Right to Work logo

 

Stand up for

• Free Education
• No Fees
• Keep EMA

Speaker: Mark Bergfeld NUS exec (pc)

Mark Bergfeld is one of the founders of the Education Activists Network which called the Day X and Day X2 protests,

Other speakers invited

7.30pm Thursday 9th December
Carrs Lane Church Centre, Moor St, Birmingham
(opposite Moor St Station)

More information righttowork.wm@googlemail.co.uk
07904 960 442

Bob, one of the speakers

Bob, seated, is one of the speakers

Disabled protestors, Bob and Sam, spoke with passion at the meeting along with campaigners from Birmingham UNISON, West Midlands PCS and Birmingham NUT.

There were about 125 people who attended the Birmingham Against the Cuts
meeting on Saturday 13th November. The meeting was hosted by Right to Work and supported by Birmingham UNISON, West Midlands PCS and Birmingham NUT.

Sam, Linda and Debbie

Sam, Linda and Debbie, DPAC co founders at the meeting

THe meeting agreed the following statement

The meeting made the following statement
Statement from Birmingham Against the Cuts meeting 13th November 2010 hosted by Right to Work
This meeting takes place at a time of escalating resistance to the wholesale attack on working class people in this country
5,000 people outside the lib dems conference in Liverpool supported by the NW Regional TUC
7,000 people outside the Tory Party Conference supported by several National Unions and many local organisations
25,000 people at Scottish TUC demonstration aqgainst the comrehensive spending review
50,000 students and workers demnstrating in London this Wednesday backed by NUS and UCU
The student demonstration was a magnificent show of strength against the Con Dems’ savage attacks on education and the largest since David Cameron came to number 10. During the demonstration over 5,000 students showed their determination to defend the future of education by occupying the Tory party HQ and its courtyards for several hours.
We celebrate the fact that thousands of students were willing to send a message to the Tories that we will fight to win. Occupations are a long established tradition in the student movement that should be defended. It is this kind of action in France and Greece that has been an inspiration to many workers and students in Britain faced with such a huge assault on jobs, benefits, housing and the public sector.
In addition this meeting notes the fantastic protests and actions in Birmingham in recent months including:
7000 strong Right to Work demonstration against the Tory Party Conference backed by several national unions (up to 4000 of which attended were local)
The protest against the Comprehensive Spending Review initiated by the Peoples Charter, supported by Right To Work, Save Our Services, BTUC.
Over 30 students occupying and closing the Vodaphone store 2 weeks in a row over tax justice
We support the decision of the TUC to call a mass demonstration against the cuts in March.
We need more resistance to the ConDem government and Birmingham’s ConDem council in the lead up to this national march.
We need to engage the entire labour movement and build the widest possible unity between workers, students, the unemployed and communities.
We support the efforts being made to bring closer co-operation between these constituent parts with a view to forming a Birmingham wide Anti-Cuts Alliance. The Birmingham Trades Union Council initiative to draw together trade unions and campaigns is a welcome step toward this.

Rally tomorrow Birmingham 2pm

November 12, 2010

see you all there. We will be tweeting from the event for those who want to follow the event.

poster Cuts Kill

This rally will be supported by DPAC

Message from Right to Work -
West Midlands Right To Work is hosting a “Birmingham against the cuts” rally on 13th of November, 2pm, Carrs Lane Church, Carrs Lane, Birmingham. This rally is supported by UNISON Birmingham local government branch and West Midlands PCS. 

Th…is Con-Den government has unleashed the biggest ever assault on benefits targeting the ill and the disabled.

We are being asked to foot the bill for the £1.4 trillion bail out for the bankers. That means cuts in services and living standards, a massive job cull and us all having to work longer and enjoy less retirement.

The Con-Dems will move to replace all benefits and tax credits paid to those of working age with one ‘universal’ benefit which will pay out less.
Today Osborne says “we’re all in this together”. But as the Channel 4 Dispatches programme revealed that along with two other Cabinet ministers he’s avoiding paying tax.
We have seen Vodaphone being let off of paying £6 billion in tax as public services are being slashed and burned. We are clearly not in it all together!!

The rally on the 13th November will bring together a wide range of speakers from the Labour movement. We can confirm that the FBU is arranging for a striking London firefighter to speak and we are the process of organising a French striker and student to address the rally.

