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Disabled rights campaigners protest at Atos and DWP

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					http://www.metro.co.uk/news/910348-disabled-rights-campaigners-protest-at-atos-and-dwp




Disabled rights
campaigners protest at
Atos and DWP
Disabled rights activists have staged a
demonstration outside the Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) against Paralympics sponsor Atos.

The multinational IT firm carries out the government's controversial work
capability assessments, which campaigners claim are 'damaging and
distressing' and just a way of forcing people off benefits.


Disabled People Against Cuts
(DPAC) and supporters of UK
Uncut organised a protest at
Atos's London office on Friday
afternoon, before staging a
blockade of the DWP.
Some of the activists managed to
gain access to the building, while
two people in wheelchairs
chained themselves to the doors
and others held up a banner that
read 'Tax Avoidance = £25
billion, Welfare Cuts = £4.5 billion'.
There were some minor scuffles with police outside the Caxton
House offices and one person was arrested.
DPAC later accused the police of reacting to the demonstration in an
'entirely inappropriate manner'.

Lydia Foxton, a spokeswoman for DPAC, said the protests were
intended to highlight the government's attitude to disabled people, at
a time when the eyes of the world are on the UK.

'We have been targeting Atos, but they are just doing the
government's dirty work,' she said.

'Cutting welfare is devastating people's lives and removing dignity,
security and independence from thousands of sick and disabled
people across the country.

'At the same time, David Cameron and his government are using the
Paralympics to show themselves to be champions of disabled
people; it's a disgrace.'

A spokeswoman for the DWP said the government had no influence
on which companies were chosen as sponsors of the Paralympics,
while Atos defended its involvement in the assessments.

'We do not make decisions on people's benefit entitlement or on
welfare policy but we will continue to make sure the service that we
provide is as highly professional and compassionate as it can be,' a
spokeswoman for the French company said.

				
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Description: Disabled rights activists have staged a demonstration outside the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) against Paralympics sponsor Atos.