Aug 302012
 

Friday 31st August
Atos HQ,Triton Square, London
12:45pm 
Don’t let Atos be a winner at the Paralympic Games – join us for The Closing Atos Ceremony, the grand finale to Disabled People Against Cuts’ week of Atos Games.
Atos are sponsoring the Paralympics, whilst wrecking disabled people’s lives. George Osborne has vowed to slash £18 billion from the welfare budget, regardless of peoples’ needs and ignoring the alternatives. To help them do their dirty work, the Government are paying Atos £100 million a year to ‘test’ sick and disabled people and decide whether they’re ‘fit for work’.
But Atos’ Work Capability Assessments are driving disabled people to suicide and over 1,000 people have died of their illnesses soon after being found ‘fit for work’.
The Government claim that the welfare system is being abused- this just isn’t true. Less than 0.4% of Incapacity benefit payments are fraudulent, but the government want to cut welfare spending by 20%. And instead of helping to get people into work; the government are closing workplaces for disabled people.
The Government and Atos don’t give a toss about disabled people. This is about making ordinary people pay for a crisis caused by the bankers. It’s about making disabled people pay, instead of super-rich tax dodgers who cost us over £25billion every year. This is an ideological attack on the welfare state; these cuts are a political choice. But we’re fighting back.

On Friday 31 August, UK Uncut and DPAC will be shutting down Atos’ London HQ for the Closing ATOS Ceremony. Meet in Triton Square at 12:45pm for direct action and creative protest, with plenty of surprises…
The nearest fully accessible underground station is Kings Cross. From there, catch Bus 30 towards Marble Arch or Bus 205 towards Paddington from stop R or A, and get off at Warren Street, bus stop V. BSL Interpretted event.

This action needs you! Join for the afternoon, or come on your lunch break. There will be lots of ways to take part – hand out leaflets hold banners, or get involved in creative and daring ways. If you’re not in London, check the DPAC website for details and other ways to get involved in The Atos Games.

Atos are making millions of pounds enforcing the government’s unnecessary cuts. It’s up to all of us to fight back, defend our welfare system, and demand the alternatives. Let’s show them that we do give a toss.

See you at Atos HQ!

_______________________________________________________________

 

Aug 302012
 

Atos Healthcare Clinician contact details 

Edinburgh MSC Argyle House 3 Lady Lawson Street Edinburgh EH3 9SH 0131 222 5055

Manchester MSC Albert Bridge House (East) Bridge Street Manchester M60 9DA 0121 335 0720

Birmingham MSC Five Ways House Islington Row Edgbaston Birmingham B15 1SL 0121 626 2941

Glasgow MSC Corunna House 29 Cadogan Street Glasgow G2 7RD 0141 249 3616

Bootle MSC St Martins House Stanley Precinct Bootle Merseyside L69 8BN 0151 934 6070

Nottingham MSC Summit House Nottingham Business Park Nottingham NG8 6PX 0115 975 8362

Newcastle MSC Arden House Regent Centre Gosforth Newcastle NE3 3JN 01264 837 789

Leeds MSC Government Buildings Otley Road Lawnswood Leeds LS16 5PU 0113 230 9068

Cardiff MSC Block 1 Government Buildings Gabalfa Cardiff CF4 4YF 029 2058 6750

Bristol MSC Government Buildings Flowers Hill Bristol BS4 6LA 0117 971 8382

Wembley MSC 1 Olympic House Olympic Way Wembley Middlesex HA9 0DL 0208 795 8772

Croydon MSC 1st Floor Stephenson House 2 Cherry Orchard Road Croydon Surrey CR0 6BA 0208 633 1324

Aug 292012
 

Reposted with kind permission from The Void

 

A well attended and genuinely moving memorial service was held today outside the front doors of Paralympic sponsor Atos to coincide with the opening day of the London Paralympic Games.

Atos carry out the Government’s Work Capability Assessment, a crude computer health test designed to strip disabled people of benefits by declaring them ‘fit for work’.

Disabled people and those with serious health conditions have been subject to endless grueling assessments by the company and an increasing number of people have tragically taken their own lives as a result of the process. Many others have had conditions worsened due to the stress of testing regime whilst a recent investigation found that 32 people a week die after being found ‘fit for work by the company’.