These speakers will be reporting from the sharp end of the international struggle against the cuts along side local speakers from the CWU, UNISON, PCS, NUT, UCU, Labour Party, disability groups, students and more.

Please come along to the rally and help build the resistance and defend our welfare state.

Matt Raine
West Midlands Right To Work

Part of the disabled people’s bloc which lead the protests at the Conservative Party Conference, Claire from WinVisible talks about the effect of cuts to public services on disabled people

http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/46147
http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/46150

disabled people march

disabled people march (photo by Dave Swinnerton)

Disabled people led the protest on October 3rd against the Tory cuts. The demonstration was backed by three trade unions – the PCS, NUJ and UCU – as well as local trades bodies and other groups, and  organised by the Right to Work Campaign.

So it was pouring with rain and the main march, which started at the Lionel Street car park, was said to be 1.6 miles but that did not deter some disabled people. Some of us, Debbie Jolly, Pete Millington and others, waited at Chamberlain Sq to join later. Some of us were driven by adrenaline alone.

But there were many protestors, non disabled and disabled, students, trade unionists, the Green Party – we were not on our own – and they came from all over the country. We had disabled people from as far as Dundee – thank you for joining us Susan Archibald and from London, thank you ALFIE, from Manchester etc and we had messages from disabled people, locally and overseas, who could joined us virtuallyEuropean and virtual support from almost 100 people and including DPO support from Slovenia, France, Bulgaria, Latvia, Germany plus support from the U.S and Malaysia.

There were some rousing speeches and Linda Burnip eloquently spoke on our behalf before setting off. There were many stewards and police lined the route.

We were at the head of the march, some 150+ of us and some of the time, we had to stop to wait for the others and this means it looks like we were segregated from the other protestors, there were some complaints. We were well covered by the Guardian -

The protest comprised trade unions demonstrating against the prospect of job losses and cuts to public services, and disabled people rallying against welfare cuts proposed by the coalition, which they say will hit them hardest.

The prospect of activists covered in fake blood wearing triangles symbolizing the murder of thousands of disabled people during the Holocaust will be an embarrassment to Cameron, who has repeatedly insisted that the most vulnerable will be protected from the impact of cuts.

Disabled protesters say they will be “processed” by a private company that will earn “millions” from medical assessments which begin next March. They are also angry that benefits that reflect the extra costs incurred by people with disabilities are to be reassessed, which they say will push people to levels of destitution and deny them the right to independent living.

The accumulation of housing benefit cuts, the closure of the independent living fund, and VAT rises will exacerbate a situation for a section of society which already sees three quarters living in poverty, they say, with many of their peers having taken their lives in desperation.

Debbie Jolly of Leicester, said: “Coalition ministers can manage on £145,000 per year plus expenses, but some disabled people have to try and manager on less than £31 a week. This is the starting point for the so-called ‘fair’ cuts coalition? Disabled people will gather to protest at the attacks on them, their human rights, and their living conditions.

“We will gather to protest and to represent those who are no longer with us; those who have died because of previous ‘care cuts’ and those who through this new cuts coalition attack have taken their own lives as the only way to cope. The term ‘cuts kill’ is a reality.”

Read the rest at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/03/lady-warsi-conservative-grassroots

Photos are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/54476234@N02 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/54520312@N02/sets/72157624967765979/

two short clips on youtube -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkEoE3uPzrk – build a bonfire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0ai1tkZjnk – they say cutback, we say fight back

Longer route map

September 30, 2010

Download the map. Click here for map ->longer route , this is a pdf

The main march will then proceed down Lionel Street.

From the end of Lionel Street the march will go under an underpass ( no steeper than normal underpasses) onto Paradise Circus and then across the top of Broad Street where the Tory party conference is being held.

It will then proceed onto Suffolk Street Queensway and down a steep underpass onto Holliday Street and up Gas Street back onto Broad Street at the other end of the conference.

The march will then go onto Broad Street heading away from the conference. It is hoped that there can be a ‘closing’ street rally at this point but the police and council have not yet agreed to this.

The other groups of protestors will also be going to the Walkabout Inn on Broad Street so anyone who wants to can talk to the speakers who have come over from Greece and Portugal. This is fully accessible.

