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The ATOS Games - the fun continues / 30 August 2012

I received an update on the ATOS Games this morning from Mark Baggley of Choices and Rights (additional updates from DPAC are also at the end of this blog).

The ATOS Games for those of you who haven't been paying attention are a series of organised protests against ATOS, the principle sponsor of the 2012 Paralympics. Principle organisers of the protests are Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Choices and Rights Disability Coalition.

ATOS is the French based company who have been given licence by the DWP to run roughshod over disabled people and our basic human rights, slashing and burning through the benefits system and alledgedly causing the deaths of many disabled people who were wrongly diagnosed as fit for work.

Here is the update from Mark.

Hi everyone,

We have today completed our first part in the ATOS Games by protesting outside the local ATOS assessment centre in Hull. We had a good gathering of disabled people and supporters who had a range of banners, slogans and chants “ATOS, ATOS, They Don’t Give ATOS!” and excellent media coverage including BBC Radio Humberside, BBC Look North, Calendar (ITV), Independent Radio (Viking FM) and Hull Daily Mail.

We spoke to many local people to inform them what the protest was about and somehow the building windows became covered in posters featuring Crippen cartoons. These were removed by a somewhat friendly security guard who returned them to us!

The next part of our campaign is to take part in the ATOS phone jam on · Thursday 30th August 2012.  Let’s flood ATOS with calls, and generate a Twitter-storm they can’t ignore! To take part in this, all you have to do is ring them and tell them why you object to what they are doing. ATOS don’t like to give out their local numbers, but we very resourceful and they can be contacted on Hull (01482) 328812. Alternatively, you can ring the national office on 0113 230 9175

To recapp ...

From Monday 27th to Friday 31st of August, join Disabled People Against Cuts for The Atos Games – five days of action against a company that’s sponsoring the Paralympics but wrecking disabled people’s lives.

We are calling on disabled people, disabled activists, families, colleagues, friends and supporters to come together and fight back against Atos’s attacks. Atos represents as dangerous an opponent as any government, law or barrier the disability movement has faced in its long history. It’s not just welfare, but our very identity and our place within society that is under attack.

And we are asking the whole of the anti-cuts movement to join us in our opposition to the company most responsible for driving through the government’s brutal cuts agenda. Let’s make it Games over for Atos!

We’re not against the Paralympics or the people taking part in it. We’re highlighting the hypocrisy of Atos, a company that soon may be taking disability benefits from the people winning medals for Team GB.

Ever since George Osborne announced he was slashing £18 billion from the welfare budget, the government has paid Atos £100 million a year to test 11,000sick and disabled people every week, then decide whether they’re ‘fit for work’.

Atos uses an inhumane computer programme to do the testing, and trains its staff to push people off benefits. The government has admitted the tests are flawed, and the British Medical Association wants them to end immediately.

But Atos continues to devastate people’s lives. Many have committed suicide because of its testing programme, and over 1,000 people have died of their illnesses soon after being found ‘fit for work’.

We won’t let them get away with murder, so join in The Atos Games however you can – online, on the phone, or on the streets!

We’d really like YOU to make this week of action a great success! Let’s come together and show this monstrous company that we’re stronger than them. They’re the vulnerable ones and they know it.

Let the Atos Games continue!

Further Action by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

Hundreds of protesters brought traffic to a standstill last night when they demonstrated against the French firm they say is forcing people to work when they are sick.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were protesting against Paralympic sponsor Atos, which carries out work capability assessments for the Department of Work and Pensions.

Yesterday they dubbed their action a “die-in” as they lay across the road outside Cardiff Castle, at the corner of Duke Street and Kingsway, as part of five days of action across Britain.

Read More by clicking this link and also this link

Film of live action
Click here to watch video of ATOS protest in progress.

Keywords: 2012 olympics,atos,atos protest,benefit cuts,benefits,cartoons,crippen,disabled peoples movement,disabled peoples protest,paralympics


Arty Farty

4 September 2012

Some good points there Maggie. It goes to show that this government and its cronies, namely ATOS, don't give a toss who they persecute. They probably consider this an equal opportunities policy!

maggie west

2 September 2012

May I ask Mark to add the description of "carer" to this list as we are all being enormously affected too.

The whole attitude of the country needs to be challenged because we know that fraud is 0.2-0.5% including DWP error.

As a carer for nearly all of my adult life,something which I had not bargained for! I would comment that this degrading attitude has permeated into my family's every waking monment causing such distress and exacerbating aklready serious illnesses.For over 3 decades we have been humiliated,degraded and slandered and I cannot wait for the law to catch up with those responsible for the propaganda which has paved tthe way for ATOS.

It stinks,the whole presumed,prejudged conclusion about anyone not in work being a scrounger and a fraud!It is a disgrace in a civilised society and we cannot accept such libel any longer.Other countries have more compassion,they respect the disadvantaged and admire their tenacity in the face of dreadful handicaps whether physical,mental or both.

The loss of these human rights have to be fought for and regained. I for one will no longer stay quiet whilst listening to lies and propaganda about my loved ones and those in the UK in the same position.We have all had enough and want any political party that condones this behaviour --- OUT!

Beware the labour party too,the instigators of this terror to carers and their families as there is a phalanx of angry pensioners,young Mums too with disabled children,all enraged by your complicity in this evil and refusal to answer questions about your reversal to the destruction of welfare and our NHS


31 August 2012

I'm adding links to this blog as the protests develop, so please keep visiting.