A well attended and genuinely moving memorial service was held today outside the front doors of Paralympic sponsor Atos to coincide with the opening day of the London Paralympic Games.
Atos carry out the Government’s Work Capability Assessment, a crude computer health test designed to strip disabled people of benefits by declaring them ‘fit for work’.
Disabled people and those with serious health conditions have been subject to endless grueling assessments by the company and an increasing number of people have tragically taken their own lives as a result of the process. Many others have had conditions worsened due to the stress of testing regime whilst a recent investigation found that 32 people a week die after being found ‘fit for work by the company’.
Around 100 disabled people and supporters gathered outside Atos’ gleaming London Headquarters to attend the service. A coffin, resplendent with white lilies to remember the dead, was carried to the front door of the company alongside funereal music. Messages sent from disabled people around the UK were released attached to black balloons whilst a minute’s silence was held during which even the heavy security presence guarding the company appeared to respect.
The day was part of a week of action against the company which has seen protests outside Atos offices around the UK. Visit the DPAC website for reports of other events held so far. Campaigners will be back at Atos HQ on Friday when Disabled People Against Cuts team up with UK Uncut for the Closing Atos Ceremony.
Gather at Triton Square, Euston from 12.45pm on Friday 31st August.
Tomorrow sees a day of online and telephone action targeting the company, more info at: http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/08/dpac-atos-armchair-games-30th-august-the-truth-is-revolutionary/