Apr 212014
 

DPAC would like to thank everyone for making last week’s (April 12 2014) National Conference such a huge success. There was a huge turnout with over 150 disabled activists from all over the UK including many new DPAC members attending, but just as important there were hundreds of members and supporters beyond the venue taking part through social media – watching the video live-stream, tweeting and sharing comments, views and sending messages of support. This was fantastic work by everyone and a truly inspiring collective effort.

DSC_1030 con

Here’s a brief outline of how it went.

Programme
The day was timetabled into sections beginning with practical reports and voting on policy motions. This was followed by two workshop sessions and then a closing session for everyone to feedback on the day. Four workshops were available to choose from in each Workshop session. Detailed reports on these will follow later.

John McDonnell MP, a longstanding friend and supporter of DPAC, gave a rousing opening speech to encourage everyone and remind us of the victories achieved so far. He congratulated disabled people and DPAC for fighting back, along with our sister organisation Black Triangle and WoW Petition initiators

As he finished he mentioned his own recent health condition which he said he felt brought him closer to our movement. Ellen reacted quickly by giving him a DPAC t-shirt and declaring him a full DPAC member to instant applause and cheers.

photo1jm tshirt

Finances
The Finance Report showed a healthy state of affairs for the time being thanks to individual donations, t-shirt and badge sales plus grants from the Edge Fund, the Network for Social Change, Trust for London  and the Andrew Wainwright Trust. More fund-raising is necessary going forward.

Motions
1. Government Honours
This proposed that any future candidates for the DPAC Steering Group could thwart the network and collective ethos of DPAC if they had received a national honour like an OBE or MBE. The ‘BE’ refers to the imperialist British Empire which is still celebrated despite what we know of the suffering and oppression this caused. The motion conversations also suggested that any media attention would be focused on those with honours and titles, rather than on the collective network ethos that DPAC ascribes to. The motion was put forward as a rejecting of this possibility and that of the honours system more generally. This was defeated.

2. Discrimination
This motion stated DPAC opposition to discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality, age, faith, disability, ethnicity or status. It also empowered the Steering Group to terminate the membership of anyone who supported a party which holds discriminatory policies, like UKIP. This motion passed based on an appeals process being put in place

3. Steering Group Size
This motion sought to expand the Steering Group from 8 members to 12 in order to respond to increased activity and maintain a broad, diverse and inclusive profile. This was passed.

Steering Group
There were 11 nominees for the Steering Group. Conference took a vote on whether to vote for accepting all 11 nominees, or vote for them one by one. Conference voted to accept all 11 nominees. The new steering group are currently reviewing co-opted places and will get back to the additional people that applied past the deadline as soon as possible

Steering Group:
Andy Greene
Bob Ellard
Ciara Doyle
Conan Doyle
Debbie Jolly
Eleanor Firman
Ellen Clifford
Linda Burnip
Paula Peters
Roger Lewis
Sabina Lahur

It was highlighted that the working groups are important in taking DPAC forward. The co-chair said she hoped those who did not stand for the Steering Group but were still interested in getting involved would join these as soon as possible.

Finally, a big thank you to the Conference Organising group and Workshop leaders who worked so hard to make this wonderful event a reality.

Links to videos from the day are here with thanks to Occupy for live streaming on the day to make the conference inclusive to all are here

Links to pictures can be found on DPAC flicker here
Thanks to Pete Riches, Szucs Gabriella and Rob Peters

The powerpoint on highlights of the last year can be found DPAC Report
A link to 2013 and some of the things DPAC did is here

See you on the streets!

DPAC www.dpac.uk.net
Twitter: Dis_ppl_protest
Also find us on Facebook with a group and open page under ‘Disabled People against Cuts’

contact: mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Apr 072014
 

DPAC_coloured_Logo_2__biggerWe are very much looking forward to seeing everyone who can come to our national conference on Saturday but it is also important that those of you who can’t get there in person are able to take part. There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Send messages of support and your ideas for what DPAC should focus on over the next year to mail@dpac.uk.net or @dis_ppl_protest.These will be put up on the graffiti wall at the conference and included in the notes from the day.
  • Watch the conference live on:

http://bambuser.com/channel/OccupyLondon and http://bambuser.com/channel/DPAC

  • Live tweet your questions and contributions to @dis_ppl_protest

  Or email: mail@dpac.uk.net

 The program for the day is at DPAC Conference 2014 Saturday 12th April – Conference Programme

Feb 122014
 

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), Youth Fight for Jobs, National Shop Stewards Network, Unite the Resistance, DPAC and John McDonnell

MP and other supporters of the new Fast Food Rights initiative are launching our campaign with a day of action on Saturday 15th February.

