

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Friday, February 14, 2020

‘Love is the best medicine for Iraq

Teenage artist tells the Star how she hopes her paintings will communicate the voice of Iraqi women to the world

DISABLED teenage Iraqi artist Samaa al-Ameer insisted that “love is the best medicine” for her country today as she hoped to use her paintings to communicate the voice of Iraqi women to the world.

Ms Ameer, 16, spoke to the Morning Star hoping to spread a Valentine’s Day message of “peace, tolerance and love” as the country spirals into violence and chaos, with armed militias and Iraqi security services attacking those demanding change.

She explained how the anti-government protests started in October with Iraqi youth raising the slogan “scared people cannot create freedom.”

But Ameer said that she was saddened to be prevented from accompanying her father to the demonstrations in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square “because of my disability.”

“I knew the amazing role of the Iraqi women there, especially the young ones, having seen their images on television screens and in photographs”, she said.

Her mother suggested that she made some paintings of the demonstrations and presented them as gifts to the protesters.

“I made two paintings; one of them is titled ‘The Rain of Iraq Hearts’ and I published them. But I said that any cultural activity is meaningless without going to Tahrir Square,” she said.

She explained that her mother had to work hard to convince her father to take her to the square, which has been central to the uprising and the scene of a violent backlash with security services firing teargas and live bullets at those gathered there.

Ameer’s mother heard her speaking of her sadness at being unable to attend the protests and meet the young people demanding revolutionary change.

She persuaded her father to allow her to attend “because she knows very well that I am a girl of principles and she teaches me the importance of making my words correspond with my actions.

“My father and mother took me to Tahrir Square on the last day of 2019. I found there a beautiful picture of Iraq and l looked attentively at the Freedom Monument,” one of the city’s most well-known and best-loved statutes and a symbol of revolution.

“Because my country has suffered from difficult and critical circumstances, I raised two banners announcing my campaign for spreading a culture of love, peace, tolerance, and co-existence, banishing hatred,” Ameer explained.

The banners read “Love is the best medicine for Iraq” and “by love we can build Iraq.”

Samaa told the Star that she hoped to use her artwork to raise the voice of Iraqi women who are playing a leading role in the uprising.

Scores have been killed and arrested in protests across the country, but refuse to be intimidated.

At least 600 people are believed to have been killed since the uprising began.

Ameer called for an end to the violence and urged Iraqi’s to “fill your heart with love to build your country.”

Trump’s war on United States disabled people

This 31 December 2019 video from the USA is called Trump Wants to Slash Social Security Disability Benefits—“This Will KiII People”.

So, how does United States President Donald Trump finance his lethal oil wars in Iraq, Syria, Somalia and elsewhere? Partly by waging lethal war on disabled people in the USA.

There is, we are told, “no money” for decent-paying jobs, schools or housing in the United States. Yet at a December 18 press conference, US Attorney General William Barr confirmed that there are always funds for what Friedrich Engels called the “special armed bodies” of the state. As part of a new law-enforcement initiative, Barr announced that an additional $71 million in federal funds will be allocated to seven US cities ahead of the 2020 presidential election: here. To beat up anti-Trump demonstrators in these cities during that election campaign?

TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION GOES AFTER DISABILITY BENEFITS A recent Trump administration proposal could affect thousands of people, but has received little attention since it was first floated in November. Under the proposed change, the government would look more closely at whether certain disability insurance recipients still qualify as “disabled” after they’ve already been awarded those benefits. [HuffPost]

Bolsonaro’s Brazil, bad for coffee workers, disabled

Demonstration against Brazilian President Bolsonaro

From daily News Line in Britain:

Debt bondage, sub-poverty wages and appalling health and safety in Brazil’s coffee industry

24th December 2019

A NEW INVESTIGATION into the Brazilian coffee industry has uncovered debt bondage, sub-poverty wages, sub-standard housing, water and sanitation facilities and appalling health and safety conditions.

The study, Picked by Slaves: Coffee Crisis Brews in Brazil, carried out by Thomson Reuters, provides new evidence of how coffee produced under brutally exploitative conditions on farms in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is sold at a premium price by multinationals, thanks to certification schemes like Rainforest Alliance.