Around 100 disabled people and supporters gathered outside Atos’ gleaming London Headquarters to attend the service.  A coffin, resplendent with white lilies to remember the dead, was carried to the front door of the company alongside funereal music.  Messages sent from disabled people around the UK were released attached to black balloons whilst a minutes silence was held during which even the heavy security presence guarding the company appeared to respect.

The day was part of a week of action against the company which has seen protests outside Atos offices around the UK.  Visit the DPAC website for reports of other events held so far. Campaigners will be back at Atos HQ on Friday when Disabled People Against Cuts team up with UK Uncut for the Closing Atos Ceremony.  Gather at Triton Square, Euston from 12.45pm on Friday 31st August.

Tomorrow sees a day of online and telephone action targeting the company, more info at:  http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/08/dpac-atos-armchair-games-30th-august-the-truth-is-revolutionary/

Aug 282012
 

1.    Social media flooding

Gold medals for Atos-

Flood twitter and Facebook with the ‘red peter’ Gold Atos medals, change profile pics to Atos medals

Atos Gold

(with thanks to Stephen LH)

 2. Email Gold to Atos- let them know we know about the deaths and suicides

Grab a new email address from gmail or hotmail and send gold to Atos ( we know they have multi-million profits but this is different), if you’re feeling particularly energetic why not post one to your local Atos office too all boxed and presented or hand deliver

Atos gold 

Email: customer-relations@atoshealthcare.com or caroline.crouch@atos.net (atos press office), investor  relations: giles.arditti@atos.net or head office ukwebenquiries@atos.net

3.  Send gold to Thierry Breton Atos CEO

Email: thierry.breton@atos.net

Atos  Gold

4.  Tweets

a) Tweet @atos and add a few facts or send them a medal add

 b) Use hastag #GoParalympicsGB

that’ll confuse ’em….

5. add a DPAC twibbon to your Face book or twitter profile pic

click HERE  (with thanks to Nancy Farrell)

6.  Be a crap disabled Peoples’ Organisation/Disabled Peoples’ Charity for a day

Atos are looking for disabled peoples’ organisations (DPO) and disabled Peoples’ charities to help them deliver PIP assessments–yes really

Grab a new email address from gmail or hotmail and be a crap DPO for a day, suggested names ‘sell out UK’, ‘Disability Wrongs UK’, SCOOP, Len Chester Disability, you get the idea-be maybe be a bit more subtle, tell them you want to exploit the opportunity (not to mention make loads of money exploiting disabled people) and ask how your crap org/charity can help do that-send dpac your replies

Email: customer- customer-relations@atoshealthcare.com

Subject line: Engagement with Disability Rights Groups on PIP 

7. Phone jam

Call Atos to complain.  Why not ask them about their UK eugenics program that they’re being paid 100 million a year for by the (unelected) government-video it, record it, post it

Use skype as a cheaper alternative if you don’t have one of those free calls thingies

Customer Relations
Tel: 0113 230 9175

 

Global public relations

Tel: 020 7830 4233

Press office

Tel: 02078304233

Investor relations:

Tel: +33 (0) 1 73 26 00 66 (with skype its not a UK number)

Sales and Marketing team

Tel:  0207830 444

Be sensible, be polite but let them know….

 

8. Hold your own vigil for Atos victims –a minutes silence then a letter to your local newspaper suggested text

9. ‘out’ the real Fraudsters on local radio –the truth is revolutionary!

Call in to your local radio station ‘talk show’ tell them what’s happening to disabled people –if they say ‘ah but how can we stop fraud’ tell them the facts:

a) Disability Benefit has the lowest fraud rate of all benefits (and that includes admin error) 0.4% for incapacity benefit, 0.5% for Disability Living Allowance

b) Our own GPs or other medics that deal with us on a regular basis should be doing the job not a company paid 100 million per year and costing the taxpayer 500 million a year in appeals

c) If they want to talk about fraud, don’t let them forget the ‘expenses scandal’ where MPs stole millions from the taxpayer to aid their multimillionaire life styles, the bankers with their million pound bonus’, or the cooperate tax dodgers owing over 20 billion-ask them who they think the real frauds are?

10. Fill in the DPAC, Black Triangle, Social Welfare Union Survey on WCA, recording and other stuff HERE

11.  Support 31st Closing Atos Ceremony by flooding social media, changing profile pics to the

UKUNCUT LOGO

12. Apply to join the Atos Graduate Internship Programme by contacting 0870 4149066 – waste their time and block their line or join them log enough to change the LiMA test to something that can resemble reality for thousands of disabled people.

