email@example.com (Dave.) | 20.02.2014 20:55
A national day of anti-ATOS demonstrations was called for Wednesday 19th. February. ATOS were contracted, by the last Labourshite government and fully supported by this ConDem one, to bully and harass the long-term sick and disabled off their meagre benefit support and onto, the even more meagre, Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). Once on JSA they are expected to make themselves available for work or face sanctions, a situation countless hundreds of thousands of others face every week due, in no small part, to the somewhat over-eager complicity of JobCentre staff. Well now, wouldn't want to miss out on a reward voucher or two now would they.
Nottingham joined in the 'action', organised locally by Disabled People Against Cuts, DPAC., well done them. Here is one attendees account below.Arriving outside the ATOS (so-called Healthcare) Centre on Stoney Street at 08.00, who should walk straight up to me but our dear friend PC 1033 Brown, all grins and hellos. I said to him, 'Is this all you do, ATOS demos? Fucking good job you've got, only having to come out every couple of years or so'. He grinned again. This is a reference to the demo there on 30th. September 2011 when he arrested two local activists after an entirely peaceful and fluffy occupation of the ATOS waiting area. Evidently, the staff were so terrified of a bunch of the nicest folks in wheelchairs, and their supporters, that you could ever wish to meet, it fair put them off their dirty deeds and they fled to a back room in fear of their lives. Or so they would have you believe.
Anyway, I digress. There were 4 of us outside at 08.00, the designated start time, and about 24 by the time I left two hours later. One cop meat wagon with about 5/6 in it was parked across the road with an ever varying couple of them getting out to 'stretch their legs' (must think we're daft in t'head if they think we believe that) they kept saying as they wandered amongst us. Most folks there were from, or associated with, DPAC, with a few Sumaccy-types in Anonymous masks thrown in. There was a compliment of two Trots, one giving out leaflets, taking a picture for Facefuck or whatever it's called, and then pissing off quite sharpish (no stamina or commitment these Trots) and the inevitable SWP shit paper seller. Now I don't mean to imply that he was shit at selling papers, although he was, more that the paper is shit, which we all know of course. However I took advantage of the opportunity to stock up on that very useful product, (you be a veggie and you'll find out) and just in case any of you don't believe me, I can show yer the latest edition on me bum anytime you like, a sight to behold in full and glorious technicolour. Although you'll either have to be able to read it backwards or use a mirror (bring yer own).
Overall it was a quiet affair, and specifically asked to be just that by DPAC.