Archive for the ‘Disability rights’ Category

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Day of Action – Tuesday 6th September: NO MORE WELFARE DEATHS!

September 5, 2016

DAY OF ACTION: NO MORE WELFARE DEATHS!

Tuesday 6th September

12 noon Crown House Upper North Street

PIPfightback

During its last term in office, the Labour government introduced the Work Capability Assessment, administered by infamous poverty pimps Atos. It was supposedly ‘a test of what you can do, not what you can’t’ … The result was that many disabled people were forced off the benefits which enabled them to live. Those who failed could be put through a stressful appeals process, and if successful, dragged back within months to be tested again.

In the years since, successive governments have overseen accelerating benefit cuts as part of the destruction of the welfare state and other public services. Cuts have caused increasing physical and mental ill health, and rocketing numbers of deaths and suicides among disabled claimants. At the same time the millionaires in parliament and in the media have determinedly scapegoated claimants to justify bullying them into hunger, homelessness, hopelessness and destitution, resulting in a rise in hate crime.

LPdemo4

Join Brighton Benefits Campaign and Brighton Disabled People Against Cuts in saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! In work or out of work, disabled or not, we all have a right to live decent lives. Social security was intended to aid us in doing so when we can’t earn a living ourselves. It’s a right not a privilege or a reward.

No more deaths

https://www.facebook.com/events/149575722153263/

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National Day of Action Against PIP

July 12, 2016

DoA v PIP poster

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).   DLA was intended to provide support for the extra costs of being disabled, enabling disabled people to live a life on more even terms with non-disabled people. The DLA system worked well, but the entire PIP system is rotten to the core.

Just as the Work Capability Assessment was intended to throw disabled people off benefits and onto the dole queue, the whole purpose of making the change from DLA to PIP is to remove their entitlements to vital support.

This is not about saving public money.  Private companies Atos and Capita are making a killing from conducting sham PIP assessments which are seeing thousands of claimants having their benefits refused, their incomes slashed and their motability cars removed.  Reports of the shoddy nature of the assessments are growing every week.  Although the success rate at appeal tribunals is high, it is taking up to six months or longer for cases to be heard, leaving those most in need struggling to survive.

Over the last eight years, increasing numbers of disabled people  have been forced into destitution or worse, just to fulfil the aim of successive governments out to serve their wealthy friends by destroying the welfare state, slashing taxes and forcing millions of ordinary people into virtual slavery.  The attack on the disabled is part of a mass assault which affects the rights of all of us.

Whether or not you are disabled, whether or not you are on benefits, we invite you to join Brighton Benefits Campaign & Brighton Disabled People Against Cuts in taking action against the poverty pimps who are doing the government’s dirty work for huge profits.

 

 

 

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National Day of Action Against Pinnacle People – Friday 18th September

September 17, 2015

Hold a local picket

London (action by Kilburn Unemployed Workers)
Basildon
Brighouse
Brighton (action by Brighton Benefits Campaign)
Bristol – Central
Bristol – Windmill Hill City Farm
Bury
Chelmsford
Chippenham
Dewsbury
Gravesend
Hastings
Hounslow
Leeds
Manchester
Nottingham
Ramsgate
Salisbury
Sheerness
Shirehampton
Sittingbourne
Southmead
St Austell
Stroud
Swindon
Tewkesbury
Weston-Super-Mare
Woking
Yate

Take part in the Communications Blockade

Head office:
6 St Andrew Street
London
EC4A 3AE

website contact form:
http://www.pinnaclepeople.co.uk/contact-us/

10 Minute Mail provides short term anonymous email addresses

email:
contact@pinnaclepeople.co.uk
lee.trappitt@pinnaclepeople.co.uk

phone:
0800 088 4000
0207 427 5160

fax:
Pinnacle People: ?
Pinnacle Places: 02074 275199

freepop fax provides a free online fax service

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Day of Action Against Pinnacle People – Friday 18th September

September 2, 2015

DayofActionvPP

Why are we taking action against Pinnacle People?

Following drastic changes to the social security system introduced since 2009, sick and disabled people have faced a harsh test – the Work  Capability Assessment – designed to throw them off benefits and force them to sign on. Those found unfit to work (many on appeal) are placed in one of two groups entitled to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).  The support group is for those not expected to recover sufficiently to earn a living. The work related group is supposed to prepare sick and disabled people to ‘return to work’.

Despite the protection given to sick people on ESA under the law, it has come to light that Pinnacle People (who have the lucrative contract to conduct work-focused interviews for those in the work related activity group), are pressurising ESA claimants into doing job searches, under the supposed threat of sanctions.

Work related activity consists of volunteering, courses and so on, to make sick people ‘employable’. It does not include an obligation on them to look for work. The law states that people on work related ESA ‘may not be required to look for work’. This means they should not be required to do so, rather than they might not.

Benefit advisers have also reported that people have been made physically and mentally more ill by this incessant and unlawful pressure. Some ESA claimants have actually been asked to do more than healthy JSA claimants!

