Disabled people led the protest on October 3rd against the Tory cuts
October 4, 2010
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 virtually – European 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:
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