Organised by Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC), Right to Work, Labour Representation Committee

Over 800 people came together on Saturday 12th in London to talk about the cuts and the way forward for the TUC march on the 26th March. Disabled people were there and the stage sported a big DPAC banner in the middle. The day was videoed and the DPAC workshop was also videoed. The report of the day overall will be elsewhere. Here we look at the great turnout by disabled people and celebrate the central place we had in this day.

Morning

The morning open floor brought great comments from some disabled participants, including, Richard Rieser, Adrian Whyatt and Sasha Callaghan on the effect of the cuts for disabled people, including the human rights abuses and the closure of poverty pimps ATOS offices across Scotland on the national day of protest against cuts.

DPAC Workshop

The DPAC workshop was held in the afternoon. It was great to see so many people at this with 50 or 60 people, some attendees from as far as Scotland. Speakers on the panel were Richard Rieser, Debbie Jolly, Sue Bott and Kevin Caulfield. The workshop was chaired by Eleanor Lisney. There were many comments and questions at the workshop, these included:

We are being sent back to Victorian times: we should all be involved in local anti-cuts groups, emulate DAN protests, disabled people need to be at front of things and be united

We are incensed by the coverage in newspapers against disabled people

Need to make sure we include Deaf people and those with invisible disabilities, but not impairment based- we cannot go back to arguing about impairments- we must all fight together, must be inclusive

Mental health resistance network couldn’t all get to London today but want to support and be included: facing difficult times being given ‘talking treatment’ but they (the government) concentrate on getting us ‘well’, but they just want to get us into work

Participant remembers Richard speaking at European Social Forum; there are many more people here and comments that Sasha did a brilliant job when speaking this morning about ATOS

We need to come together and find common ground, not just disabled people but across the board. We all need to fully support the campaign and get the trade unions behind this too

There are not many disabled millionaires and certainly none at the convention. This is an attack on working class people. We need to get joint campaigns with all anti-cuts campaigns. Disabled people need to link up, need to unite: Every single local group should make contacts with disability groups in the area

We need to stop people from the Charity sector taking over: Rights not Charity

Issues were raised with the dropping off of people from buses at Wembly for the 26th March TUC London march. Right to Work have sent a statement to Brendan Barber not to drop in Wembley because of access issues and cost of getting to central London for the march. Disabled people need to email too.

John McArdle of Black triangle reminded us of the story of Paul Reekie.

It was noted that sometimes people aren’t getting messages re demos and protests, but also that the police always seem to know where we are going to be.

It was suggested that a boycott of newspapers following the government line and producing rhetoric on disabled people as scroungers are boycotted including the Scottish Mail, Daily Mail and others.

A video of the workshop will be available soon

Afternoon

The afternoon was made up of invited speakers, feedback from the workshops and debate. The highlight of the afternoon was Liz Carr’s speech which received a standing ovation from the audience.


A full list of actions proposed by Disabled People against Cuts and accepted by the Peoples’ Convention

    The protest on 26th March needs to be fully accessible with disabled people involved in the planning. There needs to be representation of disabled people with and without visible impairments on the platform.
    We propose a day of national demonstrations against ATOS.
    We propose a month of action over the month of July to coincide with the second anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention.
    We propose that every local anti-cuts movement has an autonomous disabled people’s sub group. 

    We propose support for UKDPC’s day of disabled people’s protest proposed for 11th May.(to be confirmed)

We propose that we speak to our colleagues at Unison about how the cuts are being implemented.

Debbie Jolly

Advertisements

A People's ConventionPlease remember to register yourself at the RtW website!

* Disabled people –

at the forefront of resistance Sponsored by Disabled People Against the Cuts

Introductions and welcome:
Eleanor Lisney co founder of DPAC
Eleanor is a campaigner for disability  equality and
works on access and inclusion for disabled people.

About Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC):

Debbie Jolly co founder of DPAC

Debbie is a campaigner for independent living who has worked with universities and organisations ’of’ disabled people at local, national and European levels on disability rights

On the panel

Disability movement/history and what’s at stake with the Conservative led Coalition:

Richard Reiser coordinator for UK Disability History Month.

Richard is an expert disabled international equality trainer, consultant and teacher.
Independent living and the Impact on Independent Living:

Sue Bott Director of the National Centre for Independent Living.

A disabled person with a visual impairment from birth, Sue has been active in the disability movement in the UK for many years
Local Grass Roots Actions against the Cuts

Kevin Caulfield Chair of Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition Against Community Care Cuts (HAFCAC)

Kevin is an active campaigner for all disabled people’s rights to equality and equal citizenship from a social model perspective at a local, regional and national level

We will be in groups to decide on two action points to take forward to the end plenary on how we will fight the cuts and especially in preparation for the 26th March TUC rally.

The venue is Friends Meeting house near Euston Station. You need to book tickets from www.righttowork.org.uk £2 unwaged £5 waged to cover the costs of putting on the conference.