13. Post questions Atos don’t want to answer on their blog site until they block you. Bill Nuttall says “For some weeks I have been asking ATOS questions on their site blog. Questions like will the new PIP which is replacing DLA stop people killing themselves? Did ATOS request talks with disabiltiy groups over WCA like they are now doing with PIP? Should ATOS assessors look at the medical notes the blog tells claiments to take in? Can they comment on reports that people have killed themselves because of ATOS medicals.My questions get no answers and dissapear from the moderation box after a while.Today I received a ” Forbidden you don,t have permission to access this server.” I cannot anymore but I would urge everyone to go on the ATOS blog and ask the awkward questions they do not want to answer.Lets see how many people ATOS HEALTHSCARE have to “Forbid access” to.” http://blog.atos.net/contact-us/

Share the fightback: send pictures, links comments to DPAC facebook , DPAC twitter @dis_ppl_protest UKUNCUT twitter @UKuncut, DPAC mail mail@dpac.uk.net

Download pics from HERE to post on FB

Aug 282012
 

 

 Belfast 31st August

ROYSTON HOUSE 34 Upper Queen Street, Belfast, BT1 6FD FRIDAY, 31st AUGUST 2012: 12.30 PM – 1.30 PM

A number of community based welfare rights and women’s groups together with the ICTU have organised a protest outside the offices of ATOS Health Care, the private company which operates the Medical Referee Service, to support the “Atos Games” – Showcasing Disabled People’s Anger at Paralympic Sponsors, Atos. The function ATOS Health Care are performing was previously delivered by the public sector but was privatised in 2010. Since the service was privatised disabled clients have not been able to be examined at Royston House because the private company, ATOS, claim they cannot facilitate evacuation in the case of an emergency. In addition, new assessment criteria for disability benefits has made it much more difficult for disabled people to obtain and retain the relevant benefits.

Glasgow 31st August

Friday 31 August, 2-4pm, we are having our end of month picket of Atos at Atos Medical Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogon Street, Glasgow

All groups banners and leaflets etc are welcome. The picket is called by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Aug 282012
 

More than twenty people attended the protest at ATOS healthcare’s Arden House assessment centre in Newcastle upon Tyne on 28 August.

As well as disabled people negatively affected by the decisions of ATOS and members of Disabled People Against Cuts, supporters from a number of local anti-cuts groups including Newcastle Anti Cuts Network, Unite the Resistance and Youth Fight for Jobs and Education attended.

A number of people spoke about their personal situations and the negative impact the Work Capability Assessment and the benefits process in general has had on their lives.

Others warned about the impact continuing ‘welfare reform’ will have on those who experience mental health problems, and the impact this pressure and income reduction will have on their families and children.

While there was criticism of the culture and attitude of ATOS and its management towards benefit claimants, someone made the point that ATOS’s workers are members of the PCS trade union who had voted recently for industrial action on the issue of pay.

We approached the centre’s manager and offered to organise a public meeting for disabled claimants and their families where ATOS would be given the opportunity to defend their Work Capability Assessment to those affected by it, but they weren’t keen on this idea.

Local activists are meeting for a coffee at Newcastle Central Library at 1pm on Saturday 1 September to discuss what to do next.

Our leaflet for the protest made the following points:

• The medical assessment company ATOS Origin portray themselves as the friends of disabled people through their sponsorship of the Paralympics, while at the same time working with the Department for Work and Pensions to remove more than a million disabled people off incapacity benefits.

• ATOS Origin’s healthcare division administers a brutal assessment called the Work Capability Assessment that was first introduced in 2008 by New Labour along with the Employment and Support Allowance.

• Even young disabled people with life-limiting conditions that mean they will die in their late teens or early twenties have to fill in an intrusive medical form before a decision is taken as to whether they should be formally assessed or not.

• 70% of ATOS decisions declaring disabled people as ‘fit for work’ are overturned on appeal where somebody is represented.

• Following a unanimous vote at the British Medical Association’s GPs annual conference in May 2012, it is now the policy of Britain’s 44,000 General Practitioner’s to campaign for the scrapping of the Work Capability Assessment.

• The right-wing press point to stories of incapacity and disability benefit fraud based on a sprinkling of cases, but they have been quick to forget about the expenses scandal involving the very MPs who voted for ‘welfare reform’.

• ATOS Origin has made hundreds of millions from running the Work Capability Assessment for the DWP, and has now been awarded the contract to reassess millions of disabled people for the new Personal Independence Payments.