Brazil produces one-third of global coffee beans and Minas Gerais, in turn, accounts for half of this production.

According to the report: ‘More than 300 coffee workers were found by officials in slave-like conditions nationwide in 2018, the highest in 15 years, but the true extent of slavery in the sector is unknown.’

The report cites academics and activists as saying: ‘The scale of slave labour across Minas Gerais is likely to be significant and largely unchecked.’

Brazil’s penal code defines slavery to include exhaustive working hours and degrading conditions of work in addition to debt bondage and forced labour.

The government budget to fund inspections has been slashed while coffee exports have soared.

For years, the number of roving inspection units has declined.

Minas Gerais, with at least 119,000 coffee plantations and hundreds of thousands of workers, the vast majority of them entirely precarious with no rights to minimum standards of employment or social protection, has only 245 inspectors.
Private certification has built a global business on the back of the state’s massive failure to ensure minimum conditions.

Buyer beware: ‘Rainforest [Alliance] endorses hundreds of coffee plantations in Minas Gerais through a system of “group certifications” despite auditing only a fraction of any collective’s many farms,’ says the report.

In a 2019 evaluation of its Brazil coffee certification programme, UTZ, part of the Rainforest Alliance, reported that 98% of its certified producers were medium to large farms.

According to the report, labour violations were identified by officials in 10 farms certified by Rainforest or Brazil’s Certifica Minas, which works with Syngenta.

Systemic violence underpins this system of exploitation – an element missing from the Thomson Reuters report.

Trade union organisers, social and civil rights activists and even labour inspectors are murdered with impunity.

Rainforest Alliance, according to the report, is ‘considering a change to ensure all farms are independently audited at least once every three years.’

He sent to Congress a new proposed law (6159/2019) that would eliminate just access to jobs for disabled people.

Since 1999, Brazil’s ‘quota law’ required companies to ensure that at least 2 to 5 per cent of its workforce were from the disabled community.

Bolsonaro is attempting to roll back gains made by disabled workers.

In addition, it violates the UN Conventions for the protection of disabled people.

In addition, the proposed law would:

  • Prevent the application of ‘quota law’ for activities with less than 26 hours of work; jobs that are preferred by people with disabilities.
  • Allow companies to skip out of hiring workers with disabilities by paying a nominal fee that would be allocated to the Physical and Professional Rehabilitation Programme.

There was an immediate angry response to Bolsonaro’s proposal to make it more difficult for disabled workers to integrate to mainstream Brazilian society, contribute to the economy, and live independent lives as all workers.

Throughout the country, trade unions and civil society organisations have joined the disabled community to mobilise against the proposed law.

The BWI trade union federation and its affiliates in Brazil are as outraged by the extremist government’s actions.
According to Nilton Freitas, BWI Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean: ‘We must continue to mobilise and support workers with disabilities by defeating this government’s proposal.

‘This is a blatant attack against Decent Work for disabled workers in Brazil, and this is why we must fight back.’

Bolsonaro accused the press of bias against him and his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro.

Prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro are investigating allegations the younger Bolsonaro hired employees with no duties while he was a state legislator.

Another investigation is probing whether those ‘phantom’ workers kicked back part of their salaries to then be laundered through a chocolate shop he co-owns.

In a video posted to Facebook, the younger Bolsonaro has delivered a lengthy denial of all wrongdoing.

The drone of accusations has been a thorn in the side of President Bolsonaro, who was elected on an anti-crime platform to purge the political class of corruption.

He has routinely attacked the credibility of the mainstream media.

At a routine morning meeting with journalists in the capital last Friday, the president complained that media have accused him of being a racist and committing crimes against the environment.

Then he told one reporter: ‘Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s, but that’s no reason to accuse you of being a homosexual.’

The comment was met with laughs from his aides and supporters standing nearby.

Bolsonaro has a history of making derogatory remarks about women, gay people and racial minorities, including on last year’s campaign trail.

Asked at the morning briefing whether he had proof that a suspicious deposit into his wife’s bank account was merely repayment of a debt, Bolsonaro instructed the journalist: ‘Ask your mother if she gave your dad a receipt,’ prompting a cheer from his supporters.