Access of venue – Friends Meeting House is accessible for wheelchair users. Accessible Parking can be found at Euston Station (£25 per day). Frequent buses stop at Euston station.

BSL We have requested for BSL interpreters. We are still looking very hard for BSL interpreters – please let us know asap if you are willing to help!

There is a hearing loop in the hall.

Easy Read worker will be available at workshop.

There is NO access to Screening of ‘Blacklisted’ and workshop hosted by the Blacklist Support Group

Lunch is NOT provided – there is a vegetarian cafe en site at the venue. Eateries and food available at Euston Station including Nandos, Harry Ramsden Fish and Chips, and Marks and Spencers.

For those unable to come, Jon Cheetham (of Bellerose Films) has kindly offered to help video it.

 

Liz Carr

Liz Carr

Disabled comedian and activist Liz Carr will be speaking at the People’s Convention with

Eyewitness from the Egyptian revolution

Diane Abbot MP

Tony Kearns CWU senior deputy General Secretary

Jane Loftus CWU President

Alan Whittaker, president of UCU

Pete Murray, president of NUJ

Jimmy Kelly, Head of UNITE in Ireland

Steve Hart, London and South East regional secretary of Unite

Zita Holbourne, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Katy Clark MP

John McDonnell MP

Barbara Pettine of FIOM (Italian metal Workers Federation)

Captain SKA, producer of the hugely popular ‘Liar Liar‘ YouTube hit

Alan Gibbons, children’s author and organiser of the ‘campaign for the book’

Barnaby Raine, School student activist

Mark Bergfeld from the Education Activists Network

Jody McIntyre, the student who was hauled from his wheelchair by the police during the student demo in December

Darren Johnson, Green Party London Assembly Member

Michael Chessum, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts

Kat Craig, vice chair Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Linda Burnip

Linda Burnip

DPAC members, Debbie Jolly, Eleanor Lisney and Linda Burnip, will be attending the Coalition of Resistance Conference .  Linda Burnip will be speaking.

Saturday November 27
Camden Centre
Bidborough St, London WC1H 9AU
10am-5pm
Tickets:

  • Unemployed/Student Rate £3
  • Standard Rate £5
  • Representative £10

Conference Agenda

10:00 – 10:30 REGISTRATION

10:30 – 11:45 OPENING PLENARY
Mark Serwotka PCS, Andrew Murray, Jean Lambert MEP, Bob Crow RMT, Christian Mahieux (Solidaires unions, France), Clare Solomon NUS, Heather Wakefield UNISON, People’s Charter, John McDonnell MP, Lindsey German CoR.

12:00 – 13:15 ORGANISING AGAINST THE CUTS LOCALLY
Range of speakers from anti-cuts and other organisations from around the country

ANALYSING THE CRISIS
James Meadway, Stathis Kouvelakis, Derek Wall, Hilary Wainwright

MOBILISING THE UNIONS
Alan Whittaker President UCU, Rebecca Allen PCS, George Binette UNISON

WHAT SHOULD POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES DO?
Liz Davis, Samir Jeraj (Green Party), Billy Bragg, Laurie Penny

YOUTH, STUDENTS AND EDUCATION
Speakers from recent school and student protests, Alex Kenny NUT, Jean-Baptiste Tondu (NPA student , France)

RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Chris Baugh PCS, Jonathan Neale CACC, Peter Robinson

13:15 – 14:00 LUNCH

14:00 – 15:15 DEFENDING THE WELFARE STATE
Colin Leys KONP, Chris Nineham CoR, Dr Jacky Davis, DCH

ALTERNATIVES TO THE CRISIS
Ozlem Onaran, Richard Brenner, John Hilary (War on Want)

STATES OF INEQUALITY
Zita Holbourne, Terry Conway, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Katherine Connelly, Linda Burnip

COR: HOW AND WHY
Paul Mackney, Andrew Burgin, Lindsey German

DEFENDING BENEFITS AND PENSIONS
George Thompson PCS, Colin Hampton (Chesterfield UWC), Pip Tindall (BBC), Pensioners’ Convention

15:30 – 17:00 VOTING, ELECTIONS AND CLOSING PLENARY
Dot Gibson (Pensioner campaigner), Lee Jasper (BARAC), Jeremy Dear (NUJ), Jeremy Corbyn MP, John Rees (CoR), Kate Hudson (CND), Chris Bambery (RTW), Lowkey, Tony Benn. Chairing by Paul Mackney and Romayne Phoenix

There will be elections for a National Steering Committee – nominations will be taken at the conference from individuals,organisations and anti-cuts groups that support Tony Benn’s statement. There will a vote on a campaigning plan for the forthcoming period. The plan of action will be amendable at the conference and will include suggestions from the sessions. This is a founding conference and we are proposing that the incoming steering committee prepare a resolution based conference to take place within 9 months.