Disabled people led the protest on October 3rd against the Tory cuts

October 4, 2010

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:


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

8 Responses to “Disabled people led the protest on October 3rd against the Tory cuts”

  1. […] Disabled people led the protest on October 3rd against the Tory cuts […]

  2. malka Says:

    Yes, the injustice is clear for all to see. The middle classes were so upset yesterday about losing their latte money, they need a reality check. They choose to have children, no-one chooses to be long-term sick or disabled, surely the most vulnerable people in society need to be given the respect they deserve by this government, and puttting them through the harrowing re-assessments will finish many people off, or is this the idea?

  3. […] See also: Disabled people led the protest on October 3rd against the Tory cuts […]

  4. Great pics. I’ve borrowed one (IMG_0507) to use in one of my own cartoon at http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2010/10/07/foad/ but can’t see how to contact the photographer for permission (it’s not for profit). If anyone can identify the unusual suspects I’d love to put their names in the tags too. 😉 Just sorry I couldn’t make it there myself.

  5. S Bradshaw Says:

    Unfortunately I don’t think this protest did the cause of disabled people any good at all. The protest was with groups such as the Communist Party, Class War and Anarchists. There were also banners calling for the death of Margaret Thatcher and chants of ‘Tory Scum’. If anyone thinks this is the way to change minds or win arguements then they are sorely mistaken.

  6. Bob Williams-Findlay Says:

    Disabled people form a social group which is diverse in nature – unfortunately, the idea that one doesn’t wash their linen in public, has influenced the practice of the Disabled People’s Movement for decades.

    The Movement has broad aims, but within its ranks are people who interpret them differently. On many issues I can stand side by side with disabled Tories, but there are times when interests and persectives clash. I feel Stephen isn’t being totally upfront here.

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