• We call for the Work Capability Assessment and recent Welfare Reform Acts to be scrapped, the DWP’s contracts with ATOS Origin and all private companies to end immediately, and the introduction of a more humane and compassionate welfare system where claimants are assessed and supported according to their abilities and needs linked to policies to create full employment.

 

Aug 282012
 

Reposted from Birmingham Against the Cuts with thanks

 

Report and Photos From Today’s DPAC Demonstration in Birmingham


Around 20 people demonstrated today outside the ATOS assessment centre in Birmingham as part of a week of actionprotesting the Working Capability Assessment (WCA) which is run by ATOS for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is supposed to assess whether someone on disability benefits is fit for work, but has come under large amounts of criticism for failing to do that – and in the process punishing many disabled people by pushing them off disability benefits onto unemployment benefits and workfare.The week of action is taking place during the Paralympics because ATOS are one of the main sponsors. Their core business is as an IT outsourcing company, but like Capita and Serco they have moved into taking all government outsourcing contracts. The contract to run the WCA is £100m/year – and we pay an additional £50m each yearfor the appeals process to correct the huge number of people that ATOS declare fit for work who go through the appeal process and have the decision reversed – a process that can take over a year.Around 40% of appeal are successful – a figure that rises to 70% for people who have advocates or legal advice. Many people go to CAB for this advice, but Birmingham residents will soon find their access restricted, as funding cuts mean that CAB will probably be closing all but the city centre branch. At the same time, legal aid is being cut for welfare & benefit appeals, firmly closing the door on disabled people accessing legal advice.In a recent Dispatches program, a doctor went undercover to record the training process for ATOS, and was told by his trainer that ESA (the new disability benefit brought in by New Labour in 2008 to replace Incapacity Benefit) and the WCA are designed to remove people from disability benefits, and that they expect ATOS to find 89% of people fit for work.

The human cost of this target is huge, with 32 people a week dying after being declared fit for work. Many disabled people have died from their illness shortly after being told they are fit for work, including a local man who died of his heart condition just 3 weeks after ATOS told him he was fit to work.

Talk to disabled people about ATOS and the one thing you will hear time and time again is fear. The fear strikes when the letter arrives calling you for assessment. This letter comes even if you have an incurable, unchanging or degenerative condition. The tests can happen annually, and some people even find themselves called for reassessment just weeks after they have had a successful appeal. Or it comes when you receive the ESA50 form to apply for the benefit, a big lump of paper, designed to scare and confuse, intended so that people will not complete it properly. If you’re filling one of these in, do get advice, especially if you have a variable condition.

The fear continues as you wait for the assessment, knowing that doctors advice will be ignored in favour of a ticklist that doesn’t take into account variable conditions, doesn’t mention work and will award no points for manual dexterity if you can use one finger on one hand. (zero points means there is no problem).
Fear stays there until you receive the letter telling you if you are fit for work or not. You might get put in the “support group” where it’s accepted that you aren’t going to be able to work. Or the “Work Related Activity Group” (WRAG), where they say you are fit for work of some kind with the right support (and if there were jobs available, or employers willing to take on someone who will need more time off than other people for medical appointments, or runs the risk of falling very ill very quickly.. but they don’t mention these barriers to employment of course). Or you get told you are fit for work and pushed off to JSA unemployment benefit.
And the fear doesn’t stop then – the wait for the reassessment for those in the support and WRAG groups, the loss of income and support for those kicked off to JSA, the impending prospect of the Work Programme and workfare for those found fit for work (either in the WRAG group or like anyone else unemployed and on JSA), and the sanctions regime that has seen tens of thousands of disabled people lose benefits for up to 6 months.

The fear needs to end, the WCA needs to be suspended now, and altered in a major way so that it is a fair assessment, and ATOS need to be removed from the contract.

You can still take part in the ATOS games and help to make this happen:

Tommorrow (Wed 29th), DPAC will deliver a coffin full of messages from you.

On Thursday 30th: Phone jam! Let’s flood Atos with calls, and generate a Twitter-storm they can’t ignore!

Then on Friday 31st, join DPAC in London where they’re teaming up with UK Uncut for the Closing ATOS ceremony, at ATOS HQ in Triton Square, London from 12:45.

For more information on these events, go to the DPAC website

Thanks for the photos from @BrumProtestor on Twitter.

