What government charities have given us…..
January 4, 2011
At DPAC some of us have been questioning the role of big charities and where they stand in the present moment – are they fighting back with us to retain the little independent living we have or still looking at us as their cash cows to milk the government for new funding using the new buzz words such as Big Society (or BS as some of us know it by).
“there’s a lot of talk about whether disabled people’s organisations should be working with the likes of scope and mencap. apart from the vast reserves they’ve amassed and the impressive publicity and marketing resources at their disposal, there’s a remarkable track record which shouldn’t be ignored. although they aren’t quite what they used to be, disability charities have played an important role in our lives and our history. they’ve given us a lot and we should never forget that. forget what they’ve given us at our peril. okay so they weren’t that keen on civil rights or the social model or disabled led organisations, or direct action, or independent living and all those issues that have been central to our struggle. but you have to admit they have given us a lot. they gave us respite care, they gave us residential homes, gave us normalisation, gave us conductive education, gave us trips to lourdes, gave us cures around the corner, gave us our heroes, gave us our goals, gave us special schools with special buses, they gave us day centres and atc’s, gave us drama therapy, gave us music therapy, gave us dance therapy, gave us medication, gave us surgery, gave us abortions, gave us sterilisations, gave us asylums, gave us jimmy saville, gave us jerry lewis, gave us terry wogan, gave us telethon, gave us children in need, gave us comic relief, gave us pity by the bucket load, gave us their hands, gave us their fists, gave us restraints, gave us bruises, gave us beatings, gave us cold baths, gave us sweets, gave us secrets to keep, gave us babies we can never see. disability charities may still be making a living off our backs but you can’t deny that they’ve given us a hell of a lot, so when you or your organisationi is asked to join their civil rights demo, or their campaign for independent living, remember they’ve already given us so much, and maybe this is still our movement and our struggle and our rights and our agenda. anyone who tries to tell you otherwise either doesn;t know their history or simply doesn’t give a fuck.”
Taken from Coalition, the magazine from the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People.
You can also read the rest of the blog from Miss Dennis Queen. http://missdennisqueen.livejournal.com/36177.html