Category Archives: PIP/Disability Cuts

Just For The Record, The WCA Is Not Being Scrapped, Yet

atoskillsgrafThe report in The Daily Record which claims that Atos style assessments for sickness and disability benefits are to be scrapped should sadly be treated with caution.

There is no doubt that the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is in chaos, after the announcement from Atos that they are pulling out of the contract to run the tests.  This has led to a predictable tantrum from Iain Duncan Smith, who is now running round telling everyone he was going to dump Atos anyway and is threatening them with huge fines.  This is the same Atos that he is dependent on to sort out the shabby assessments for Personal Independence Payments, which are currently also mired in chaos.  But there has been no announcement as yet that the WCA is to be scrapped, and the report the Daily Record’s story seems to be based on does not call for this.

The story refers to the recently published response by the Government to the review of the Work Capability Assessment carried out by Dr Paul Litchfield.  The Government have accepted all but one of the recommendations in this report, which includes agreeing to carry out an impact assessment into whether in some cases a decision could be made without a face to face assessment.

Litchfield recommends: “The Department carries out a full impact assessment on an alternative process whereby DWP Decision Makers triage cases” and that “where suitable and sufficient evidence is available on paper and a face-to-face assessment would provide no additional value, the Department should make a decision without referral to its HAP;”

The Government have responded: “DWP will carry out the recommended impact assessment to inform decisions about if and how triage of cases by Decision Makers might be implemented.”

So unless the Daily Record know something that no-one else does, and if they do urgent clarification is required, that unfortunately, appears to be it.  An impact assessment into whether in some cases a face to face assessment is not required – as in fact already happens in some cases – will be carried out.  A small step forward perhaps but a long way from the claim that assessments are set to be scrapped.  Atos still kills, for now at least.

Some of Litchfield’s recommendations will be welcomed, such as a six month time limit before someone who has recently won an appeal against a WCA decision can be called for re-assessment.  Others are more dubious, including the idea of involving the Government’s snake oil salesmen, the nudge unit, in the drafting of correspondence sent to claimants about the WCA.

Perhaps the most telling part of the Government’s response to this review is the recommendation that is rejected.  Litchfield makes the fairly reasonable suggestion that so-called Healthcare Professionals carrying out assessments of people with mental health problems should have: “suitable and sufficient previous experience of dealing with people with mental health problems”.

We’re not having that say the DWP, who have deferred agreement on this point complaining that they don’t know what suitable and sufficient means.

All of the recommendations and the Government’s response can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/296328/wca-review-year-4-response.pdf

Litchfield’s initial report is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/265351/work-capability-assessment-year-4-paul-litchfield.pdf

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Huge Victory For Sick And Disabled Claimants As Atos Chased Out Of Vicious Benefit Assessments

atoskillsgrafFrench IT firm Atos saying they are planning to pull out of Work Capability Assessments, the shambolic and cruel tests designed to strip away benefits from sick and disabled people, is the most humiliating blow yet for Iain Duncan Smith’s bodged attempt at reforming social security.

In a stunning victory for campaigners, Atos say the Work Capability Assessment isn’t working, for them, claimants themselves and even the hapless DWP.  The attempt at early withdrawal from the contract comes just days after protests were held outside Atos assessment centres in towns and cities across the UK.

The astounding announcement also sheds new light on The Guardian story which revealed that the DWP were secretly plotting to get rid of Atos and bring in new contractors to run the tests.  There is truly no honour amongst these thieves as Atos and the DWP bicker in public about who dumped who first.  Meanwhile poverty pimps like Capita and G4S will be salivating at the prospect of Iain Duncan Smith stuffing their mouths with gold to try and keep his bungled welfare reforms alive.

Atos has blamed abuse and death threats made towards their so-called ‘healthcare’ professionals as one reason they want to withdraw from the contract early.  Yet Atos must have known that taking on a contract designed to impoverish sick and disabled claimants would lead to them becoming despised.  It is no surprise that a very small number of people facing the WCA displayed what social workers call ‘challenging behaviour’.  Any social care professional or even copper could have warned them  about this.  If Atos were unable to put in policies and procedures that kept their staff safe then they only have themselves to blame.