We’ve been inspired by the movement in the USA. Fast food workers there have taken wildcat strike action, in some instances, demanding a fourfold increase in their pay, to reflect the real cost of living – the ‘Fight 4 15’, a $15/hr minimum wage. This groundswell of support helped propel Socialist Alternative member Kshama Sawant to victory in Seattle.

More and more young people are forced into low-paying, super-exploitative jobs in the fast food industry – not just as stop-gaps, but permanently. When young workers realise that they’ll be stuck in these under-employed jobs for the foreseeable future, they’ll be pushed to fight back. A Unite the Union survey showed that 5.5m workers in Britain are on zero-hour contracts.

BFAWU have raised the sights of workers everywhere with their strike at the Hovis factory in Wigan, showing that zero-hour contracts can be beaten. Last year, Youth Fight for Jobs launched a new initiative, ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’ to take up the growing issue of under-employment and respond to a sharp rise in the prevalence of zero-hour contracts. Armed with Sick of your Boss leaflets Youth Fight for Jobs have marched straight into shops and handed them to staff. Fast Food Rights will be doing the same on its day of action, this time handing recruitment forms for the BFAWU directly to fast food workers ready to join.

Across the country, on Saturday 15th February, Youth Fight for Jobs alongside BFAWU is organising protests through Fast Food Rights. In London, we’re meeting at the corner of Tottenham Court Road at 1pm, marching along Oxford Street, encouraging McDonalds, Burger King, and Costa staff to get organised, demonstrating to fight for our rights. Fat cat corporations like McDonalds are more than happy to leave there staff in the lurch, suffering on zero-hour contracts and Workfare, while McDonalds use these schemes to rake in billions of £ in profits.

With Fast Food Rights we’ve already done preparatory work, leafleted the staff in these stores on numerous occasions, to explain our protest is not against them. Youth Fight for Jobs is enthusiastically supporting Fast Food Rights because it represents a significant step forward. BFAWU as a trade union have taken it on themselves to organise the unorganised. Hopefully, through our struggle starting on Saturday, we’ll be able to further build BFAWU, and gain a momentum so other trade unions join the campaign alongside us.

 

London: meeting at the corner of Tottenham Court Road at 1pm, marching along Oxford Street, encouraging McDonalds, Burger King, and Costa staff to get organised, demonstrating to fight for our rights.

Leeds: Meet at 1pm outside McDonald’s at the St. Johns Centre, Merrion Street, Leeds, LS2 8LQ. Backed by Leeds TUC

Wigan: Meet 12.30pm in the car park of the Cube nightclub (formerly Maxim’s), at the bottom of Standishgate

Sheffield: We will meet at the bottom of Fargate, Sheffield, S1 1QF to walk the short distance to our first target. 12pm until 1pm For more information, please message https://www.facebook.com/UniteCommunitySheffield or email gareth50lane@gmail.com

Brighton: Meet by McDonalds on Western Road, 12-2pm
Called by the Sussex Labour Representation Committee
http://sussexlrc.com/

For more details, click here to go to the related news story on Fast Food
Rights website; email fastfoodrights@mail.com   or on the web at
www.fastfoodrights.wordpress.com   where there are links to Twitter and our Facebook page. BFAWU website www.bfawu.org/

Email – youthfightforjobs@gmail.com

Website – www.youthfightforjobs.com/

 

Sep 062013
 

ask your MP to sign up to this EDM and please share
Early Day Motion 483: Disabled People’s Manifesto
That this House warmly welcomes the launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto, Reclaiming our Futures, developed by disabled people and their organisations across the UK, which sets out the shared vision of disabled people for an inclusive and equal society free from economic, social and cultural barriers; and urges all political parties represented in this House to engage in a constructive dialogue with the disabled people’s organisations promoting the manifesto with the aim of achieving its objectives.

Primary sponsor: McDonnell, John – House of Commons.09.2013

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/483

Manifesto:

http://www.internaldpac.org.uk/DPACClone/2013/09/uk-disabled-peoples-reclaiming-our-futures-manifesto/

 

Jul 082012
 

 Labour MP John McDonnell –a great and significant supporter of DPAC has launched an attempt to get the House of Commons to debate the £100m-a-year contract awarded to Atos to carry out work capability assessments of people applying for Employment and Support Allowance – which he claims has led to the deaths of 1,100 claimants put in the category for compulsory work-related activity.