From Chamberlain Square we plan to end up in Weatherspoons in Paradise Forum which is also fully accessible.

Finally anyone travelling by coach will eventually be herded off to Five Ways to board their coaches from 15.30- 17.00 hours.

The main march route is 1.6 miles. The police and council were hoping to get the protest march around it in half an hour.(!!) but this is now timed to take from 1 pm-3pm.

David, how come you keep your hands so clean?!

David, how come you keep your hands so clean?!

Sunday, October 3rd

Birmingham

Meeting points- various

Meet up around 11.30 am at Chamberlain Square

Main Rally starts at Lionel Street car park ( A on map)from 12 – 1 p.m. This is where the main speakers will be.

Anyone who finds this too far should go to Chamberlain Square ( B on map) from 11.30 am onwards. We will probably be leaving there to meet up with the rest of the march around 1.15 pm. People can either just go to top of Broad Street and back or join onto the end of the main march for as long as they want to then return to Chamberlain Square. ( maps of both routes attached)

As you may know West Midlands police originally agreed that the march could go down Broad Street right past the conference but then Tory controlled Birmingham City Council refused to allow this. Following a further 2 lengthy meetings with the police and Birmingham City Council last week we are, we think, we hope now in a position to give you all the final details of the forthcoming rally and march to protest against

CUTS THAT WILL KILL

We are still very unhappy with the only main rallying point other than one outside of the centre altogether, that the police and Birmingham City Council would agree to although they have also agreed to disabled people having a second rallying point as well.

The Coach drop off point will now be Constitution Hill and the rally will be held at Lionel Street car park, off Great Charlotte Street Queensway. -   Time 12- 1 p.m.

The main march will then proceed down Lionel Street.

From the end of Lionel Street the march will go under an underpass ( no steeper than normal underpasses) onto Paradise Circus and then across the top of Broad Street where the Tory party conference is being held.

It will then proceed onto Suffolk Street Queensway and down a steep underpass onto Holliday Street and up Gas Street back onto Broad Street at the other end of the conference.

The march will then go onto Broad Street heading away from the conference. It is hoped that there can be a ‘closing’ street rally at this point but the police and council have not yet agreed to this.

The other groups of protestors will also be going to the Walkabout Inn on Broad Street so anyone who wants to can talk to the speakers who have come over from Greece and Portugal. This is fully accessible.

From Chamberlain Square we plan to end up in Weatherspoons in Paradise Forum which is also fully accessible.

Finally anyone travelling by coach will eventually be herded off to Five Ways to board their coaches from 15.30- 17.00 hours.

The main march route is 1.6 miles. The police and council were hoping to get the protest march around it in half an hour.(!!) but this is now timed to take from 1 pm-3pm.

Alternate more accessible route

We will meet as arranged originally in Chamberlain Square at 11.30 am onwards or for those who feel able or come by coach at Lionel Street car park rally point for 12.

The route available for those  who do not want to take part in the main march will be from Chamberlain Square through Paradise Forum and onto Paradise Circus at the top of Broad Street where we can join the end of the main march for as long as wanted and then return to Chamberlain Square to take part in a die-in.

Anyone who needs to drop out along the route at any point should return to Chamberlain Square for the die-in.
The ICC where conference will be


-  surrounded by steel fences and during the march Broad Street will

-  have 3 sets of barriers at both ends of the part that is being used for conference, a vehicle barrier, steel plate barrier and police officer barrier. However there will still be at police discretion pedestrian access into this part of Broad Street and Centenary Square.

(Anyone would think they were scared of us )
Die-in Chamberlain Square

We would like to try to keep the die-in in Chamberlain Square going for as long as possible and think this fits in with what the police have described a static protest. It is hard to say exactly when this will finish as that to some extent will depend on timings of main march but we will aim to end it by 4 p.m. at the latest.

The march itself
It has been agreed that disabled people can lead the march and also that we will be at the end as well. Although this will split us as a group for a while leading the march should allow us to get high profile publicity for our particular grievances and being at the end means people can join the end of the march from a much shorter route directly from Chamberlain Square and that there will not be any problems if anyone needs to drop out and return to Chamberlain Square due to fatigue or limited mobility.