When people have been driven to suicide by the vile activities of this company, their whining about few scabby doctors being slagged off on twitter rings a little fucking hollow.  The truth is that Atos have seen their brand made toxic all over the world by their involvement in these tests – which only represent a very small part of their business.  This is almost certainly the real reason they have decided to embarrass the DWP by very publicly trying to abandon this contract.

This announcement does not represent the end of the WCA, but it could be the beginning of the end.  Anything that at least slows the bastards down should be welcomed.  This victory should be used as a springboard to escalate the campaign against whichever odious profiteers decide to take over the hated WCA.

If Atos think they are off the hook however they are sorely fucking mistaken.   There has been no announcement from the company about their involvement (along with Capita) in assessments for Personal Independence Payments – the replacement for Disability Living Allowance designed to cut benefits from 20% of disabled people.  These tests have barely begun and already are a shambles with claims taking months on end to administer.  It will be those in and out of work alike who face these assessments which are little different from the WCA that Atos have just condemned.  If the company think they’ve had problems with out of work sick and disabled people just wait and see what happens when they are assessing lawyers, other doctors, and even MPs.

Atos are also expected to be involved in George Osborne’s mass workfare scheme which begins in April.  Claimants already found ‘fit for work’ by Atos could be abused by company again and forced to undertake 780 hours of unpaid ‘community work’ just for the crime of being unemployed.

Atos may be on the run, but they should be ruthlessly chased down until they pull out of all government contracts designed to bully, impoverish and harass sick, disabled or unemployed people.  Until that day comes, Atos should remain firmly in the firing line.

DPAC, Black Triangle & WOW Petition: Joint Statement on the Bizarre ATOS Exit Strategy http://dpac.uk.net/2014/02/dpac-black-triangle-wow-petition-joint-statement-on-the-bizarre-atos-exit-strategy/#sthash.Yq28TezO.dpufFollow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Half Of Claims For New Disability Benefit Rejected As Massive Backlog Develops

atos-finalEarly figures from the DWP reveal that half of all claims for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been rejected. Appalling the figures also show that claimants are waiting up to six months for a decision on their claim whilst a massive backlog is developing.

PIP replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and is currently being rolled out for new claims only in some parts of the UK.  Most DLA claimants will not be re-assessed until Autumn 2015 when the notorious Atos, along with bungling Capita, will begin the work of stripping vital benefits from a fifth  of disabled people.

PIP began in April with 31,900 claims made by July, jumping to 99,600 by August and 171,800 by October.  At the end of the year 229,700 total claims had been made for PIP.  Despite this just 43,800 decisions had been made by December 2013.

These figures include people with terminal conditions who are fast tracked through the process under special rules.  When this group is removed from the figures, just 34,200 decisions had been made by December, despite a caseload of 22o,300 people awaiting a decision by the end of the year.

Most of these claims were rejected.  For those not covered by the ‘Special Rules For Terminally Ill People’ only 37% of PIP claims were successful.

Government ministers have lied through their teeth to justify stripping away this vital benefit from disabled people.  Last year Esther Mcvey made the astonishing claim that 50% of DLA claims were successful on the basis of the application form alone with no corroborating medical evidence.  The true figure was around 10%.

McVey also claimed that “vast majority of claimants get the benefit for life”.  In truth only 23% of people received an ‘indefinite award’ in 2010 (PDF), and 24% in 2009.

The worst impact of PIP is set to come after the next election – and Labour have not said they will halt the re-assessments if they win.  But these early figures give a hint of the vicious shambles to come with almost a quarter of a million disabled people already waiting months on end for a benefit they need – but probably will not get.

To read the latest figures visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-management-information

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

The Collapse of Access To Work Continues Leaving Nowhere To Go For Sacked Remploy Workers

mike_penningThe slump in the Government’s Access To Work scheme has continued with around a third less people benefiting from the fund, which aims to help disabled people find and stay in employment, than during its peak in 2009/10.

Access To Work provides money for support workers, transport costs or other expenses for disabled workers.  The scheme began to collapse shortly after this Government weren’t elected with the number of new starts at an all time low – standing at 9,760 individuals beginning on Access To Work  in 2011/12 compared to 16,230 just two years earlier in 2009/10.

Since then the DWP has tried furiously to plug the scheme, broadening the criteria under which people can qualify to include Work Experience along with running high profile promotional campaigns. Despite all of this, Access To Work remains a disaster under the current Government – although that hasn’t stopped DWP big wigs boasting in the national press about how proud they are of their utter failure.

