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(en) Britain, March issue of Freedom* - March 2012 - CLAIMANTS FIGHTBACK

Date Mon, 09 Apr 2012 10:49:14 +0300


The recent occupation of Oxford Street in central London by a group of disabled, sick and elderly people, disability campaigners and anti-workfare activists was the latest protest against the introduction of the Welfare Reform bill currently passing through Parliament. The legislation seeks to impose benefits caps, mass health and disability testing programmes, workfare and the slashing of benefit for 20% of disabled people. ---- Groups are becoming more vocal, more visible and more organised in the fight against the victimisation and criminalisation of benefit claimants. Here we give a breakdown of some the groups involved: ---- • Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) formed after the 2010 anti-austerity protests outside the Conservative Party Conference and has been at the forefront of the struggle against the Welfare Reform Bill since the beginning.

Recently, along with UK Uncut and others, they helped bring traffic in the West End to a standstill for two hours after wheelchairs users chained themselves together and blocked Oxford Street. More action has been promised.
Website: http://www.dpac.uk.net/

• Also increasingly active are the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights, who attended at Oxford Street and been involved in organising against welfare cuts in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and Dundee.
Website: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/

• Benefits Claimants Fightback began as a facebook group when the onslaught against claimants first began under Labour and aims to be a meeting place and online organising tool for all benefit claimants. A website of the same name attempts to keep track of action against benefit cuts at: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/

• Boycott Workfare has organised actions and protests and is maintaining a register of organisations who refuse to support the government’s forced labour scheme. The next action is on 3rd March which has been called as a National Day of Action Against Workfare, with other resistance already planned in Liverpool and Brighton.
Website: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

• Other regional groups include the Crutch Collective in Glasgow who will be continuing their hounding of the local Atos sharks with regular picket outside their offices. The long established Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty have organised countless protests and actions and have a wealth of information on their website at: http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/

• Winvisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities) and Single Mother’s Self-Defence have long been involved in supporting claimants and organised the recent series of lobbies and vigils outside the Lords where the debate was taking place, as well co-ordinating the joint letter to the BMJ and RCN expressing disgust at the activities of Atos Healthcare.
Website: http://www.winvisible.org/

Thanks to Johnny Void for the update: https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/

Related articles:
National Day of Action Against Workfare http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/2012/02/27/national-day-of-action-against-workfare-sat-3rd-march/
Organising Against Workfare
Who benefits from claimants? http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/2011/07/03/who-benefits-from-claimants/
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