  • Brazil’s Senate is against the privatisation of Brazilian state-controlled utility giant Eletrobras in the current form proposed by the government, Senate President Davi Alcolumbre said last Friday.

The privatisation bill for Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras, as Eletrobras is officially named, is opposed by 48 out of 81 Senators, Alcolumbre told reporters.

In 2017, Brazil announced that it would put up for privatisation 57 major state infrastructure assets, including selling some or all of its 51 per cent stake in Eletrobras.

In early 2018, Eletrobras expected that the share sale part of its privatisation could raise between US$3 billion and US$4 billion.

Privatisation efforts have accelerated under new right-wing President Bolsonaro.

The Eletrobras share sale is expected to be the largest privatisation in Brazil in the past 20 years as Bolsonaro pushes to cut the state’s control over the industry.

Eletrobras controls transmission lines and electric generating plants throughout Brazil, and owns power distribution companies that are now being sold.

Eletrobras accounts for almost one-third of Brazil’s power-generating capacity and almost one half of the nation’s high-voltage transmission network.

Earlier this year, Bolsonaro approved a plan for Eletrobras’ privatisation, which entails selling new shares to private investors and thus reducing the Brazilian state’s stake in the utility.

Bento Albuquerque, Brazil’s Mines and Energy Minister, said in early November that Eletrobras would probably be privatised in the second half of next year.

But Bolsonaro’s plan has now hit a snag at the Senate, with Senate President Alcolumbre saying that the plan in its current form would not pass in the Senate and that the government needs to draft another plan for the privatisation of Eletrobras.

BRAZIL’S BOLSONARO IS THE FAR-RIGHT AUTHORITARIAN HE PROMISED HE’D BE Since taking office a year ago, Jair Bolsonaro has followed through (or attempted to) on nearly all of his ugliest promises, with troubling and disastrous consequences for Brazil’s environment and the Amazon rainforest, its already-marginalized Black, LGBTQ, Indigenous and poor communities, and the institutions that form the backbone of any democratic society. [HuffPost]

Brazilian oil workers strike against mass layoffs, privatization threat: here.

With more workers joining the strike at Brazil’s giant state-owned energy conglomerate Petrobras, last Tuesday, February 4, Labor Court minister Ives Gandra Martins Filho ruled that 90 percent of the Petrobras workers must continue to work during the strike: here.

Fascist group carries out terrorist attack in Brazil: here.

New British Conservative attack on disabled people

This August 2017 video from Britain says about itself:

90 people a month are dying after being found ‘fit for work’

“This is another crude stick to beat claimants with” says Steve Topple as the government keeps fit-for-work documents secret for ‘commercial interests’.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Tories use first day back to attack the disabled

DWP removes option for claimants to choose whether work assessment outcomes are reported to GPs

THE new Tory government has wasted no time in targeting Britain’s most vulnerable, using its first day in Parliament to backtrack on disability rights.

Yesterday morning the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) removed the option for disability claimants to choose whether the outcome of work assessments is shared with their GP.

It means that the DWP can send letters to doctors telling them not to sign patients’ sick notes if they have been found “fit for work” by the notorious work capability assessments (WCA).

The option was only added to the ESA50 claim form — on the advice of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which had previously informed the DWP that it had “not complied with data protection obligations” — on December 5, to be scrapped 11 days later.

Disability-rights activist Linda Burnip said the removal of the option on the first day of the new government presents an “ominous sign” for the future of disabled people.

Ms Burnip, who founded the campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts, said the change was what “disabled people were dreading before the election.”

She said: “This is going to make things so difficult for disabled people, it’s going to put them more at risk.”

People with disabilities have routinely been declared fit for work after going through the DWP’s humiliating assessments. This is despite many claimants having serious disabilities that prevent them from being able to work.

The notorious tests, carried out by poorly trained staff hired by outsourced private firms, have been slammed by doctors.

In a 2018 survey carried out by medical magazine Pulse, 645 GPs said their patients had been refused welfare benefits, counter to the GPs’ opinion that they were unable to work.

Official DWP figures also reflect this: 68 per cent of employment support allowance (ESA) claimants assessed as fit for work at their initial assessment later successfully had the decision overturned on appeal.

If found fit for work, claimants no longer receive ESA and must apply for jobseekers’ allowance or universal credit if their doctors decide not to sign a sick note exempting them from work.