In an Early Day Motion tabled last Thursday, John McDonnell (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington) also praised the British Medical Association whose Annual Representative Conference last week called for the work capability assessment to be scrapped immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not harm the most vulnerable people in society.

His motion also includes condemnation of the decision to allow Atos to sponsor the Paralympics which follow the London Olympic Games and, for good measure, Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Games themselves.

Dow took over the Union Carbide company whose plant at Bhopal, India, leaked methyl isocyanate gas in 1984 – leading to the deaths and injury of thousands of people in the vicinity. The event was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

Please check the list of those MPs that have signed. If your MP isn’t there then a list on twitter can be found at https://t.co/E4f8RO2h

Or check http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/

Remember front benchers cannot sign EDMs

With thanks to welfare Union for letting us repost: http://socialwelfareunion.org/

Acknowledgements also to: the meassociation, Respect for the Unemployed and Benefits Claimants

Early Day Motion 295

ATOS
Session 2012-13
Date tabled: 28.06.2012
Primary sponsor: McDonnell, John
Sponsors:
Text:

That this House deplores that thousands of sick and disabled constituents are experiencing immense hardship after being deprived of benefits following a work capability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare under a 100 million a year contract; notes that 40 per cent of appeals are successful but people wait up to six months for them to be heard; deplores that last year 1,100 claimants died while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and that a number of those found fit for work and left without income have committed or attempted suicide; condemns the International Paralympic Committee’s promotion of Atos as its top sponsor and the sponsorship of the Olympics by Dow Chemical and other corporations responsible for causing death and disability; welcomes the actions taken by disabled people, carers, bereaved relatives and organisations to end this brutality and uphold entitlement to benefits; and applauds the British Medical Association call for the work capability assessment to end immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not cause harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

 

 

Apr 082012
 

Speakers

John McDonnell MP
Les Woodward GMB
National Convenor of Remploy
Gail Cartmail Unite Assistant General Secretary
Rob Murthwaite Disabled People Against Cuts

Meeting
Thursday 19 April 7.30pm

University of London Union
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HY
Disabled access via Malet street entrance. Adapted toilet on second floor. Disabled accessible lift.

The announcement by Maria Miller, Tory Secretary for Work and Pensions, that she would close 54 Remploy factories in a two phase attack on disabled people must be fought and challenged by the whole of the Trade Union, Labour and Disability movement.

This attack is a despicable act of barbarism and nasty vindictiveness against the company and its employees. What this act of barbarism will achieve, however, will be misery, poverty and a very early grave for the vast majority of Remploy
workers. Workers who will be paying the ultimate price with their jobs for the economic crisis that they had no part in causing nor benefited from, unlike the multi millionaire bankers and the very good multi millionaire friends in the Cabinet who are doing very nicely, thank you very much out of this crisis.
Tory ministers claim Remploy factories are ineffi cient but fail to mention they handed out £1.8 million in bonuses to Remploy bosses who have deliberately run
down the company in order to ease the way for closure of the factories.

With 6 people chasing every job vacancy in Britain, it is transparently dishonest of the Tories to say the closures are part of a plan to get disabled people into other workplaces. Of the workers made redundant in the round of closures
in 2007 only 6% have found alternative employment.

Instead of slashing jobs and wrecking lives the government should invest and give disabled workers the power to make Remploy the workplace they want.
This is an attack that can be stopped. When construction bosses tried to cut pay for electricians by 35% they fought back and won against huge fi rms like Balfour Beatty. Remploy workers can win too, but like the ‘sparks’ they will need solidarity from the movement to support their struggle. Please come to this
meeting and show your support.

Remploy Workers will not go quietly into the night, we will not go
quietly anywhere!
Remploy factories are not for closure and not for sale at any price!

    DPAC logo

Dec 302011
 

PCS Left Unity National Committee

DEFEND PENSIONS – ESCALATE ACTION TO DEFEND THE WELFARE STATE

Friends Meeting House

(opp. Euston Station) 7th January 2012 11am – 4pm

Mark Serwotka carrying DPAC banner

Mark Serwotka carrying DPAC banner

Speakers:

Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary

John McDonnell MP

Kevin Courtney DGS NUT (personal capacity)

Roger Bannister UNISON NEC (personal capacity)

Mark Campbell UCU NEC (personal capacity)

Zita Holbourne BARAC

Kevin Donnelly Unite United Left

For more details click here…

Oct 302011
 

First report from Louise Whittle @HarpyMarx, many thanks for letting us repost.

