The second day of the Atos Games has drawn activists to protests outside the offices of hated Paralympic sponsors.
Today’s Guardian revealed that Atos have been made very rich by the Coalition, with contracts beyond the flawed Work Capability Assessment
Atos have contracts worth more than £3bn.
Disabled People Against Cuts’ (DPAC) Linda Burnip, the Atos Games’ organisers, said:
“The fact is that Atos is getting all the credit for the Paralympics and at the same time it is destroying disabled people’s lives through the work capability assessments.”
Protests had been called at Atos offices in:
Cardiff, Plymouth, Manchester,Birmingham, Sheffield,Bournemouth, Northampton, Liverpool, Swansea, London, Lancaster, Southampton, Edinburgh, Derby, Stroud, Leeds,Bristol, Newcastle, Hull, Reading, Chatham and Exeter.
See below for a reports round-up of local protests (this will be updated as news comes in):
“Just back from protest against Atos : fifty of us blocked the road and marched round town shouting with banners : people in chairs led the way”
25 – 30 disabled people, trade unions and supporters turned out to protest outside the Atos assessment centre in Northampton at lunch time today.
Local disabled people who have had their lives ruined by ATOS’ cruel and flawed Work Capability Assessments shared their stories with local news broadcasters and press. Other disabled people sent messages of support but stayed away through just not being able to face the assessment building that causes them so much dread and misery. Protesters tried to deliver a gold medal for hypocrisy to Atos but were barred from the building by G4S security guards.
“Around 20 people demonstrated today outside the ATOS assessment centre in Birmingham as part of a week of action protesting the Working Capability Assessment (WCA) which is run by ATOS for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is supposed to assess whether someone on disability benefits is fit for work, but has come under large amounts of criticism for failing to do that – and in the process punishing many disabled people by pushing them off disability benefits onto unemployment benefits and workfare.”
More than twenty people attended the protest at ATOS healthcare’s Arden House assessment centre in Newcastle upon Tyne on 28 August.
As well as disabled people negatively affected by the decisions of ATOS and members of Disabled People Against Cuts, supporters from a number of local anti-cuts groups including Newcastle Anti Cuts Network, Unite the Resistance and Youth Fight for Jobs and Education attended.
We approached the centre’s manager and offered to organise a public meeting for disabled claimants and their families where ATOS would be given the opportunity to defend their Work Capability Assessment to those affected by it, but they weren’t keen on this idea.
Thanks to Birmingham Against Cuts, Mark and Ellen for updates and photos.
Tomorrow or Day 3, activists will meet at Triton Square in London (near Warren St tube) to deliver a coffin to the doorsteps of Atos.
Coffin Delivery and Memorial
Weds 29th August
3.30pm Triton Sq Starbucks