Some GPs have been influenced not to sign off patients by work capability assessment results. In 2016 James Harrison died after the DWP told his GP to stop issuing him sick notes after he had been judged fit for work.

Ms Burnip highlighted the risks of this information being exchanged between the government and doctors.

“To some extent, doctors might as well not exist any more in relation to benefit claims because they are totally ignored,” she said. “You have someone who has seven or eight years’ training and their opinion counts for nothing.”

The DWP U-turn comes after PM Boris Johnson said earlier this year that working harder would help people with mental-health disorders.

“It comes back to the whole concept of work,” Ms Burnip said. “I mean I suppose if you’re an MP it’s quite a nice job. But if you work in some grotty factory for 40 hours a week, work isn’t really quite as rewarding.”

The Conservative Party had not responded to a request for comment before the Star went to print.

Boston police destroys homeless disabled people’s wheelchairs

This 10 August 2019 video says about itself:

Police Destroy Wheelchairs For The Homeless, Throw Out Their Possessions

Police in Boston Tuesday night reportedly destroyed three wheelchairs belonging to homeless city residents in a garbage truck compactor as part of a crackdown targeting the city’s transient population.

“Operation Clean Sweep” began August 2 after a county corrections officer was allegedly struck during a fight involving a number of people on “Methadone Mile”, a stretch of the city near Massachusetts Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard where there are a number of clinics and treatment centers. The area has a high homeless population, many of whom have been the target of the operation in the five days and counting it has continued.

Read more here.

British police dodgy facial recognition

This 6 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Why Cities Are Banning Facial Recognition Technology | WIRED

A handful of US cities have banned government use of facial recognition technology due to concerns over its accuracy and privacy. WIRED’s Tom Simonite talks with computer vision scientist and lawyer Gretchen Greene about the controversy surrounding the use of this technology.

From daily News Line in Britain:

STATE SPYING: Police launch facial recognition app – UN slams state spying on disabled

9th August 2019

SOUTH Wales Police have launched a facial recognition app which is to be installed on their officers’ phones, prompting human rights campaigners Liberty to exclaim: ‘This technology is intrusive, unnecessary, and has no place on our streets.’

In a three-month trial of the new police facial recognition app which has already prompted a legal challenge, 50 officers will be given the app.

The force’s use of facial recognition technology prompted a legal challenge by a man whose picture was taken by officers while he was out shopping.

Some other forces have already trialled the technology including the Metropolitan Police.

Hannah Couchman, of Liberty, said: ‘It is shameful that South Wales Police are rolling out portable facial recognition technology to individual officers while their so-called pilots are being challenged by Liberty in court. Far less intrusive means have been used for decades by police to establish a person’s identity where necessary.’

Meanwhile, the UN’s investigator into global poverty has said innocent people are being caught up in the mass surveillance system used by the UK’s welfare state to ‘combat benefit fraud’.

Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty, described it as a tragedy that people imagined that ‘the ever-more intrusive surveillance system by the UK welfare state’ was used only against alleged ‘welfare cheats’.

‘It’s not. It will soon affect everyone and leave the society much worse off. Everyone needs to pay attention and insist on decent limits,’ he said.

Alston said the UK’s surveillance system stood the presumption of innocence on its head. He said this was because everyone applying for a benefit was ‘screened for potential wrongdoing in a system of total surveillance’.

Rick Burgess, an activist with Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts, said fears that footage of his members and supporters demonstrating was being passed from police to the DWP had had a ‘chilling effect’ on people’s willingness to protest.

‘There are people who are not protesting today because they are terrified by what the DWP might know about them,’ he said. ‘The idea that information the police gather at protests about some of those taking part could be passed to the DWP for welfare fraud investigations is Stasi-like.’

USA: CLASS ACTION AGAINST FACEBOOK OVER FACIAL RECOGNITION A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a group of Facebook users can move forward with their class action lawsuit challenging the company’s use of facial recognition technology. [HuffPost]

British government kills disabled people

This 18 June 2018 video from Britain says about itself:

Universal Credit discriminatory towards disabled, High Court rules

“Universal Credit costs more than the current benefit system to administer” says Deven Ghelani from Policy in Practice​ as the The High Court​ rules that Conservatives​’ Universal Credit is discriminatory towards the disabled.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 17 January 2019


IT NOW takes so long for claims to be processed that 17,070 disabled people have died before receiving a penny because they were still waiting to hear whether their claim for disability benefit had been successful.