Access To Work is also available for people who are self-employed, leading some to speculate how many of those on the scheme have been bullied into precarious self-employment by shady Work Programme companies.  Even if this is the case, it has barely made an ounce of difference.

Just 10,390 people started receiving support in 2012/13 and this week’s figures for the first quarter of 2013/14 reveal things have barely got any better since then.  Should the dire performance continue throughout the year then less than 11,000 people are likely to start on Access To Work this year.

That’s 11,000 out of around 7 million working age disabled people in the UK.

Astonishingly the new Minister for Murdering Disabled People, Mike Penning (pictured) has hailed the latest dismal figures as a real success, claiming that a meagre 10% rise of those using the scheme over the last year is a ‘boost’ for disabled people.  Pennning doesn’t seem to have realised that 10% more of fuck all is still fuck all.  Perhaps most troubling of all, is that the accompanying gushing press release appears to tell a bare faced lie about the success of Access To Work stating that: “the recent set of statistics show the highest level of new claims since 2007 – with 10,390 new applications.”

As can be seen from the table below, the statistical release shows a very different story.

access-to-workAnd even this does not tell the full story of this Government’s abandonment of disabled workers.  Also this week came the news that two thirds of the sacked Remploy workers are still unemployed.  1,800 disabled workers at the Remploy factories have been laid off over the last couple of years with the promise that the Access To Work scheme would help them all back into the workplace.  According to The Mirror, just 535 of them have found jobs.  Further closures of most of the remaining Remploy factories are soon to take place.

The dreadful performance of Access To Work suggests two things.  Firstly that the DWP are inept and have bungled the promotion of the scheme.  Secondly that no matter how much the Government manufacture falling unemployment, for many of those who face barriers to employment, there are still no fucking jobs.

On the plus side, at least the DWP have stopped referring to disabled workers as ‘stock’ in the latest statistical release.

The latest Access To Work figures are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-work-official-statistics-october-2013

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Esther McVey Lied – Only 10% of DLA Awards Are Based On Just Filling In A Form

government-lieFigures just released by the DWP show that new Employment Minister Esther Mcvey used bare-faced lies to justify changes to disability benefits in her previous role as Minister for Disabled People.

The figures record the evidence used to assess Disability Living Allowance claims (PDF), the benefit intended to meet the additional costs of living with a disability and which is available to those in or out of work.  Despite repeated claims from Ministers that all people have to do to qualify for DLA is fill in a form, the figures show that in almost all cases this is untrue.

Just 10% of DLA claims are based on the form only – a form which is 40 pages long – and even then further medical evidence, such as copies of prescriptions or medical reports will usually have been provided.  In 40% of claims a GP’s report is required for a successful claim and in a further 45% of cases further evidence is used, such as a information from a social worker or healthcare professional.  6% of claimants are called in for a face-to-face assessment.

This means it was a breath-taking lie when Esther Mcvey stated earlier in the year that“around 50 per cent of (DLA) decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone – without any additional corroborating medical evidence.”

This vital benefit is now being renamed Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and a new Atos style assessment system will determine who qualifies for support.  The originally stated aim of this change – although ministers seem to have gone quiet on the fact – is to strip disability benefits from a fifth of adult claimants.  Almost everyone currently claiming DLA will eventually be re-assessed using crude tests similar to the notorious Work Capability Assessment which has seen hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people wrongly judged ‘fit for work’.  In her role as Minister for Disabled People it was McVey’s job to justify this savage new regime which is likely to bring destitution and chaos to the lives of many disabled people.  That job is now being done by ex-army man Mike Penning.  A trained killer is finally in charge of the Office for Disability Issues.

McVey was promoted to Employment Minister in the recent reshuffle, replacing skiving Mark Hoban who after a year of barely being in the job was sacked to make way for someone with a more pro-active approach to bullshitting the public.  Previously Chris Grayling had occupied the role where he wove epic fictions about the social security system which were endlessly repeated by a fawning right wing press.

McVey seems determined to keep up that tradition and has got off to a flying start by cheering the recent fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.  The DWP are dragging their feet on providing the most recent statistics for sanctions and disallowances in the Jobseeker’s Allowance system.  It is likely this fall is down in part to people having benefits refused due to  stricter conditions for claiming the dole rather than people finding work.  But you’ll never hear that from the DWP,  especially now there is yet another lying bastard occupying the role of Employment Minister.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Vigil to Save Independent Living Fund October 14th

independent-living-fund-vigilvia Disabled People Against Cuts

SAVE THE INDEPENDENT LIVING FUND!

