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Crippen looks at the experience of protest gained by disabled people / 29 November 2010

A Day of Mourning for the Welfare State, Justice and Equality has been arranged to co-incide with the royal wedding on Friday 29th April, 2011 at 1400 hrs. This is just one of the expressions of outrage being expressed by people effected by the cuts to education, housing, public transport, the NHS, the Welfare State and much more.

Whilst bankers and speculators celebrate another year of profit and Tory and LibDem politicians congratulate themselves on having continued to fool the vast majority of the public, students and school children, teachers and lecturers, trades unionists, disabled activists, mums and dads, grandparents, NHS staff, public transport workers, Local Government workers, etc., all continue to unite their voices in protest.

Disabled people are also taking to the streets like never before, fighting back against the claims that they are responsible for the state that the country is in by fraudulantly claiming benefits that they are not entitled to. Scapegoated once again by a government determined to distract people away from where the blame really lies. Which is why they view this royal wedding as such a good thing - more televised opiate for the masses!

Regular Crips, who used to look at Disabled activists as a different species altogether are now joining with us to protest against the unfairness of the government's slash and burn tactics. We need this new energy that these newcomers are bringing to the fight. Many of us, having been protesting and fighting for Civil Rights for more years than we care to remember welcome this infusion of new blood.

Unfortunately though, not all protesters see things this way. Although united in their stand against the ConDem's devisive policies, many non-disabled protesters still don't understand that Disabled people have just as much right to protest as they do. This has manifested itself in inaccessible venues being chosen for protest meetings, no provision being made to allow us to transcribe information into alternative formats, no accessible transport being arranged to travel with others to different areas of the country, etc.

If anything, we have more right to be on the front lines of this current period of protest. We've been the ones, albeit not receiving much coverage in the press, who have been fighting consistently against oppression in these forms since the first World War. We are the one's who, having amassed a great deal of knowledge around civil disobedience campaigns can bring a whole wealth of experience to this current fight.

We're not asking for 'special' allowances to be made, just that our right to protest with other members of society is acknowledged. Because, let's face it, this is basically what we're all protesting about anyway - the right for everyone to be treated equally, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, impairment, age or ethnicity and with full access to education, housing, health care, employment and retirement without a few fat cats siphoning off all the cream!

To all of you non-disabled protesters out there, look upon Disabled people as a resource, rich in experience and networked into thousands of other Crips all around the world.

Together we can change society into a fairer, more equal place to live.

Keywords: access issues,accessible vehicles,benefit cuts,black triangle,cuts to services,direct action network (dan),disabled peoples movement,disabled peoples protest,discrimination,user led organisations,wheelchair users,young disabled people

Comments

Families Against Court of Protection Theft

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20 February 2011

Families Against Court of Protection Theft www.factuk.org.uk will also be protesting on 29th April 2011 from 2pm who have experienced mass fraud and corruption affecting the most vulnerable people in society, elderly, disabled, mentally ill and road accident victims awarded compensation. We hope we can join forces and protest together! Victims Unite!

Andrew Little - via Face Book

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3 December 2010

Well done Dave! No not that idiot, he's in Zurich massaging FIFA's Board Member's egos. I mean Dave Lupton. Very pertinent.

Crippen

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3 December 2010

I've had several emails relating to this self same subject. Come on you non-crip protesters. Get your act together and bring us in with our experience ... alternatively we'll do our own thing as usual!

Arty Farty

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3 December 2010

So true. I tried to attend a local protest meeting about cuts to local services and couldn't get into the venue!

I later heard that they were having problems getting people to take part in a demo they had planned - mainly due to lack of previous experience by anyone!

Many of the local crips have been involved with direct action at some stage and could really provide some input here ... if we could only get in to tell them!

:-(

Crippen

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30 November 2010

Right on Sister. Your last line says more than all of the rhetoric that has gone before.

pinkpjs

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29 November 2010

Yes, it really would be nice if we could be recognised, and that goes for those of us who have hidden impairments too.

At the end of September I enthusiastically attended a local meeting of Coalition Against the Cuts. It was very well attended mainly by trade union reps but there were a few of us there who are Disabled, I knew this as I was one and recognised a few other familiar faces.

It was a few days before the protest at the Tory party conference and I knew that Disabled people would be leading the protest and that a lot of hard work had been put into this, arranging things, making banners, publicising it through effective networks around the UK etc. In fact, several of the Disabled activists were local people.

I spoke to one of the speakers at the meeting beforehand, who was unaware that there were so many local Disabled campaigners involved in organising the march.

Great! I thought, we're all in this together!

Hmmmm.... disappointed really as Disabled people were only talked about in terms of 'our service users' who 'we must encourage to support us' we were already bloomin there! And perhaps would have liked a bit more support and recognition from them!

Still, I couldn't help feeling that as a 'service user' I should get back to shuffling between the kitchen and the telly, as maybe that's all that's expected of us? In fact, I, like many, do use services, I think we all do, Disabled or not, and provide them for other people too!

And in terms of protest, yes, many of us are very experienced and often don't have non-Disabled people joining us in any great numbers, but welcome the ones that do. The point being, we are as much if not more affected than any other group by the liedems cuts and have as much right to protest as anyone else.

So please, organisers of meetings, demos etc. bear in mind, Disabled people will be there, accessibility and inclusion is not a 'nice to have' it's our right.

People may lose their jobs, people may lose their education, Disabled people risk losing their lives.