And one-in-four (4,330) of those 17,070 were suffering from some form of cancer, while 270 had anxiety or depressive disorders. This works out to an average of nine disability claimants dying every day while waiting for their benefits.

In fact waiting times for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) claims have risen over the last year, with the latest figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showing that the average waiting time for new claims is 14 weeks – a rise of a month since March 2018.

Shadow disabilities spokesperson Marsha de Cordova has accused the government of allowing a ‘cruel and callous’ PIP assessment process to create a ‘hostile environment for disabled people’. She added: ‘Disabled people are being forced to wait months for vital social security and all too often face a lengthy and traumatic appeals process, resulting in a system in which thousands of people die before their PIP decision is reached.’

Philip Connolly, policy and development manager at Disability Rights UK, said the figures are further evidence that the government cannot deliver a benefits system which is fit for purpose. ‘Disabled people shouldn’t have to wait for so long for assessments for PIP,’ he said. ‘How vulnerable do you have to be before the government will change how things are done and ensure people get their assessments in a timely manner?

He insisted: ‘Tax payers have a right to expect a decent service funded by their money. And disabled people have a right to an accurate and timely assessment so they get the benefits they qualify for promptly.’

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: ‘It is shocking that so many disabled people have died waiting for their social security claims to be processed at a time when they need and should be able to get support. She also warned: ‘Sadly this appalling situation is set to get even worse with the waiting times for first payments of Universal Credit.’

It comes as the DWP faces mounting pressure to enable terminally ill people to access disability benefits more rapidly and without going through the ‘burdensome and time-consuming’ standard application process. Currently, a claimant must have a ‘reasonable expectation’ of death within six months to be eligible for the special rules for terminal illness (SRTI) – which charities argue can exclude many people living with terminal and highly disabling conditions.

The Scottish Parliament passed an amendment earlier last year which changes the definition of terminal illness to one based on clinical judgement, therefore removing the six-months restriction, and the UK government is being urged to do the same. Madeleine Moon, Labour MP for Bridgend, is currently pushing a private members bill through parliament which proposes to replace the arbitrary six-month requirement with a clinical judgement made by a health professional.

Moon said: ‘The current definition of terminal illness fails people at the most vulnerable moment in their life. Those diagnosed with a terminal condition should not have to worry about going through the arduous standard application process for benefits like PIP or Universal Credit (UC).

‘We must adopt the changes developed in Scotland to allow registered healthcare professionals to make a clinical judgement about whether someone is terminally ill, and remove the arbitrary six months’ time limit.’

Simon Jones, director of policy at terminal illness charity Marie Curie said: ‘These people are dying but will regularly miss out on timely support if they are expected to live longer than six months. ‘The fact that many of these people will then die before they are assessed by the DWP is shameful.

‘The government must change the law and ensure that all terminally ill patients are fast-tracked based on their doctor’s clinical judgement and not the arbitrary six months rule that, in practice, results in dying people having to fight a cruel system when they should be making the most of the time they have left with their loved ones.’

• The introduction of Universal Credit (UC) is ‘prompting a dramatic drop in school funding’ the DWP was told. Questions about the impact of UC on school funding are to be raised with the DWP by the chair of an influential Parliamentary committee. Tania Beard, head of St Martin’s CE primary and nursery in Cranbrook, Devon, told MPs that she expects funding to ‘drop dramatically’ due to the benefits change – which feeds into how many children the school gets pupil premium funding for.

And Robert Halfon, chair of the Commons Education Committee, said he would be very pleased if Beard could provide him with further information saying ‘I would like to raise that with the DWP secretary’.

Beard had explained earlier in the hearing that she used to have a difference of about ten children between the number of children who were on free school meals (who attract pupil premium) and the overall number classified as disadvantaged. Now the difference is about four times larger.

