This follows their arrests at a peaceful protest on September 30th at the offices of Atos ‘Healthcare’ on Stoney Street in the Lace Market.
Jamie Kennedy commented on the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute the ‘Atos Two’: ‘This is an attempt to criminalise acts of peaceful protest and civil disobedience. This is not about justice but about intimidating protesters.’
Atos has been the subject of national protests for its role in the government’s attack on disabled benefits claimants.
The defendants have been bailed to appear before Nottingham Magistrates Court on November 25th. A protest in solidarity with the defendants will be held from 9.30am.
Nottingham Defence Campaign
Notes for editors
1. For coverage of the protest on September 30th in Nottingham see e.g. ‘Nottingham protest rattles Atos’ Nottingham Indymedia October 2nd 2011:
2. Atos Healthcare was selected by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to administer the Work Capability Assesments (WCA).
Campaigners claim that WCA are part of a deliberate policy by the coalition government designed to force as many people as possible off disability benefits regardless of their physical and/or psychological abilities.
Critics of Atos Healthcare point to the high number of successful appeals against decisions by the company.
A report by BBC Inside Out East found that more than one third of appeals were successful. (http://bbc.in/ulXxMG)
Furthermore the expertise and conduct of the so called ‘healthcare professionals’ undertaking the assessments has been severely questioned by campaigners.
In August it emerged that twelve doctors employed by the company were being investigated by the General Medical Council over allegations of improper conduct. (http://gu.com/p/3x7jd)
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