Mike Higgins, Linda Burnip, Debbie Jolly, John McArdle (morning speakers)

Mike Higgins, Linda Burnip, Debbie Jolly, John McArdle (morning speakers)

I attended the DPAC first conference yesterday. Here are some pictures and video to give a flavour of the day. Workshops were held to discuss the priorities for DPAC work and this will be written up put on the website. My favourite demand was, “Get rid of capitalism” as it makes people ill. Too true!

Thomas Butler

There were speakers, I just about caught the end of Mike Higgins talk (I was late to conference). John McArdle’s (Black Triangle) talk I videoed. I enjoyed Mik Scarlet’s talk about the challenges ahead, lots of humour added and especially his anecdote about a certain presenter of a certain dance show parking his Rolls Royce in a disabled only space and claiming he had every right to park there as he’s a “star”…….

John McArdle (Black Triangle)

John McArdle (Black Triangle)

Finally, John McDonnell MP was the final speaker (I videoed his talk too). Overall, the day was about, for me, hearing about the experiences of disabled people being constantly demonised and vilified by this government and previously, NL. Individuals spoke about their terrible experiences at the hands of Atos and the dreaded assessments. As one speaker correctly said, “If you have a pulse you are fit for work as far as Atos is concerned”.

Patrick Lynch (in white teeshirt) and Andy Greene (seated next to him)

Patrick Lynch (in white teeshirt) and Andy Greene (seated next to him)

There were discussion about demands and the way forward. One area is dispelling the lies and myths circulated by the ConDems and Ed Miliband aided and abetted by a media who is only too happy print to reiterate the rubbish. Example, Panorama has a programme coming up about benefit scoungers.

delegates

delegates

John McDonnell is correct when he said we need to make alliances and work together in challenging and fighting against the lies about disabled people but also uniting with others makes up stronger.

Lianna Etkind of Transport for All

Lianna Etkind of Transport for All

Finally, I would like to say thanks and solidarity to committed activist Eleanor Lisney, who I first saw at a Women Against the Cuts at an International Women’s Day event, and met her in cyberspace via Twitter when I came across DPAC. She is standing down from DPAC National Steering Committee.

Debbie Jolly, Eleanor Lisney and Linda Burnip

Debbie Jolly, Eleanor Lisney and Linda Burnip

Mik Scarlett

Mik Scarlett: speaker

John McDonell MP
Lani Parker, Svetlana Kotova with John McDonnell

Lani Parker, Svetlana Kotova with John McDonnell

Apr 072011
 

with thanks to Pete Riches

Roger Lewis (Disabled People Against Cuts) : P4058523

Roger Lewis Lambeth DPAC

Following the highly successful T.U.C. “March for the Alternative” march in London last weekend which saw over half a million Trade unionists, Public Services workers, anti-cuts campaigners, disability rights campaigners, students and many other supporters, the Right To Work Campaign held a local strategy and planning meeting in London’s Conway Hall.

Hearing first from John McDonnell MP, there followed inspirational speeches and ideas from a wide range of speakers who (though all appearing in a personal capacity) represented striking teachers, Unite Union, the campaign to save the Philosophy Dept at University of Greenwich, Mental health nurses, Camden Against Cuts, St. George’s Hospital, Queers Against the Cuts, Unison and UCU. Roger Lewis of the Lambeth Disabled People Against Cuts spoke for DPAC.

Though the media preferred to focus on the small pockets of trouble makers later on in the day the march was a huge triumph, and served not only as a massive public statement on David Cameron’s public sector cuts, but also served as a clarion call of national unity to public sector workers and rights campaigners from all over the country. Starved of proper media support, the march gave everyone their first palpable sense of how many people are being affected by the cruel cuts, and it also let everyone know that they are not alone in this.

Tonight’s public meeting was just the first in many direct action and possible strike action strategy and planning meetings for those whose very livelihoods are directly threatened by the ideologues driving Con-Dem policy.

Full set of photos are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteriches/sets/72157626320412651/with/5596329063/

Apr 042011
 
Right to Work public meeting on After 26 March –Building the Fightback

Tuesday 5th April, 7.30pm, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
Speakers: John McDonnell MP, striking Camden & Tower Hamlets teachers, Tower Hamlets council workers & UCU lecturers.
Roger Lewis of Lambeth DPAC will be speaking for us.

The aim is to build support for the strikes taking place and to have a discussion on how to build for strike action where you are

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