‘There are a lot of families who are not getting free school meals and that’s going to have an enormous impact in six years’ time when those current children lose their ‘Ever 6’ (pupil premium) funding,’ she said. Asked for more details Beard said that following a pilot roll-out of Universal Credit in Devon, she had 93 children who were classified as disadvantaged but just 49 eligible for free school meals.

‘In six years’ time our funding is going to drop dramatically and we use that funding to support our youngest children, so that they don’t then become children who have special needs as they go through. So they have additional nurture, have movement support, if that money goes this SEN crisis is going to get worse,’ Beard said.

Pupil premium, currently worth £1,320 for children in Reception to Year 6 and £935 for pupils in Year 7 to Year 11, is paid to schools for each pupil registered as eligible for free school meals in the last six years. The government has said that under UC every child who receives a free school meal will continue to do so and by 2022, around 50,000 more children will benefit from free school meals.

But Labour has said that up to 2.6 million children whose parents are on benefits could miss out on free school meals by 2022 after the earnings threshold for claiming free school meals was set at £7,400 in April 2018. Pupil premium is only paid for those children who register to claim free school meals, not for those who are eligible but do not register. Although, if registered, pupils do not have to take free school meals in order for the school to get pupil premium money.

The Universal Credit programme, rolls six forms of state welfare including unemployment and housing benefits into one. It was launched in 2010 with the aim of ‘supporting people to work’.

So far, it has resulted in real hardship for claimants as it represents a real cut in the amount of benefit people receive. Claimants have to wait six weeks before receiving a penny and as all benefits are paid monthly, it is up to families to choose between heating, eating or paying rent, because there is not enough money to do all three.

The overall UC policy echoes amendments to the Poor Law in 1834, which kickstarted a large programme to build workhouses. The two policies, nearly 200 years apart, are driven by the same Victorian ethos.

At the time the 1834 law was passed, the high cost of the parish poor relief had been the driving force for the introduction of the workhouse. The ethos was that the poor needed to be driven into work and that work would set them free.

Those who were evicted, drowning in debt, and unemployed were forced into the workhouses where they suffered slave labour conditions. Despite campaigns to abolish workhouses, the suffering of inmates, and potential applicants, continued well beyond the Victorian period. From 1930, workhouses became ‘public assistance institutions’ – workhouses in all but name – and most surviving buildings entered ownership of the NHS in 1948 to be used as hospitals for the chronically ill.

In many ways, the desire to pull all of those in poverty under one roof, literally or figuratively in the case of UC, stems from the same outlook today as it did in 1834 – to drive down spending and force the poor into low-paid work. The trade unions must take action to ensure Universal Credit is abolished.

UK: Department of Work and Pensions “followed policy” denying benefits to dying Liverpool man: here.

Interview with advice worker Terry Craven on the DWP review. “The DWP, Amber Rudd and the officers that trawled through the information regarding Stephen have got blood on their hands”: here.

London Conservatives co-responsible for disabled Grenfell disaster victim’s death

London Grenfell Tower fire

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Grenfell victim ‘denied human right to escape’

THE DAUGHTER of a Grenfell Tower victim launched a blistering attack on Kensington and Chelsea council today for housing a “vulnerable, physically disabled and partially sighted pensioner” on the 18th floor.

Nazanin Aghlani, daughter of Sakineh Afrasehabi, told the inquiry into the blaze, which killed 72 people last June, that the housing allocation team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) shared responsibility for her mother’s death.

The 65-year-old Iranian grandmother, who moved to Britain in 1997, died with her sister Fatemeh, who was visiting on the night of the fire.

Ms Aghlani said: “As early as 2003, the RBKC housing department formally recognised and stated that, due to my mum’s disability and deteriorating health, she should not be housed in a lifted property above the fourth floor.

“I emphasise that was in 2003. Fourth floor, because that was her human right to escape, the right every single person should have.”

She said that, “after 16 years of waiting, she was rehoused in 2016 into flat 151 on the 18th floor of Grenfell Tower”, a move she said was “out of desperation and pressure from the council.”

Ms Aghlani added: “Every day, again and again, as our mind tries to make sense of this disastrous tragedy, we come to the conclusion that it was not only the horrifying fire that took my mum’s life that night.

“The discrimination and failure in duty of care by the housing allocations team which resulted in a vulnerable, physically disabled and partially sighted pensioner being housed on the 18th floor of a tower block equally took the life of my mum.