The bullying of sick and disabled people must stop. Figures just released show that thousands have died after being put through the WCA, and many have ended in destitution or even suicide. The system is not fit for purpose.

Benefits for those unable to earn a living through sickness or disability should return to being based on the reports of claimants’ own doctors or specialists. Private providers like Pinnacle People must not be allowed to make a fortune from poverty. And benefits must not be conditional – they are intended for our needs, not a reward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day of Action Against Maximus and the Work Capability Assessment!

March 2, 2015

DoAMaximus

PLUS SPECIAL READING OF OUR FAMOUS PANTOMIME ‘DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT, OR THE COMPUTER SAYS NO’ !

A national day of action has been called on Monday 2nd March against Maximus, the private company which is taking over running of the despised Work Capability Assessment for sickness and disability benefits. These crude and callous assessments, introduced by       Labour, have been used for years to strip benefits from hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people after a quick computer-based test rules them ‘fit for work’. The evidence of GPs and health care professionals is ignored. Even the terminally ill can be dragged from their deathbeds to be tested.

The last figures released by the DWP in 2012 showed a massive   increase in deaths among those who had recently come off   disability benefits. A growing number of suicides have been   directly linked to the regime of tests and sanctions. Many people have been left destitute and hopeless, because being found ‘fit for work’ just drives people onto the dole queue, with no     guarantee of them finding or keeping a job.

To justify their actions, the millionaires in government and the media have tried to denigrate those most in need, in language reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. As a result, disabled people and their families have become targets of abuse and some have even been physically       attacked.

American firm Maximus has been involved in forcing people off     benefits and into workfare in the UK since they were appointed by Labour to operate the infamous New Deal. Like many private firms paid billions to take over the work of public services, Maximus had a history of complaints including accusations of fraud and theft, bad working practices and failure to deliver to service users.

Now Maximus is taking over the WCA from poverty pimps Atos with a lucrative £500 million contract. They are inheriting the   offices and systems and even the medical director of Atos. New clowns, same old circus…

Maximus were the very first private provider Brighton Benefits     Campaign picketed in March 2010, and we were involved in the   campaign against Atos, which led to that company asking to be     released from its contract early. Maximus is boasting they won’t be driven out in the same way. We’ll see about that!

 

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Events coming up – Atos Demo 2, Grosvenor G Casino pickets, Week of Action

March 25, 2014

Plenty of action coming up!

On Tuesday 1st April there will be another ATOS DEMO.
From the people who brought you the very successful national demo at Atos testing centres, this one takes place outside your local Jobcentre!  The demo will focus on DWP policies, the WCA process, sanctions imposed upon disabled claimants and their predictable outcome.  Policies which will affect us all – one way or another. Those, both in and out of work, will see the consequences of a system implemented by Labour and continued by the ConDem coalition.
11am Brighton Jobcentre Edward Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/1409676642625290/

Grosvenor G Casinos – workfare exploiters and corporate parasites – are holding a ‘work experience’ open day this Friday 28th March.
Join us in telling them that cutting their labour costs by taking on unemployed people to do job for nothing is not work experience but slavery experience.
10.30am Grosvenor G Casino (opposite Brighton Pier)

And on Saturday 5th April we will be holding another of our very popular Pub & Picket nights.
Meet up at the Old Ship Hotel bar at 9pm and then take part in a late picket of Grosvenor G next door.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1435629263347692/

GrosvenorG

This will be part of the Week of Action called by Boycott Workfare.
More info at http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=3353

Don’t forget the NUT teachers’ strike tomorrow – see you on the rally!

 

 

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Today – demo against private providers of the Work Programme!

July 26, 2013

Friday 26 July
Meet Clock Tower Brighton 11.30am

Private providers such as Avanta and G4S are paid millions to operate the discredited Work Programme for the DWP.

The Work Programme’s success rates in getting people into work are truly abysmal – in fact it has been shown that if you’re unemployed you would be more likely to get a job by being left to find one for yourself!

The money still rolls in for the hundreds of companies contracted and sub-contracted to deliver this worse than useless service, but recently these two providers have had their wrists slapped by the DWP for not getting enough people who receive ESA (sick and disabled people in other words) off benefits.

The answer? DWP advice is to push the sick harder and to repress any natural feelings of sympathy that might lead to staff treating them too kindly (including those with a 12 month prognosis ie. a terminal illness)

We say:
– NO to bullying the sick and dying to get any job just so private companies can make a profit from state handouts
– END the parasitic culture of corporate welfare using public money to bankroll the private sector
– STOP pretending that unemployment is the fault of the unemployed and not a fault of the system
– benefits should be paid according to need – they MUST NOT become conditional

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The fight against austerity hots up – events & actions for August, September & October

August 27, 2012

Loads of activity going on over the next few months as the fight intensifies against the increasing assault on our jobs, services, welfare & rights. BBC will be organising & taking part in a number of actions.

