Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/656/11083

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2011

Defend the right to protest

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

on 24 January police 'kettled' a peaceful demonstration outside the central London headquarters of Atos Origin. John McDonnell MP has since tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons that 'commends' the demonstrators and expresses concern about the actions of the Metropolitan Police.

By a Unison member

Atos Origin is a focus for disabled people's anger because its health care division is contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out the notorious Work Capability Assessment for people applying for Employment and Support Allowance and those on incapacity benefit.

Police stopped more than 50 protesters from entering Atos Origin's HQ and soon after used metal fences to surround them, restricting them to a small area with only one exit. This containment tactic was first used by the Met against members of the Disabled People's Direct Action Network more than a decade ago.

Concerns were raised with the police by Linda Burnip of Disabled People Against Cuts about the impact on people with serious mental health conditions who were held behind the barriers.

The police also refused to allow disabled protesters to use toilet facilities in the Atos HQ or a local gym. This included a pregnant woman with a guide dog.

Atos' so-called 'assessments' are forcing tens of thousands of disabled people onto Jobseeker's Allowance who have no hope of finding employment. It is also exposing them to a strict sanctions regime that many will fall foul of; particularly those with mental health conditions and learning difficulties.

This will increase as the reassessment of incapacity benefit and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants intensifies as part of the Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition's plans to save billions. These policies are supported by Ed Miliband's Labour Party and have their roots in the previous Blair and Brown Labour administrations.

As anger grows against Atos Origin, disabled people will continue to demonstrate against this company. Trade unions should demand that their sponsored MPs sign John McDonnell's EDM, publicly defend the right of disabled people to protest, and campaign to reverse Labour's support for the attacks on incapacity benefit and DLA claimants.

Disabled activists also need to play a central role in the developing anti-cuts movement and ensure that opposition to cuts means all cuts. Questions also need to be asked of the UK Disabled People's Council and the National Centre for Independent Living - their 'opposition' to the Con-Dem cuts makes Nero's fiddling whilst Rome burned look decidedly proactive!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 2 February 2011:


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts


Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain


Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds


Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 February 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Claimants:

triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

triangleUniversal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Disabled:

triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

triangleChatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

triangleUN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

Protest:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleProtesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

triangleLeicester NHS protest

Police:

triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Cuts:

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

John McDonnell:

triangleMcDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999