REPORT: Demonstration against DWP/AtoS Work Capability Assessment régime in Manchester 31st May 2012

Demonstration against DWP/AtoS Work Capability Assessment régime in Manchester

Fantastic to see so many comrades from the Public and Commercial Services Union PCS joining with us today! May our concrete acts of mutual solidarity and resistance grow rapidly! Together, united across all sectors of society, will will put an end to this barbarity.

Inscribed on the coffin were the words “crimes against humanity”.

That is exactly what these fascist ‘disability assessments’ are!

THEY SHALL NOT PASS!

BLACK TRIANGLE CAMPAIGN

MANCHESTER COALITION AGAINST CUTS

Atos Health is paid £100 million per year to carry out Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The ConDem government wants to reclassify thousands of people in receipt of disability allowance as “fit to work”.

The methods of assessment carried out by Atos have been heavily criticised by disability groups and MPs. The General Medical Council has raised concerns that doctors employed by Atos do not have the care of patients as their primary concern – 12 Atos doctors are being investigated for improper conduct by the GMC.

Atos medical staff are told to view disabled people as claimants rather than patients with complex medical needs. The computerised assessement used is inappropriate for assessing the nature of long-term term physical and mental health problems. A report by the Parliamentary DWP Select Committee said that Atos is not “fit for purpose”.

The assessments carried out by Atos are denying thousands of people benefits that they need to survive. Last year more than 1000 people died following removal of benefits. A number of people awaiting heart surgery deemed “fit to work” have suffered heart attacks due to the stress of assessments.

There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that some claimants have been driven to suicide after being pushed into unbearable levels of poverty.

Chris Grayling, Employment Minister, says that losing a limb shouldn’t make you unfit for work. At the same time the government is closing down Remploy factories which have provided employment for disabled people for years.

We demand an end to the Atos contract.

The head of Atos in the UK earns £800,000 a year. It is a disgrace that this private, profit-driven company receives state money to harrass disabled and ill people with inappropriate assessments.

We demand an immediate end to Work Capability Assessments.

Those in receipt of incapacity benefits are being demonised in the right-wing press.

Many disabled people contribute to society through voluntary work which takes into account the problems associated with their conditions, which employers are unlikely to do.

At a time when thousands of workers are losing their jobs, forcing disabled people to find work to survive is a callous act by a callous government intent on destroying our welfare state.

Join our action action Atos and benefits cuts.

Organised by Manchester Coalition Against Cuts and Manchester Against Benefit Cuts

Thursday 31st May 12pm

March from Albert Square to ATOS “assessment” centre Albert Bridge House

Wednesday 6th June 7pm

Public Meeting
Building the campaign against Atos and attacks on welfare 
Friends Meeting House, Mount St

Saturday 9th June 11am

Petition and stall on Market Street

 

Comments
  • DAVID A SHAW June 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

    While i cannot attend of course you have my full support in defiance of this Fascist government and its profiteering at the expense of the suffering manifesto.

  • jeffrey davies June 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

    good luck jeff3

  • kasbah June 1, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Thank you a thousand times to Manchester Coalition against the Cuts, PCS and all the protesters.
    You have given me a huge boost reading about your demonstration against the malign systems and practices of DWP and ATOS. I am too ill to attend demos but my heart is with you whenever you do.
    I fell into a bitter depression after my last ATOS assessment which was rushed, confusing and bizarre. I shake whenever a brown envelope lands on the mat. Am dreading their decision. Ironically when I was well and working in the 3rd sector I used to meet politicians to advance the cause of independent living and inclusion for older people. If I met a politician now I would quake with rage.
    IDS you shall not pass! ATOS you shall not pass! DWP you shall not pass

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