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Crippen and the Disabled people's protest march on 3rd October / 30 September 2010

On Sunday 3rd October a huge protest march is taking place outside of the Conservative Party Annual Conference, which is being held this year in Birmingham.

The protest is about the cuts being imposed upon people who rely upon benefit payments and the draconian measures being taken by the current Coalition Government against Disabled people in particular.

The marchers will consist of representatives from Trades Unions, many groups and organisations involved in Welfare Rights, individuals and family members who are affected by the cuts, and Disabled people from all over the UK.

Disabled people involved with the Black Triangle protest group along with other Disabled individuals have also been asked to lead the march, which is expected to attract more people than attended the anti Poll Tax marches during the Thatcher era.

Speaking to Linda Burnip, one of the principle organisers of the march by Disabled protesters, she told me:

"As you may know, West Midlands police originally agreed that the march could go down Broad Street right past the Conservative Party conference, but then the Tory controlled Birmingham City Council refused to allow this. This meant that many Disabled people would not be able to participate in the march as the alternative route was not as accessible."

There then followed two lengthy meetings with the police and the City Council during which the case was made by Linda and her colleagues that Disabled protesters were being denied their basic human rights to engage in legitimate protest. Following the meetings Linda reported that:

"I am pleased to say the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for West Midlands Police, Denis O'Connor is very keen to make sure that we are facilitated to protest following the large number of complaints he had received."

Full Details - For information about attending the protest please click on the following link which will take you to the Protest web site.

Virtual Protest - For those of us unable to attend the protest in Birmingham, we have been given an on-line alternative. Click on the following link to access the virtual protest web site and leave your comment which will be read out during the march in Birmingham.

I would like to add that on behalf of Disabled people throughout the UK who will be affected by the cuts, our heartfelt thanks go to Linda, Eleanor, Debbie and Tina for all of their hard work in organising our participation in this important event.

Keywords: access issues,benefit cuts,cuts to services,direct action network (dan),disabled people's movement,disabled people's protest,disabled vote,politics,user led organisations,

Comments

rich

/
6 October 2010

I'm glad to see that disabled people are looking to their own issues AS A MEANS of formulating protest but we didn't wait for our own monies to be attacked before we started. The Disabled Peoople's Direct Action Network has a long tradtion dating back to the early 90's.

We campaigned for accessible transport.

We campaigned for our own voices tobe heard above the clamour of charities and we campaigned to free our people form institutionalised care.

Strong campaigners are still inovlved with DAN. facebookers can find them here:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=5192342478

Joe McConnell

/
1 October 2010

Completely agree with Tina - why vote when they're all the bloody same?

And am very interested in what you say Dave about the hierarchy of needs in response to Mr(s?) AF. But if we disabled peope are going to wait for equality before we participate in anti-war protests and direct action against the powers that be, then i don't think that day will ever come. I am currently a physically disabled person with a mental health record as long as my arm and know many others in similar circumstances. We aren't even treated as equals by (some) other disabled people. But surely it's our very struggle and oppression that should lead us towards solidarity with others oppressed (and worse in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq) across the globe? Don't you think that it's when people get comfortable and safe that there is a tendancy not to rock the boat?

More power to the protest in Birmingham. But why not let's keep reminding New Labour (as they may one day return to power) of the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated in the name of Blair and Brown?

Dave Lupton

/
1 October 2010

In answer to Arty Farty's response to Joe's comment, which seems to indicate a state of selfishness amongst Disabled people, I would direct him to a theory called Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and lowest levels of needs at the bottom (safety, social, esteem), and the need for self-actualisation at the top.

One could therefore argue that we need to feel safe, recognised within society and have a feeling of self esteem before we are able to participate in something like the anti-war protests.

Fighting to protect our benefit payments safeguards this basic layers of need and could enable us to grow towards self-actualisation and an ability to participate on an equal basis with other groups who protest within our society.

ArtyFarty

/
1 October 2010

I agree with Joseph's comments. Why has it taken the fear of our money being stopped to galvanise us into action?

Tina

/
1 October 2010

Thanks so much for highlighting this. Have linked it to my FB page. We have two routes - one is much shorter & very accessible (and the start is nearer the station!).

This is our chance to make our voices heard and to be very visible!!

ps. It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government still get in!

Joseph McConnell

/
1 October 2010

It's great that this protest is taking place. All power to it. But shouldn't we have protested at the New Labour Conference as well? For the draconian policies of the former government which have brought so much hardship to disabled people on benefit and for all the people massacred or left disabled by the senseless wars they dragged this country into.