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ATOS demo / The Daily Cant: ' Benefits Shocker' Newsletter
On Thursday 12th May from 3.30pm - 5.30pm the Social Care, Claimants and Welfare group (part of BADACA) had our second picket of the ATOS testing centre, Government Buildings, Flowers Hill BS4 5LA. We distributed leaflets on how to challenge ATOS throwing you off sickness benefits to claimants (http://www.stuffit.org/cutz/appeals.pdf) , and gave staff and members of the public leaflets and copies of the newsletter the group has produced called 'The Daily Cant', designed to bust the myths that are circulating about benefits.
It is available for download here, and we hope to have more copies for distibution soon: http://www.stuffit.org/cutz/may01-redone.pdf
We intend to produce more, so if you have a story to contribute, maybe you're a claimant affected by the cuts, or maybe you're a bristol whistleblower up for dishing the dirt the please get in touch : firstname.lastname@example.org
Background to the protest
The protest is part of an ongoing series of protests, meetings and workshops that the group have been organising with other groups including Disability Equality Forum (DEF) and Social Work Action Network (SWAN) This week has been a Week of Action Against Benefit Cuts' called by a coalition of groups from around the UK. To check out what else happened see http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/ The government want to cut the number of people receiving DLA by 800,000 as estimated by the Disability Alliance. These cuts are being made and profitted from by ATOS. ATOS assessors have no medical training and are assessing people with no as fit for work when they aren’t, causing distress. We want to name and shame them, and build up public support against a new era of even worse destitution.
If you have any doubt over the seriousness of the situation then check out two items:
1- Video produced by Guardian with claimants telling their stories during a demo against ATOS: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/may/11/disability-protest-atos-origin-video
2 - Article: Jobcentre staff 'sent guidelines on how to deal with claimants' suicide threats' Employees 'receive six-point plan telling them to take each threat seriously' as clamp on benefits takes effect: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/08/jobcentre-staff-guidelines-suicide-threats If you are organising in your own way to fight against welfare cuts or want to get involved please come along to the next Social Claimants group with ideas for what action we should take next:
"We are all human beings. This is everyone’s future. As Pastor Niemöller might have said: “first they came for disabled people but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t disabled, then they came for … , then they came for …, then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”