“Our mum lost her life not only due to the fire that night, but to the corporate negligence of the very people who were to ensure her safety. The very people who said, years before, that she was not to be housed above the fourth floor of a lifted building.”

Ms Afrasehabi’s son, Mohammed Samimi, asked the inquiry to remember his father, who he said was unable to come to Britain because his visa application was refused.

The inquiry will begin hearing formal evidence on Monday.

Protest against the privateer benefit assessor Maximus. THE TORIES have been stripping sufferers of multiple sclerosis of the vital funds they need to buy mobility scooters and vehicles if they can walk a single step over the course of 20 metres. Charity MS Society has called for the 20 metres rule to be scrapped: here.

Britain: Don’t let the government paint itself as a champion of disabled rights – it’s anything but: here.

Murder disabled people, United States Republican says

This video from the USA says about itself:

GOP Candidate: Euthanize Poor People!

16 May 2018

A gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma is catching some heat for some comments made on his Facebook account recently. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, host of The Young Turks, break it down.

Republican gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma proposed euthanasia for people on food stamps who are too disabled to work.

It looks like that idea is inspired by the practice of German old nazi Adolf Hitler, and of Japanese neonazi Satoshi Uematsu. And by the mockery of disabled people by the Republican president of the USA, Donald Trump.

In a Facebook post made by a page purporting to be for Oklahoma governor candidate Christopher Barnett, the administrator initially posted a poll about food stamp requirements — and then made comments claiming euthanasia is a solution to the “issue” of the poor and disabled.

In a post made by Tulsa resident Lisa Schwart, screenshots of the thread from the Chrisforgov campaign page that shares a name with Barnett’s campaign website revealed the comments. “Most receiving food stamps work, or are disabled”, a user commented on the poll post. “Some are elderly.” “The ones who are disabled and can’t work…why are we required to keep them?” the Chrisforgov account responded. “Sorry but euthanasia is cheaper and doesn’t make everyone a slave to the Government [sic].” Defending his now-deleted comments, the account admin mused as to why American taxpayers should “have to keep up people who cannot contribute to society any longer?”

Read more here.

‘WOMP WOMP’ DROPPED Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was axed by his speakers bureau after mocking a 10-year-old with Down syndrome with a now-infamous “womp womp.” Of course, Lewandowski was not dropped by CNN, who had him back on the network Thursday so he could refuse to apologize. [HuffPost]

British Theresa May disastrous for disabled people

This 2013 video is called Insult to Injury: UK’s disabled must ‘prove’ handicaps to get benefits.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Disabled campaigners demand talks with May over inaction on damning UN human rights report

DISABILITY rights campaigners have demanded talks with Prime Minister Theresa May over the “human catastrophe” in which millions of disabled people’s lives are getting worse.

The call follows the UN damning report six months ago on the government’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Last August’s report made a number of recommendations, which a coalition of disabled rights organisations that gave evidence to the UN says have not been implemented by the government.

These include a failure to implement the 2010 Equality Act, the lack of joined-up working across Britain’s nations and the continuing employment-opportunities gap that disabled people face.

Resources to ensure disabled people’s right to independent living and inclusion in their communities and the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection were also called for.

Inclusion London head Tracey Lazard said: “Six months on from the UN disability committee’s damning verdict on this government’s failure to protect and progress disabled people’s rights, things continue to get worse not better for disabled people.

“The government appears to be maintaining its position of blanket denial that there is anything wrong, dismissing our lived experience, the UN findings, and failing to act on any of the recommendations put forward in the committee’s concluding observations.

“This state of affairs cannot continue. Disabled people’s organisations from across the UK are calling on the government to recognise the very serious concerns identified by the UN disability committee.”

She called on the government “to begin working with, not against, disabled people so we can get our rights, inclusion and equality back on track.”

Coalition members include Disabled People Against Cuts, Disability Rights UK, Black Triangle, Equal Lives, the UK Disabled People’s Council and the British Deaf Association among others.

Universal credit is a crime against claimants
No civilised government should impose this cruel policy on its citizens. Join the new DPAC campaign to reverse it, says LINDA BURNIP.