Monday October 14th 2013

Vigil and press call – from 12.30pm – outside front entrance Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Join us in support of disabled claimants challenging the government’s consultation on the closure of the Independent Living fund.

On Monday 14th October the Court of Appeal will be asked to over-turn the decision of the High Court handed down in April that found that the consultation had been lawful and the Department for Work and Pensions had met the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The ILF was set up in 1988 to support disabled people with the highest levels of support need to live in the community. Since then it has helped thousands to live active and full lives.

The government decision to close the Independent Living Fund and instead devolve responsibility to local authorities follows a consultation that disabled people claim is unlawful.

Whereas support received through the ILF has transformed thousands of lives, local authorities are not able to provide the same level or range of support through their current systems. With central funding to local authorities being cut this can only get worse. Disabled people fear that the alternative will bee of being sent against their wishes to live in institutions or surviving trapped in their own homes.

The closure of the Independent Living Fund has major significance for disabled people’s equality and our position within society. Disabled people fought for decades for our right to live in the community independently and with choice and control. The closure of the Fund signifies an end to the right to independent living.

Join us to show support and solidarity to those disabled people taking the appeal on an issue that is importance to everyone who cares about social justice and the rights of disabled people to live independently, equally and with dignity.

Supporters will gather outside the courts at 9.45am and then try to get into the court room. By lunch time we will know if the appeal has been granted, in which case it will be heard over the Monday and Tuesday 15th, or if it has been turned down. Whatever the decision we will hold our vigil and press call at 12.30pm outside the courts in support of the claimants and in defense of the Independent Living fund.

You can listen to how this vicious attack will affect disabled people at these links:

http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/a-nasty-cut-people-affected-by-the-closure-of-the-independent-l5142/

For more information about the vigil contact: mail@dpac.uk.net

Travel: the tube stations around the Royal Courts are not accessible (nearest accessible tubes are Westminster and LondonBridge and both are a bus journey away).

Please check www.tfl.gov.uk for more travel information 

Accessible toilets around the royal courts:

-         There is an accessible toilet outside Embankment tube station and inside Charing Cross station.

-         There are toilets opposite the Royal Courts but these are not accessible

-         There are also accessible toilets inside the Royal Courts themselves – see page 10 of this booklet: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/courts/rcj/facilities-and-access/Facilitiesservicesleaflet2011.pdf

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Five Government Departments Mobbed In Hugely Successful Day of Action By and For Disabled People

DPAC_DWP_ProtestAnother hugely successful day of action organised by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) took place today targeting five government departments and ending with a mass lobby of Parliament.

At lunchtime disabled protesters and supporters began to gather outside four government building, all of which are culpable for creating the vicious regime that currently exists for disabled people.  Crowds of people met outside the departments of Health, Education, Transport and Climate Change to protest against soaring heating bills, increased segregation in education, inaccessible and unaffordable public transport and cuts to social care budgets and healthcare.

At the Department of Education several people briefly blocked the door as a request was made for people to be allowed entry, or for a Minister to come and address the protest which focused on the increasing segregation of disabled children in foundation schools in particular.  Shamefully not one person from the Department of Education could be bothered to come to the front door, although after a tense stand off three people were allowed inside to deliver a list of demands.

Then the protest moved off to the DWP, where all four groups converged resulting in a large crowd of up to 200 people outside the home of Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal and bungled welfare reforms.  Speakers from Inclusion, DPAC, Winvisible, Black Triangle, UK Uncut, the TUC and many more addressed the crowd whilst a washing line was tied to the lamp-posts and  festooned with underpants for Iain Duncan Smith to help him cut down this year’s expenses claim.  Other groups present included transport union TSSA, Mad Pride, #wowpetition, Transport for All and many local DPAC and other disabled people’s groups.

This protest was almost a year to the day that DPAC, UK Uncut and Anti-Atos protesters occupied and shut down the DWP building for an afternoon.  This year the DWP were taking no chances with a heavy security presence closing down the front of the building and staff being ushered in and out by the back door.

