Activists demand David Cameron step
Leeds(ZimEye)UK based socialists are preparing a mass protest to demand
that British Prime Minister David Cameron should resign following
government spending cut view the PM introduced which reportedly mean
some of the country’s disabled people will be dropped from social welfare
This comes as London prepares for the Paralympic Games next week.
Millions are descending on London in a
few weeks’ time to demand Cameron’s
resignation because he has “betrayed”
the British public by cutting down
social spending for the disabled and
the poor, the protesters claim of what
they say is one of the year’s most
grotesque hypocrisies by Cameron’s
“This vicious government will try to
cling on to the last. We can hit them
hard if we make the TUC
demonstration on 20 October
absolutely massive—and use it as a
springboard for a new wave of
strikes,” said the Socialist Workers.
A leading protester in Leeds only
identified as Lynn told ZimEye on
“(David Cameron’s party) the Tories
have made life richer for the rich and
attacked the lives of the poor…
“We also see this week the hypocrisy of a government that actually attacks
disabled people. It’s removing the access and disability allowance. Atos the
company employed by the Tories says if you are in a wheelchair you are not
disabled. It says if you have an amputation you are immobile. And it says if
you are terminally ill you are fit for work…they are paid to say that disabled
people don’t deserve their benefits.
A report on the Socialist Worker publication reads in part:
So far Atos has been responsible for carrying out work capability
assessments for people who receive employment support allowance (ESA)
benefit. Anyone considered “fit for work” loses their benefits.
The government says it needs to take action to reduce fraudulent claims.
But its own figures suggest fraud rates of just 0.5 percent—while Atos
assessors are warned to avoid finding fewer than 87 percent of claimants fit
This has led to people who are terminally ill, awaiting major surgery or who
have lost limbs failing their assessments. Some 32 people a week have died
after being declared fit for work. Others have committed suicide after their
benefits were stripped away.
One of the actions planned next week will involve taking a coffin full of
messages to the Atos headquarters in London, and reading out names of
Now the government wants to give Atos an even larger contract to test
people for the new personal independence payment when it replaces
disability living allowance (DLA) next year.
“It’s like they are being rewarded for doing the Tories’ dirty work,” said
Roger Lewis, another DPAC activist in south London.
“Even the government has accepted that Atos assessments are flawed, and
the British Medical Association has absolutely slammed them. But instead of
being held to account, they have been handed another £400 million.”
Roger explained that the attack on DLA represented a new level of
viciousness from the government. “DLA was the jewel in the crown of the
disability movement, when we fought for our rights in the 80s and 90s,” he
“It’s a benefit that’s not work-related, not means-tested. It’s recognition of
the additional costs we face because of discrimination towards disabled
Ellen added, “There’s a lack of understanding around that. People talk in the
media about DLA as if it’s an out-of-work benefit, which it’s not.
“Even a lot of disabled people aren’t aware of the scale of the threat to
DLA,” she added. “The cumulative effect is to make it impossible for some
people to live in the community, to push them back into institutions or being
incarcerated in their own homes.”
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