Update on accessible parking and loos ( maps attached)

There will be no parking available in Lionel Street car park, or Cambridge Street and Brindley Drive car parks.

No on street parking in Lionel Street.

As far as we know all other parking will be available.

Loos

There will be no access to any loos in ICC or NIA or Repertory Theatre. There is a further but small accessible loo in Starbucks on New Street, in the left corner at the back.

The main protest organisers had planned to provide a an accessible mini-bus to help to get people back from Broad Street to stations but would like to apologise as they may not now have any money to do this since Birmingham City Council keep demanding more and more money from them for things like closing off the parking bays all weekend.

What we need

15-20 people with mixed impairments to head the march- if anyone is willing to do this please let me know.

ONLY DISABLED PEOPLE AND PAs FOR THIS PLEASE

linda_burnip@yahoo.co.uk ( underscore between Linda and Burnip)

0771 492 7533          0771 492 7533     or 01926 842253

A megaphone or portable, non-electric microphone ( ie one that doesn’t need mains electric)

If you want to please bring

Striped pyjamas

A black triangle badge

Placards – saying what you want but some suggestions are

CUTS KILL

LIFE NOT DEATH

RIGHTS NOT CHARITY
HANDS OFF DISABLED PEOPLE

Banners

Fake blood

What we will have available

Black triangles

Placards ( limited quantity)

Banners ( limited quantity)

Fake blood

We will have these available at both Lionel Street car park and in Chamberlain Square to be collected.

I am pleased to say the Chief Inspector of West Midlands Police is very keen to make sure that we are facilitated to protest following a large number of complaints he had received from our DPOs.

Telephone numbers for the day

Eleanor – 0773 7480378

Linda   – 0771 492 7533

Debbie – 07946 140765

Tina     – 07814 775960

Before you  leave

If you are taking part in this protest and we do not already have your contact details please leave these with us for any future events or email/ phone them to us afterwards

Protest at Tory Party Conference update

We have amended our original leaflets which are attached to advise people to meet at Chamberlain Square since following a lengthy meeting with the police last week we are still not in any position to arrange anything beyond that. Originally the police had agreed that we could rally at and march past the conference centre.

We are now being refused permission to march past the Tory Conference by the Tory controlled Birmingham City council and West Midlands police. Last week we were told that the march would have to start from outside the city centre and would take some obscure route through a suburb of the city. It would have been impossible for disabled people to get to this.

There was a suggestion from one of the council’s employees there that we could travel via an inaccessible rail station, obviously also ignoring the fact that anyone who needs assistance to travel by train has to book at least 24 hours in advance and only one wheelchair per train is allowed even if the train is accessible .

We then managed to get agreement that the route would be based in the centre and that we would be assembling at Chamberlain Square. Other than this after 2 hours we were no further forward.

We have a legal, democratic right to protest against these cuts which we know have already resulted in the deaths of a number of disabled people and which if not stopped will lead to further deaths. We want to be able to exercise our rights and disabled people from all over the UK are planning to attend this march.

If we are prevented from protesting outside the conference this will deny us of our rights under the UNCRPD article 29 – Participation in political and public life “ States parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others…” and article 5 – Equality and non-discrimination “states parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.”

We are asking individual disabled people and especially our DPOs to email to insist that we are allowed to rally and march past the Tory Party Conference on October 3rd.

Leader of Birmingham City Council – Mike Whitby -mike.Whitby@birmingham.gov.uk

Copy to cabinet member for Equalities and HR – Alan Rudge – alan.rudge@birmingham.gov.uk

West Midlands police- for attention of Inspector Matt Ward

contactus@westmidlands.pnn.police.co.uk

or directly onto internet form at

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/email-us/index.asp

You may also want to ask our Lords and Ladies to support us and if so

email

Baroness Jane Campbell – campbelljs@parliament.uk

Baroness Rosalie Wilkins – wilkinsrc@parliament.uk

Baroness Grey-Thompson – greythompson@parliament.uk

Lords Morris and Rix have no email contact details but can be written to at

House of Lords. London, SW1A 0PW

The road past the conference centre and into Centenary Square will not be totally sealed off and there will be footpath access anyhow for the general public.

Cuts kill!

September 19, 2010

Chair of Disability Benefits

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