Finally the protest moved to Parliament for a mass lobby, with a packed meeting expected to launch the DPAC Disabled Persons Manifesto.

This was the final day of DPAC’s week of action, which had previously seen the BBC blockaded in response to their disgraceful portrayal of disabled people and slavish support of Iain Duncan Smith’s endless lies about benefit claimants.  The BBC chose not to cover that protest and so far has also ignored today’s events, preferring instead to give air time to the extremist Tax Payer’s Alliance call for mass workfare for everyone unemployed or on sickness or disability benefits.

There is a long way to go in the struggle against welfare reforms, inclusion and access for all disabled people, and the saving of the welfare state.  But today was the largest central London protest in a long time by disabled activists and the call for further action, but within and outside of the law, was unanimous amongst those present.  They will fight us every step of the way, but we can take back this country and reclaim the futures of everybody who has had their lives destroyed by this Government.

For the latest news and details of actions from DPAC visit their website at: http://dpac.uk.net/

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Support Disabled People Against Cuts in Central London Tomorrow!

DPAC-Protesters-in-the-West-En-007Tomorrow (4th September) will see the final day of the week of action organised by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).  A central London protest is planned beginning at 12.45pm with meeting points outside four different government departments.

Please help spread the word and get down to Westminster tomorrow and support the protest if you can!

Latest information from DPAC is below:

National protest to defend disabled people’s rights and freedoms and demand equality and inclusion

Last year we shamed Atos and occupied the Department for Work and Pensions in opposition to the injustice and distress caused by the Work Capability Assessment. A year later and the only Paralympic legacy most disabled people have seen is one of more cuts and more anger.

Research has shown that cuts are targeting disabled people. Meanwhile government and the media misrepresent figures and statistics to label disabled people as benefit scroungers.

We say this isn’t right.

We say we need to unite and fight against injustice.

Join us for the final day of the Reclaiming Our Futures Disabled People’s week of action as we protest in Westminster.

Four themed ‘blocks’ will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our elected representatives.

Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:

Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation

(Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)

Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits

(3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)

Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance

(Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)

Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence

(Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)

LOBBY OF PARLIAMENT:

5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto (Committee Room 9)

Hashtag for the day #dpacrof

- See more at: http://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/reclaiming-our-futures-freedom-drive-4th-september/#sthash.8zr9vo16.dpuf

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

DPAC Week of Action Events Announced – Please Organise And Spread The Word

DPAC-Protesters-in-the-West-En-007Latest details for the upcoming week of action beginning August 29th – please help spread the word!
Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle, Mental Health Resistance Network and the WOW petition bring you:

*Reclaiming Our Futures*

From 29th August – 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.

The plan below is only half the story. We want YOU, your Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, your campaign group, your community, your friends to put on events and get involved too. Can’t get to our exhibition? – then put on your own. Can’t get to our direct action? – then do your own or organise barbecues, debates, quiz nights, family days, picnics – whatever! ACT – in celebration or in anger! (PS don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing).

Thursday 29th August – YOU launch our 7 days  of action

A range of resources will be available for your use as we ask all supporters to start our week of action with an online blitz. You will be the ones creating the buzz and the hype sending letters and twitter messages to targets of your choice ranging from MPs to disability charities to the media. We will be producing twibbons and memes but make and circulate your own. If you haven’t got a Social Media account (such as Facebook & Twitter) set one up now, link to DPAC ( twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest) and let’s create a cyber wave. #dpacrof

The launch will coincide with Transport for All’s Day of Action to make CrossRail accessible: http://dpac.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4d6df6fd8405aff8805b464e6&id=7411f431ef&e=c62d97673f

Friday 30th August – Local Protests

Last year during the ATOS Games over 30 local actions took place around the UK Local actions mean you get to choose the target of your choice. You could take the Reclaiming Our Futures manifesto to present at your local MP’s constituency office, spread it through social media, protest on the streets against segregated education, the proposed ILF closure or show solidarity at your local Remploy site (for those few factories in their last weeks of operation). Alternatively, you might want to lobby your local Council on the Bedroom Tax and cuts to local services/support. Oh, and as we know  ATOS offices are still around too….we’re sure you have other great ideas to add… Remember to let us know what you are doing so we can promote your actions. We will be producing local action resource packs but any materials you develop please send us copies to share with other protests and online.

