Respect says: Join the protest outside the ATOS Centre in Manchester
12 Noon, Tuesday 28th August
Albert Bridge House, Bridge St. Manchester M60 9DA
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) have called a week of action against ATOS – lead sponsors of the paralympics. ATOS is the company most responsible for driving through the most brutal cuts devastating the lives of disabled people.
Manchester Coalition Against Cuts are backing DPAC by helping with the Manchester protest, one of a series to be held outside ATOS medical Assessment centres across the country.
Recent media coverage has exposed that the goal of Work Capability Assessments (WCA) conducted by ATOS is to reduce the numbers of people claiming disability benefits. The Government even admits that the tests are “flawed” and the British Medical Association demand that they should “end immediately”.
But for ruthlessly pursuing the Tory plans to throw 500,000 people off disability benefits, ATOS have been rewarded with gold. As well as being handed lucrative sponsorship deals for both the Olympics and even more perversely, the Paralympics, ATOS has recently won £400m worth of public money to carry out assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) that will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) next year.
The consequences of ATOS tests are tragic.
People have taken their own lives rather the face the severe hardship and poverty that comes with being passed fit-for-work by ATOS. More than 1,000 people have died of their illnesses shortly after being passed “fit for Work”.
Respect candidate Kate Hudson, said: “These attacks on disabled people are a complete disgrace and must end immediately. I fully support this week of action against ATOS. The Respect Party opposes these brutal and inhumane cuts and pledges to fight to overturn them. We fight for a society organised to benefit every single one of us, for improvements to everyone’s quality of life, and to end this onslaught that is already having such tragic consequences.”
The DPAC site will be updated regularly with more details about the ATOS Games.
Respect members and supporters out campaigning in Canal Street yesterday. The area is preparing for Pride at the weekend which will be very busy. A good response was received and many people took away leaflets to distribute in their appartment blocks in central Manchester.
Statues of bankers and politicians pepper the town squares in Manchester. But the city does not have a monument or memorial to the Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819.
Up to 18 people were killed that day and hundreds more injured when local magistrates ordered cavalry to attack a 60,000 strong political rally that had gathered at St Peter’s Fields to demand the vote.
The Peterloo Memorial Campaign has long called for an appropriate memorial in the city that educates and informs people about what actually happened on that day.
Campaigners have secured a pledge from the city council that a memorial will form part of the redevelopment of St Peter’s Square, which now stands where the massacre took place. And they are arguing for a democratic process to decide on the design of the monument.
After much argument it is now accepted by historians that Peterloo was indeed a massacre. But we should see it as much more.
The rebellion that started there was taken up later by the Chartists, and then the Suffragettes. That struggle – to secure political representation and power for the working class – continues today.
Manchester needs a fitting memorial to Peterloo.
Kate meets with Mary Hazoumi
It was good to meet Moss Side residents this weekend – Saturday 18th August. A team of more than twenty Respect supporters took our message out on the streets. Here Kate meets Kowsar Ahmed and her daughter.