TUDA and DPAC – working together?
October 23, 2010
Today I attended ‘Removing Barriers – Disability Champion and Campaigning’ organised by TUDA (Trade Union Disability Alliance) and facilitated by Dave Smith – open to new or experienced trade unionists, disabled people or Disability Champions who are interested in championing disability equality issues.
I went because I am, probably, a training junkie but mostly because I was impressed by the way we as disabled people, campaigned alongside trade union activists at the protest in Birmingham at the Tory National Party Conference. Here, I must add that it was the very many grassroots activists in trade unions that helped make the protest a significant one. I wanted to see how we can build on this new alliance against the cuts.
On the 3rd October the first large scale protest was held in Birmingham against the spending cuts announced in the emergency budget of June 22nd. Disabled people led the protest through Birmingham and past the ICC where the Conservatives were holding their annual conference. The protest organized by the Right to Work Campaign included, unions, those against the attacks on the NHS, and many other groups.
Linda Burnip (Campaign coordinator of the Local Housing Allowance Reform Group and later one of the co-founders of DPAC Disabled People Against Cuts) had talks with RTW and was instrumental in securing disabled peoples’ voices were heard in the protest. Disabled people came to Birmingham from all over the UK, support came from all over the UK and from disabled people and their organizations in Europe, the US and Malaysia.
The protest and its organisation led to the formation of DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts)
Back at the TUDA training, one of the action points was to see how campaigns against cuts could be liaised and coordinated for mutual cooperation. And this is where I can see that DPAC and TUDA can explore on building and pooling their relative resources for the benefit of disabled people against the brutal cuts to services and benefits.
Dave Smith gave the example of planned cuts in London Underground staff . London Visual Impairment Forum and Transport for All and Inclusion London have joined action in questioning the impact of the staff cuts on disabled travellers.
The campaign would show how staff cuts will impact on disabled people and their use of public transport – impacting on travel to work and ultimately: independent living. The planned cuts will lead to further social exclusion and increased poverty for many disabled people.
DPAC will post further protests and actions on the blog and on the FaceBook Page
DPAC is on Face Book at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=121196194603310