Saturday 31st – Disability, Art & Protest Exhibition and Fundraising Gig

An exhibition and sharing of work exploring disability, art and protest followed by a ticketed fundraising gig run in partnership with Madpride and Tottenham Chances. Come during the day and join in our banner making workshop to prepare for the big Freedom Drive on the 4th September. If you would like to nominate an artist, collective and/or piece of work please let us know (including any links) and we will try to get them involved. If you want to do a local, street or online art protest too-this could be the day to do it.

Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN
Times:
12 – 7pm Exhibition: disability, art and protest
1 – 3.30pm Banner and placard making workshop
4 – 6pm Sharing of Work
7.30pm til late Gig

Sunday 1st September – Reclaiming the Social Model: the social model in the 21st Century

Key speakers : Anne Rae: former UPIAS and current chair of the Greater
Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), Colin Barnes: Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds Centre for Disability Studies

As government and the private sector increasingly use a so-called ‘modern understanding of disability’ to redefine who is and who isn’t disabled it is more important than ever that we understand, defend and promote the social model of disability. This isn’t helped when the social model is not fully supported within our movement. This event will be a chance to hear from a range of speakers and to discuss why the social model is still relevant today to our lives and our futures and to map out what we need to do to fight for it. The event will be live-streamed with the opportunity for people to participate in the discussion virtually. We will also be promoting a range of resources around the social model.

Venue (tbc): University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Time: 12.30 – 4.30pm

Monday 2nd September – Direct Action

Despite the huge efforts of thousands of disabled people throughout the country, it is increasingly difficult to find spaces where lies, inaccuracies and mis-use of statistics can be challenged. DPAC recently released a study into how the DWP uses all of these to vilify and demonise disabled people. But why is this down to us? People should be presented with both sides of the story and this isn’t happening. Disabled people are having to find ways to make sure our truths will be heard. Watch this space…

Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day

A day of online action to reinforce that we want Rights not Charity and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people. Dare to ask for Rights not Charity. Dare to be an activist. Dare to ask more of ‘our’ organisations. We aren’t asking for Care, we want Power: Power to write the script for our own lives, and not to be written out or written off by others. A range of actions and captions will be available for you to capture in an image and circulate online.

Wednesday 4th September – FREEDOM DRIVE

A final-day march and events in and around Parliament. Four themed ‘blocks’ will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament for a lobby where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our elected representatives.

Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:
•    Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation (Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)
•    Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits (3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)
•    Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance (Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)
•    Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence (Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)

Lobby of Parliament: 5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto

WE WANT EVERYBODY TO JOIN US ON THIS MARCH ideally in person, but also online-this is for everyone everywhere. There will be accessible transport from a variety of towns and cities throughout the country (details to follow) and there is some funding available for transport but we will need your co-operation and patience to make this work for everybody, so please bear with us and note that while DPAC members will be given priority we want to support as many people as we can. If you can’t get there send a photo or your name and you can march with us.

For more details of the week of action, info on how to get involved and the latest news visit:  http://dpac.uk.net/

Lets Reclaim Our Futures, together!

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Reclaiming Our Futures: 7 Days Of Action From Disabled People Against Cuts

atos-paralympic-protestfrom DPACOur rights are being stripped away day by day by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems leaving us without any hope for our futures or our children’s futures.

DPAC say this is not fair, not acceptable and we must fight back against the continuing attacks. We will be having a week of actions nationally and virtually from August 29th and culminating on September 4th with  mass events and actions in London.

Thursday 29th August – launch on anniversary of coffin delivery to Atos, make Crossrail fully accessible protest, plus more….

Friday 30th August – local protests –go to local MPs, Atos offices, schools and colleges that are creating barriers to inclusion..plus more…

Saturday 31st August – disability, art and protest exhibition and gig.

Sunday 1st September –
The Social Model In The 21st Century – Why Is It Still relevant?

Monday 2nd September – Media direct actions, picking up the pace as we come to the end of the week of action, despite everything we do it is getting more and more difficult to get media space to present the facts whereas there is plenty of space given to misrepresentation of stats and government lies.

Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day – to reinforce that we want Rights not Charity and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people.

Wednesday 4th September – Grand Finale events in London and public launch of the Manifesto ‘Reclaiming our Futures’

For more info and to get involved visit: http://dpac.uk.net/2013/07/reclaiming-our-futures-7-days-of-action/

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