Monday 27 – Friday 31 of August:  Atos Games Week

Join Disabled People Against Cuts for The Atos Games – five days of action against a company that’s sponsoring the paralympics while wrecking disabled people’s lives.

http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/08/latest-information-on-atos-games-week/

Saturday 1 September:  Queers Against Cuts Bloc at Brighton Pride

Anti-cuts activists, including Brighton Benefits Campaign, will be joining the walking group for the Pride Parade.

Details & group  http://www.facebook.com/groups/343892565688313/

 

Saturday 8 September:  National Day of Action Against Charities  Using Workfare

Charities such as Barnardo’s and British Heart Foundation are not just taking on unemployed people as ‘volunteers’ but are taking part in workfare contracting.

http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1544

More details on local action to come against the BHF.

Sunday 9 September:   Lobby the TUC for Co-ordinated Strike Action Against Austerity

Meeting at 1pm at the Level, there will be a march to the Brighton Centre for a lobby of the TUC conference, & a rally addressed by Mark Serwotka and Bob Crow.

https://www.facebook.com/events/417691138283526/

Organised by the National Shop Stewards Network

There will also be Brighton Stop the Cuts stalls during the TUC conference.

Tuesday 11 September:  Pro-Choice meeting

Cowley Club  7pm

Organising opposition to groups such as SPUC & Abort 67 who are attacking women’s right to choose by distributing false information & attempting to intimidate those attending local clinics.

Saturday  22 September:  No to Austerity Government!  Lib Dem Conference demo

Meet at the Level at 12 noon to march to the Brighton Centre.

https://www.facebook.com/events/116574165151825/

organised by Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition & Brighton & Hove Trades Council

Saturday 22 September:  Mass Picket of local Workfare Exploiters

Following the lobby there will be a mass picket of organisations & business who are exploiting the forced labour of the unemployed.  We hope that many trade union members will join us.

Details will be distributed on the day.

https://www.facebook.com/events/496901900339013/

Organised by Brighton Benefits Campaign & Brighton Solidarity Federation

 

Tuesday 2 October:  What’s Wrong With Austerity?   Public Meeting

7.30pm at the Friends Meeting House Ship Street Brighton.

Caroline Lucas MP

Ozlem Onaran – Professor of Economics Greenwich University

& speakers from:  Brighton Benefits Campaign, RMT, Southampton Anti-Cuts Union

https://www.facebook.com/events/456553541033188/

organised by Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition

 

Saturday 20 October:  Mass TUC Demonstration London
A reserved train is being co-ordinated by the Trades Council.  Tickets via participating unions or email brightontradescouncil@gmail.com or call Phil on 01273 380819

https://www.facebook.com/events/181510105308324/

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Video of Brighton’s Day of Action Against Atos

October 8, 2011
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NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST ATOS HEALTHCARE

September 21, 2011

Friday 30th September – Churchill Square – 12 noon

Performance of Dick Whittington & His Work Capability Assessment – join in & shout at the computer!
Funeral procession for those who have died because of Atos. Wear black!
Leafleting & picket of Atos Healthcare testing centre in Upper North Street.

WHY TAKE ACTION AGAINST ATOS?

Atos Healthcare, a division of IT giant Atos Origin, is the private provider employed to administer the Work Capability Assessment for the Department of Work & Pensions, testing sick & disabled people who apply for benefit.

In 2005 Atos introduced a computer system to assess claimants’ incapacity to work. Almost immediately concerns were raised about assessments performed using the Logic Integrated Medical Assessment (LIMA) software. Advice agencies such as the CAB complained about the inflexibility & inaccuracy of the tests.

More recently the Harrington Report and the Work and Pensions Select Committee, found the Work Capability Assessment implemented by Atos Healthcare to be mechanistic and Atos’ ‘medical reports’ far too often did not reflect circumstances and discussions that had taken place during the assessments (Harrington Report, pp. 40-41).

A large number of those tested are told they are able to work, but many have the decision overturned on appeal. Yet even those who win their appeals are dragged back within a few months for another test. Small wonder that some have decided to commit suicide rather than continually go through this cat & mouse process. Seriously ill & even dying people have been called for assessment, & the recommendations of family doctors & specialists are apparently ignored.

In addition, twelve doctors working for Atos face being struck off for improper conduct, and other members of Atos’ staff are under investigation over allegations of obscene criticism of benefit claimants.

Over time sick & disabled people & their supporters have grown more militant & more vocal in their condemnations of Atos. In return Atos threatened legal action against the Internet hosting companies of three websites – ‘Carerwatch’, ‘After Atos’ and ‘Atos Register of Shame’, attempting to silence those claimants and their small organisations who have had the courage to speak up.

It’s time for a more human medical assessment & the abolition of Atos’s mechanised methods. Time for the dismissal of Atos and the return to a professional medical service, publicly run, and not for profits!

more information at
https://brightonbenefitscampaign.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/employment-and-support-allowance-a-new-harsher-test/

JOIN US IN THE FIGHT!