November 30, 2010
ALL THOSE BELOW THE AGE OF 16 WHO HAVE BEEN KETTLED: Liberty would like you to get in touch with them asap as they are investigating it all
Advice and Information Officer at
See document DEP2010-2071 on the following site to find out more and to see if your town was included in these despicable trials.
November 29, 2010
A Day of Mourning for the Welfare State, Justice and Equality has been arranged to co-incide with the royal wedding on Friday 29th April, 2011 at 1400 hrs. This is just one of the expressions of outrage being expressed by people effected by the cuts to education, housing, public transport, the NHS, the Welfare State and much more.
Whilst bankers and speculators celebrate another year of profit and Tory and LibDem politicians congratulate themselves on having continued to fool the vast majority of the public, students and school children, teachers and lecturers, trades unionists, disabled activists, mums and dads, grandparents, NHS staff, public transport workers, Local Government workers, etc., all continue to unite their voices in protest.
Disabled people are also taking to the streets like never before, fighting back against the claims that they are responsible for the state that the country is in by fraudulantly claiming benefits that they are not entitled to. Scapegoated once again by a government determined to distract people away from where the blame really lies. Which is why they view this royal wedding as such a good thing – more televised opiate for the masses!
Regular Crips, who used to look at Disabled activists as a different species altogether are now joining with us to protest against the unfairness of the government’s slash and burn tactics. We need this new energy that these newcomers are bringing to the fight. Many of us, having been protesting and fighting for Civil Rights for more years than we care to remember welcome this infusion of new blood.
Unfortunately though, not all protesters see things this way. Although united in their stand against the ConDem’s devisive policies, many non-disabled protesters still don’t understand that Disabled people have just as much right to protest as they do. This has manifested itself in inaccessible venues being chosen for protest meetings, no provision being made to allow us to transcribe information into alternative formats, no accessible transport being arranged to travel with others to different areas of the country, etc.
If anything, we have more right to be on the front lines of this current period of protest. We’ve been the ones, albeit not receiving much coverage in the press, who have been fighting consistently against oppression in these forms since the first World War. We are the one’s who, having amassed a great deal of knowledge around civil disobedience campaigns can bring a whole wealth of experience to this current fight.
We’re not asking for ‘special’ allowances to be made, just that our right to protest with other members of society is acknowledged. Because, let’s face it, this is basically what we’re all protesting about anyway – the right for everyone to be treated equally, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, impairment, age or ethnicity and with full access to education, housing, health care, employment and retirement without a few fat cats siphoning off all the cream!
To all of you non-disabled protesters out there, look upon Disabled people as a resource, rich in experience and networked into thousands of other Crips all around the world.
Together we can change society into a fairer, more equal place to live.
November 29, 2010
Message from Black Triangle–
Coin Street South Bank is located within easy walking distance from several London Underground stations: Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster. Waterloo underground is an accessible station.
The closest rail stations to the London Eye are Waterloo and Charing Cross.
Waterloo is the closest rail station to the London Eye. Waterloo is about five minutes walking distance; take exit six for the South Bank and follow the signs.
Charing Cross is about a fifteen minute walk to the London Eye. Cross over Hungerford Bridge.
November 29, 2010
In the spirit of solidarity that we unite and support each other, we should also include the London Tube strikers.
London underground is not very accessible anyway but would be even less accessible for Disabled people if there were less staff to support them!
Accessible transport has been another of the casualties of the cuts. London Underground is threatening to cut 800 gateline and ticket office staff from the Tube network.
An adequately staffed tube is crucial to ensuring older and disabled people can travel safely. Transport for All, through our Transport Advocacy line, is already hearing of disabled people arriving at stations to find no staff members are there to offer assistance. Some have even been left stranded on a train or by a step.
Messages of solidarity can be sent to: S.Hedley@rmt.org.uk
November 29, 2010
There were a lot of people ( reported to be at least 1,000) at the conference at the Camden Centre – many of them spotting the Coalition of Resistance tee shirts. The main hall when I arrived was overfull and spilled over to the next room. In fact some of the conference were held at the school next door.
I was disappointed and slightly cross that the workshop that I had wanted to attend were up stairs in the school without a lift. And then the other workshop I could have gone to was overfull and chock a block.
I am mentioning this because if disabled people are to be included, the organisers should have taken this into consideration when they chose the venue. I voiced this to one of the stewards and she was most apologetic and said it was because they had not anticipated the huge turnout which necessitated them to use the school premises. Someone further along then mentioned the fact that the venue had cost £5000 and people were charged just to recover the costs of hiring it. I nearly snapped that surely the point we were protesting about the cuts is because the ConDems are saying we couldn’t afford the expense of our services…..is the COR using the same excuse (of budget) for excluding us?????
I did however leave my contact details and told them that they should consult us about the next venue so that access issues are considered ( I wonder what they will say if I suggest BSL interpreters as well!?)
I piped up at the Equality workshop chaired by Zita Holbourne (in place of Linda Burnip, who did not manage to get there ) and spoke about the place of disabled people voices to be heard and that we too are protesting. That we lead the demonstration at the 3rd Oct protest. However our voices in protest are not always picked up by the press and we were not allowed to be part of the protest (read previous blog ) because we are disabled and seen to be ‘vulnerable’. And we have to point out that disabled people are not in the streets to protest in droves like the students because of various barriers – not least because of the genuine fear that it might be seen that if a disabled person is well enough to protest, they are well enough to work. (And this is a point that Lee Jasper (BARAC) used in his speech at the ending plenary, although he embellished it a bit). I also told them how the cuts are affecting disabled people that some have committed suicide and some are subjected to degrading services as the woman who had to use incontinence pads even though she was not incontinent. I told them about DPAC and a list was sent around to collect emails of people who wanted to be kept in touch.
I think the main impression that everyone took away from this dynamic conference that we have to get our act together and that we support each other, that unity in all so that we give a unified voice.
Speakers included Tony Benn (elected President of COR), Ken Loach, union leaders Mark Serwotka, Len McCluskey and Bob Crow, Green MEP Jean Lambert, and Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. The People’s Charter and Right to Work were represented in the huge plenary sessions, also addressed by a French trade union representative. There were speeches from student and school student activists, anti-war campaigners, pensioners’ representatives and black community leaders.
Please notice that though many speakers mentioned disabled people and spoke for us there were none of us included in the main speakers. We need to speak for ourselves – and I am asking where are our leaders in the disabled community, why are we not hearing their voices? What can we do to get those disabled people who can – get into action?
How can we DPAC make disabled people voices more voluble and turn up the volume about the cuts – we are the ones who are most affected by the cuts, are we not?
You can watch some of the excellent speeches at the Counterfire website.
Photos from the conference can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/disabledpeopleprotest/sets/72157625355252455/