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United we stand? / 8 December 2012

Crippen looks at the European disability community

The European disabled community

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Living on an island we could be forgiven for thinking that the harsh cuts that are being inflicted on us Crips in the UK are unique and out of step with the rest of Europe.


Listening to disabled people in France, Greece and especially Spain, we hear that the exact same policies of cuts to benefits and services, along with an orchestrated move to get us all back into institutions, is taking place throughout Europe.

Thousands of disabled people rallied in Madrid last week to protest against a €60 billion cut in spending. Similiarly to the UK, many of these cuts have been targeted at the disability community.

Speaking on Spanish television, Luis Cayo, president of Spain's Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities who have over 4 million members, said:

"This is an historic day. Disabled people [in Spain] have never taken to the streets before!"

Another protester Ricardo de Lugo told a BBC reporter:

"This is our cry for help. They are taking away our aid which has taken us many years to achieve ... why are they doing this to us?"

Alberto Alvarez, a disabled activist from Barcelona told reporters:

"It is as if this is part of a big move to get us all off the streets and back into the institutions that many of us were forced to live in. They think that by allowing the blind to work on the streets with their lottery that this is sufficient. We are here to tell them that it is not!"

With this amount of concentrated activity across Europe aimed at disabled people one wonders why there's not a pan European disabled people's organisation taking the lead in these protests. Why are we not sharing our resources and our expertise with other disabled people across the length and breadth of Europe, people who are being threatened by their governments in the same way that we are?

The right wing strategy of 'divide and conquer' has never needed to be challenged more than now.

We can only do this effectively by working in solidarity together.

Solidarity - Solidaridad - Solidarité - Solidarität - Solidariedade - αλληλεγγύη - Solidarność - Solidaritat 



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11 December 2012

A world wide disability movement ... now that would be some powerful lobby!


11 December 2012

And just as it looks like the US are starting another false flag war with Syria people's attention will be even more diluted. Disability rights issues will be relegated from the back seats right out of the arena as, ironically, more disabled young people will be swelling our ranks from the conflict. Perhaps we need to hook the anger and frustration of these veterans similarly to what happened in the US after the Vietnam conflict. Just a thought.

Joe McConnell

11 December 2012

Why can't we extend this to Crips Worldwide? We live in abject luxury compared to the non-Eurozone. Which shouldn't diminish our struggle one bit. But as we fight for equality, don't you think that we can only begin to embrace that when the problems of someone living in Burkina Faso, are as important to us as those of Fanny-next-door? Joe x

richard downes

10 December 2012

rights? what are they then? the DDA permitted reasonable discrimination. The UN convention is no more than guidance. And the more pervasive human rights is somethign the tories are on record as saying they want to take away. Seems whats right today doesn't have to be right tomorrow. Scared. very scared.

Sophie P.

9 December 2012

Ditto Art Farty above!



8 December 2012

It's ironic, with the coming of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities so many of us disabled people all over the globe are stuggling against a seriously nasty situation-we're getting cuts to our living situation all over the place. It's happening over the other side of the world too, and wherever it happens, it is pretty revolting. The government giveth, then the government taketh away...


8 December 2012

God have mercy on us. The Governments do not. What has this world become.

As i became disabled our government no longer wanted me to work for them. now I am fully disabled they do not want me on benefits, having any kind of life.

Solidarity is the only way. Before we all end up institutionalised.

Arty Farty

8 December 2012

Right on brother