Welfare Reforms: Take Action

“Welfare reforms and the whole “happy” exploitation movement are not “baby steps.” They are big steps–in a seriously backward direction.”
Gary L. Francione

One of the greatest of social injustices perpetrated by the coalition is the round of vicious welfare reforms aimed at the most vulnerable in our society, the sick and disabled.

Things must change and thankfully now our voices are being heard by the UN with the visit of Raquel Rolnik special rapporteur and also by Amnesty International who have condemned the coalition for their assault on the disabled. You can read more about Amnesty International’s stance further down.

It is important that our voices continue to be heard

Please take the following two actions if you can

Attend a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity on Saturday 28th September for all who have suffered and died after ATOS assessments

“10 Thousand Cuts and Counting is a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity for those who have had their lives devastated by the austerity programme, including more than 10,000 people who died shortly after undergoing the ATOS Work Capability Assessment, the degrading test used by the government to assess the needs of people receiving benefits related to disability and ill health.

Led by disability activists, Occupy activists, David Ison – the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Michael Meacher MP and other representatives.”

The gathering will demand an immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions as outlined in the WOW petition.

28th September • Parliament Square • London • 12 noon

Read More

http://www.10kcuts.org/

And

https://www.facebook.com/events/167401616782754/

Also a face book post by Katy Marchant – Amnesty International

https://www.facebook.com/amnestyglobal/posts/647564188611527

Please spread this information far and wide by social media

Write to the UN

UN special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik wants people to write with their experiences of welfare reforms, she has pledged to read every account.

Please read the following appeal from Sue Marsh, Dairy of a Benefit scrounger

“Raquel Rolnik, special rapporteur for the UN has called for the UK government to scrap the Bedroom Tax. She will, it is widely reported, also call for them to scrap the Benefit Cap. They are unlawful under every global convention on human rights.

She is now asking for you all to send in your stories and evidence relating to ESA, Atos and Work Capability Assessments. I want to beg every last one of you who has written to me, who has shared your story, who has filled in a DWP form, who has been mistreated and let down to write to her.

Raquel Rolnik’s email address is: srhousing@ohchr.org

You can also write to:
His Excellency Mr Ban Ki Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
UN Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
USA
E-­mail: sgcentral@un.org

TELL YOUR STORIES. If you never told it before, this is the time to be brave and be heard. “

Read more from Dairy of a Benefit Scrounger: Spartacus : Please write to the UN

http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/spartacus-please-write-to-un.html

Amnesty International has condemned the welfare reforms here in the UK

Amnesty International UK, at its AGM on 14th April 2013, passed a resolution on the Human Rights of sick and disabled people in the UK.

Amnesty International condemns the erosion of the human rights of sick and disabled people by the coalition.

http://welfaretales.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/amnesty-condemns-erosion-of-human-rights-of-disabled-in-uk-29th-april-2013/

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/uploads/documents/doc_23021.pdf

Finally the voices of sick and disabled people here in the UK are being heard. No longer is the outrage left unchallenged. Please attend the ceremony of remembrance. Please write to the UN . As I mentioned in a previous post don’t be put off it doesn’t matter if you are not a good writer just do your best, share your own experiences or simply write and express your support for the plight of disabled and chronically sick people here in the UK and condemn the unfairness of the welfare reforms in general or other aspects such as workfare. Workfare involves sanctions for non compliance to what basically amounts to working for nothing. Both the unemployed and those sick and disabled people who have been assigned to the Work related activity group may be required to participate.

It is shocking the way the government are destroying the already difficult lives of sick and disabled people. It is time they were held legally accountable for all the damage they have done to people on benefits as a result of their vicious so-called welfare reforms.

The continuing welfare reforms are causing a climate of anxiety, despair, depression and outright fear within the disabled community. For the duration of their lives sick and disabled people will live in constant threat of frequent tests called work capability assessments WCA to determine finesses for work. These tests are demanded from two to as many as four times each year! The WCA conducted by French IT company ATOS Health Care is not fit for the purpose and has wrongly declared seriously sick and disabled people fit for work with the results of many deaths either by suicide or as a result of the worsening of the persons conditions due to all the stress and anxiety.

The DWP has stopped giving out information of those who have died after being declared fit for work

However it has been previously reported that about

32 die people die each week after being found fit for work

32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit:
http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/04/32-die-a-week-after-failing-in.html

Read about some of these grave social injustices. Here is a list of some of the heart breaking tragedies that have resulted from the government’s welfare reforms:

East Grinstead Man 63 Dies of Kidney Failure and Starvation after being cut off benefits and declared “Fit For Work”
http://www.afteratos.com/east-grinstead-man-63-dies-of-kidney-failure-and-starvation-after-being-cut-off-benefits-and-declared-fit-for-work/

Blinded, Half- Paralysed Man Dies Day After ATOS Stop His Benefits
http://politicalscrapbook.net/2012/11/disabled-man-dies-after-atos-stops-benefits-chris-grayling/

Atos Benefits Row: Transplant Patient Linda Wootton Dies After Being Judged ‘Fit For Work’
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/28/linda-wootton-dies-after-being-judged-fit-for-work_n_3346582.html

Amy Jones, Woman With Cerebral Palsy, Given Prognosis By ATOS That Her Disability ‘Expected To Improve’
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/12/amy-jones-cerebral-palsy-_n_3912949.html

Benefits row dad takes his own life and is found dead in his flat by his fiancee
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/benefits-row-dad-takes-life-1875339

Severely disabled man told he must take medical to prove he is not fit for work
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10675128.Severely_disabled_man_told_he_must_take_medical_to_prove_he_is_not_fit_for_work/

In Time a targeted 500,000 are set to loose their DLA when it is replaced by PIP. How on earth can you target a set number of people to loose a benefit. All 500,000 qualified for DLA after all said and done, and therefore are genuinely sick and disabled. it is just the government has made it much more more difficult to receive the new benefit which has been overhauled to achieve precisely this goal.

ATOS assessments branded farcical by charities:
The controversial Work Capability Assessment “defies belief”, Parkinson’s UK said after figures showed that 45% of people with four progressive diseases were being deemed capable of working.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/08/27/atos-tests-multiple-sclerosis_n_3821206.html

Also
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/claire-nurden/fit-to-work-assessment_b_3821655.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

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