More photos from Stalingrad O’Neill with thanks!

Aug 282012
 

Report from Swansea

Disabled people, family members and anti-cuts campaigners took a
protest to the Atos assessment centre in Swansea today against the
flawed and hated “work capability assessment” and disability cuts.

On a main road with banners reading “Cuts are Disabling: Fight Every
Cut”, “ATOS: Not fit for purpose”, “Scrap these flawed tests”, “Stop
privatisation of the DWP” we got lots of support from passers by,
including a speaker from the Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council who
spoke in support at the rally.

  swansea Atos Protest

 

 

Aug 282012
 

25 – 30 disabled people, trade unions and supporters turned out to protest outside the Atos assessment centre in Northampton at lunch time today. Local disabled people who have had their lives ruined by ATOS’ cruel and flawed Work Capability Assessments shared their stories with local news broadcasters and press. Other disabled people sent messages of support but stayed away through just not being able to face the assessment building that causes them so much dread and misery. Protesters tried to deliver a gold medal for hypocrisy to Atos but were barred from the building by G4S security guards.

from Ellen Clifford on site by text

 

 

See news at Northampton Chronicle:  Protests outside Paralympic sponsor’s Northampton office

Aug 282012
 

This is reposted from The Void with thanks.

A well attended ceremony took place yesterday evening outside City Hall, London to make the opening of the Atos Games.

Disabled people and supporters held speeches and a mock medal ceremony to launch the Week of Action Against Atos timed to coincide with the Paralympic Games.

Atos are paid £100 million a year to carry out the brutal and demeaning Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Government.  This short computer based health assessment has led to tens of thousands of sick and disabled people being stripped of vital benefits.

Atos have recently won the contract to assess all those claiming Disability Living Allowance, a process which has the stated aim of removing financial support from a fifth of disabled people.  Astonishingly Atos are also sponsors of the Olympics Games.

At the mock ceremony last night, Paralympic Gold medal winner, Tara Flood was stripped of her medals as she was declared no longer disabled by Atos assessors.  Speakers from Disabled People Against Cuts and Transport For All, who both helped organise the event, spoke of their experiences at the hands of the company and their fury at Atos attempting to gain positive publicity on the back of the Paralympic Games.

Those assembled were warned that Paralympian Athletes will also soon face assessment by the company who have shown no mercy to even those with life threatening conditions.  A recent investigation found that 32 people a week die after being judged ‘fit for work’ by the company.

Atos were warned that we are coming for them – in the Courts, in Parliament, in the Courts and most importantly on the streets.

Protests will take place around the UK outside Atos offices today as part of the Week of Action.  A Mass Die In will take place in Cardiff on Wednesday whilst a Memorial Service will be held outside their London Headquarters on the same day.

 

More photos from Pete Riches can be seen from  Flickr  –
DPAC holds mock ATOS Games medal ceremony at City Hall

‘Seven medals but now the Tories want my benefits’

http://socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29451

Aug 272012
 

In spite of implicit claims in the Brindle article1 that there is no ‘fight back’ disabled people have stopped traffic in Oxford Street 2, Trafalgar Square 3, protested against and closed the offices of Atos, protested online through blogs and social media, provided briefing notes and researched and gained significant victories in publicising exactly what is happening -both DPAC and Black Triangle hope they have been an impetus, along with the growing network of allies, user-led disabled peoples’ organisations and key anti-cuts groups across the UK and in Europe –all of us recognise the severe harm that the ‘cuts’ are doing to large groups of ordinary people.

 In the very first DPAC protest on 3rd October 2010 disabled people came together to lead the march against the cuts proposed by this Government, liaised with unions and other anti-cuts groups- it poured with rain, but DPAC were the first to have a synchronised online protest too. Disabled people saw a need for early action at a time when many formal disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) made few public statements on spending reviews or cuts and when the big disability charities remained silent. From the 100 or so original October 2010 protesters and campaigners –there are now thousands, overall numbers are growing at rapid rate- contra Brindle, disabled leaders are emerging in their hundreds trained by anger and despair at what is happening to their lives and the lives of others under this Government.

 The reality of the impact of the cuts on the lives of disabled people are much worse than any of us imagined on that rainy day in October: framed by an apparent media campaign in some sections to demonise disabled people as ‘scroungers (despite administrative error and fraud at 0.04 and 0.5% for disability support) 4, we have seen a rising level of disability hate crime, increasing suicides amongst disabled people 5, more and more disabled people relying on handouts from family and friends because they are being left without any income, disabled people losing their homes, disabled people with paid jobs seeing those jobs removed in a clear ‘cuts agenda’ 6, basic support from local authorities being cut to the bone, a move back to the threat of institutionalisation and away from independent living[7], and a move away from inclusive education for disabled children[8]

 The UK was once a European example of how disabled people’s inclusion, support and equality could be applied. It’s now an example of how fast these basic human rights can be reversed. In two years we have witnessed: the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) to new applicants[9], disability living allowance (DLA) to pay for the additional costs of disability being stripped from individuals, DLA to be replaced by an expensive and unnecessary round of reassessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with a pre-assessment criteria that 500,000 people will lose all support[10], cut backs and a steep fall in Access to Work applicants[11] with a tightening of criteria and more costs being passed to employers. We see that some individuals pronounced as ‘fit for work’ by Atos are dying days after leaving their assessment centres[12], while those with terminal illness and less than 12 months to live
are being told to seek work, and having income stopped[13].

 This regime is not about supporting disabled people nor is it about supporting disabled people into work – it’s about cuts. It’s about erasing the years that individuals have worked and paid national insurance for welfare support. It’s not about saying the social model has failed- it hasn’t, if anything it’s been made stronger. It’s about recognising the imposition of a bio-psycho social model- a model
that the Government and its partner companies use to provide a bizarre focus on denying disability, impairment and ill-health each of which are being reconstructed as individual failings brought about by individuals adopting the wrong attitude-thinking yourself ‘well’[14] is cheap-it’s also impossible.

 The recent Dispatches[15] and Panorama[16] television programmes on the work capability assessment (WCA) and the regime used by Atos exposed what many of us have known for too long to a wider audience: a system designed to remove over a million disabled people from welfare support that has caused misery, anxiety and the premature deaths and suicides of an estimated 32 people a week[17]. The WCA – a revolving door of Atos assessment, appeal, tribunal, and reassessment has produced horror stories of inhuman proportions. In one of the programs an Atos ‘assessor’ asked someone who had taken several overdoses why they weren’t dead yet. There are stories of people being forced to walk until they collapse and being declared ‘fit for work’ and those that Atos has signed off as unfit for work on employee schemes being declared ‘fit to work’ on the state schemes of cuts under the WCA. Atos have recently been awarded the PIP contract[18] and are official sponsors of the Olympics[19]. These are additional reasons why the Atos games: a week of activities for people to raise the issues of the inhumanity of these ‘tests’ and the callous removal of vital supports is happening.

 The use of Tom Shakespeare’s quote in the Brindle piece that ‘… the politics of disability seem to have run out of steam.’ is grossly misleading: disabled people are fighting back in every way we can: Black Triangles’ tireless campaign to secure a total condemnation of the WCA by the British Medical Association resulting in the call for ‘the WCA to end with immediate effect’[20], the Mental Health Resistance Network’s successful case for a judicial review of the WCA[21], the exposure of the ‘tampering’ with the Ministry of Justice’s You Tube video to help people through appeals against
Atos decisions’ by Government, the continuing evidence and fight back for Atos assessments to be scrapped[22], the continuing legal challenges, the use of social media to spread information, undercover work with and by researchers, Freedom of Information requests and gains from empathetic media, lawyers, and MPs are all part of the ‘steam’-This is not being led by well paid Charity directors, nor as Macrae suggests by those who see themselves as victims but by disabled people without any funds fuelled by a raging sense of injustice and the will to fight back.

 John McDonnell’s words from the opposition day debate on disability benefits and
social care in which he stated his support for DPAC, Black Triangle and the Remploy
workers warned:

…the Government should not think that this issue or these people are going
to go away because they are not: these people are mobilising. We now have
a disability movement of which we have not seen the equal of before…these
people are not going to go away. They will be in our face-and rightly so’[23] 

 The Atos games are an opportunity for all to show their anger at the disproportionate cuts being imposed on disabled people. They are an opportunity to mobilise against the carnage the cuts administered by this Government are causing.

 Details and resources including local actions pack and a minute menu of protest
activities on DPAC dpac.uk.net

 We want to thank the Guardian for publishing ‘The Atos Games will showcase disabled peoples anger at the Paralympic sponsers’ and all those that helped get the CiF piece online here

See you on the streets and online

 


 

Aug 262012
 

Disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be holding a vigil and rememberence event for those who have died due to the actions of Paralympic sponsor Atos.  The event will take place outside the company’s UK Head Office in Triton Square, Euston on Wednesday August 29th, the same day as the opening of the Paralympic Games. Meet 3.45pm for 4pm start.

Atos are responsible for carrying out the Government’s notorious Work Capability Assessment, a relentless health and disability assessment regime which has been used to slash vital benefits from hundred of thousands of sick and disabled people.  Tragically several people have committed suicide due to the endless, stressful assessments and the threat of poverty and destitution they bring.  An  investigation by the Daily Mirror found that 32 people a week die after being declared ‘fit for work’ by the company, whilst Channel 4’s Dispatches recently exposed the system as ‘toxic’ in the words of Atos’ own staff.
Campaigners will gather in the square at 3.30pm and will deliver a coffin full of messages from victims of Atos to the front door of the company’s headquarters.  A memorial service will then take place, involving a reading of the names of those who have died due to the company’s actions.  Some of the messages will be attached to black balloons and released and members of the congregation will speak of their own experiences at the hands of Atos.  All are welcome to attend and are asked to wear black if possible.
This event takes place during the National Week of Action Against Atos called by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), to coincide with the London Paralympic Games.  Events are scheduled to take place in towns and cities around around the UK and in London disabled people and supporters will be back at Triton Square on Friday 31st August for the Closing Atos Ceremony.

Aug 262012
 

Share your fightback. Send pictures, stories and links to mail@dpac.uk.net

 

 

On Saturday NORTHAMPTON DPAC held a stall in Abington Street, Northampton
Included in the many that put their name to our petition was deaf and blind medal-winning paralympic swimmer Janice Tillett, from Crofters Close, East Hunsbury,Northampton, who represented Great Britain in the pool at the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992, winning two relay silver medals. She also won four European Championships golds for her country.
Janice as been recorded in the local press:
We hope that Janice will join us at Atos on the 28 Aug.
Anti-Atos images sent in by Fred Peachum:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Aug 232012
 

 

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BREAKING: Remploy workers occupy company head office over closures dispute

Surprise action comes amid increasing anger at refusal by Coalition ministers to compromise on closure timetable. Many Remploy staff fear they will never be able to work again if they are made redundant from specialist agency for workers with disabilities.

by  – 23rd August 2012, 11.35 BST

Remploy workers and union reps have occupied the company’s head office in Leicester, demanding that the government withdraws its threat to close the agency’s remaining factories.

The group of eight workers, including members of the joint union consortium, had requested a meeting with one of the company’s directors to discuss concerns over the closure timetable.

They say the earliest date they had been offered was in October – by which time it is feared more factories will have closed.

GMB national secretary Phil Davies said: “Today, ex Remploy employees who were casually sacked last week, are occupying Remploy’s head office, demanding to see a director to try to get answers to questions that have so far remained unanswered.

“This is the start of a fresh initiative by the trade unions who have called a strike at Chesterfield and Springburn, two of the factories that are due to be sold off.

“We are asking the public to support our members who are trying to find out who they will be working for as no information about the sale of these two factories has been given to the employees or the trade unions.”

The occupation is the latest stage of a high-stakes battle by workers at the specialist agency for people with disabilities to try to keep Remploy’s remaining 30 factories open.

The Department of Work and Pensions [DWP] intends to close a total of 27 factories by the end of this year.

Nine other sites could be sold to new owners.

Remploy workers – many of whom are middle-aged and have complex care needs – fear they will never be able to find another job and say the government’s current redundancy package is only a fraction of what was offered to colleagues who took voluntary redundancy as recently as two years ago.

The occupation comes as dozens of staff at one of the agency’s largest factories – in Chesterfield – and another in Glasgow preparing a four-day strike, due to begin next month.

Senior Remploy managers are believed to be finalising plans to sell both the Derbyshire and Springburn factories to new owners. However, unions say the DWP is not carrying over full redundancy and pension rights for workers made redundant more than six months after any takeover.

More than 20 of Remploy’s 54 factories across the UK were closed last week.

Coalition ministers say the DWP’s annual £320m budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively if Remploy workers find jobs with ‘mainstream’ employers.

However, unions say more than 85% of Remploy workers made redundant during previous job cuts are still unemployed, more than two years later.

It has also estimated that the closure programme could cost the taxpayer and additional £50m a year.

Remploy officials say they are contacting senior managers to try to arrange a meeting with the union delegation.

We will file updates when we have further information.

 Posted by at 13:35
Aug 232012
 

Pay a Visit to Your Local Atos Office as part of the Atos Games, a week of action against poverty pimps Atos, the company who profit from pushing disabled people to death and despair – we are calling on members and supporters to take the protest nationally by paying a visit to your local Atos office.

How you do this is entirely up to you but there is a set of resources to download below that might be useful to ensure you get as much local publicity as possible and could give you more time to concentrate on building bigger protests.

Thanks to the local groups who have shared these with us and if you have any resources that other actions and campaigns might find useful please do send them in.

We can help promote your actions on the DPAC website to build as much support as possible so send us information that we can publish about when and where local actions are taking place.

We will also have anti-cuts and Atos kills sticker and stencil packs we can post out to you on request by emailing: mail@dpac.uk.net

Coming soon…. Barbie shows us how to organise a demo….

Resources to download:

–  Guide to organising a local acton: How to Guide

–  Easy read ‘Planning a Campaign’ information: campaigns (DPAC)

– Template action against Atos flyer: action flyer

– Template press release:  Press Release

– Atos information 1: Atos Origin leafletfinal

– Atos information 2: DPAC ATOS

– DPAC flyer: DPAC flyer

– Flyer promoting final action on 31st August: ATOS-UkUncut-DPAC-A5-landscape2

– List of local Atos offices

– A “red peter” cut-out Atos medal: Atos gets gold DPAC aug12

Aug 232012
 

 

Details of accessible public transport for all of our events can be obtained from Transport for All www.transportforall.org.uk  0207-737 2339

 

 

MONDAY August 27th ATOS GAMES OPENING CEREMONY and medal awards.

 

Meet 5.30pm at City Hall. There will be a short walk/ roll from here.

 

http://www.london.gov.uk/city-hall/visitor-information/location-map
START  6pm
ATOS GAMES OPENING SPEECH
TFA SPEECH
6.15
TORCH LIGHTING
SONG (IMAGINE – ATOS VERSION)
6.20
AWARDS CEREMONY
6.25
ASSESSMENT & CUTTING MEDALS
6.30
THANKS & END

WE ARE COMING AFTER YOU ATOS. IN PARLIAMENT, IN THE COURTS, ONLINE, AND ON THE STREETS….
ACTIVISTS & CAMPAIGNERS……..LET THE ATOS 

GAMES BEGIN!!!

 

 Posted by at 10:15
Aug 222012
 

You don’t need to take part in a direct action to be part of the Atos Games. Here we have a list of ways that you can be involved even if you only have a small amount of time to spare and from wherever you are.

 

i) Order a free sticker pack from DPAC and spread the message of opposition to the cuts and to Atos in your home, on your windows or wherever you go.

mail@dpac.uk.net

 

ii) Order or print off and cut out a stencil to create a piece of street art to carry the anti-cuts message across towns and cities throughout the country. We suggest that you stencil using damp sponges or brushes and water-based paints or chalk to avoid accusations of damage and be environmentally friendly – still a great effect!

DPAC Image a4

 

iii) Make a black triangle badge to proudly wear the symbol that was once used by the Nazis to label the disabled people they exterminated. Easy to make using black card, a safety pin and selotape.

 

iv) Send us suggestions for chants or placard slogans to use on the actions next week.

mail@dpac.uk.net

 

iv)Write to your MP asking him/her to sign up to Early Day Motion 295 condemning the International Paralympic Committee’s promotion of Atos as its top sponsor and deploring the trauma and injustice caused by Atos’ Work Capability Assessments.

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/295

 

v) Sign Pat’s petition asking the government to stop and review the cuts which have been made to the benefits and services that are provided to disabled people. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

 

vi) Join DPAC and be part of the growing resistance to government attacks on disabled people.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFE5dmRsQVFVS29XYU13NFVWY3ExRHc6MQ

 

vii) Print off and hand-out information leaflets to let raise awareness about what the government’s welfare reform actually means for disabled people.

DPAC ATOS

 

viii) Cut out and wear this ‘red peter’ Atos medal.

Atos gets gold DPAC aug12

 

ix) Just a minute….tell a friend or stranger who knows nothing about ATOS exactly what’s happening.

 

x) Send us photos and stories of how you have been part of the Atos Games for our website and Facebook page.

mail@dpac.uk.net

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