DPAC DIRECT ACTION: 10,000 CUTS AND COUNTING. SCRAP ATOS
By Andria E-M.
During the 1980s and 1990’s, I must have buried or cremated 100 friends. Most of them died from AIDS, or drug overdoses. So when I got to Parliament Sq early on this day of action, I was immediately sent back down memory lane watching Jamie and Janie placing flowers all over the lawn in their hundreds and more , and more… Each flower of course symbolised a person who had either killed themselves due to the stress of, or threat of living in poverty as well as disability, OR had died shortly after an ATOS worker had deemed them fit to work via the Work Capability Assessment.
I hate to say it but it does feel like the leadership of our country and many other Western countries that are dominated by the neo-liberal economics and politics of the last thirty years; it does seem we are going ever backwards. I may be ignorant, but I have never been aware of such a death toll, immediately and directly related to a government policy. Mind you, I didn’t know that at least thirty people a week are dying in their own homes because they cannot afford to pay their fuel bills either
These are dark times
So it was with some gratitude and relief that I, as a chronically ill and disabled person myself, has so far not been forced to bump myself off, or died. Instead, I joined my friends from OCCUPY London, spreading that lawn with white flowers in great numbers and live-streamed for as long as my arm would carry me.
There were many speakers from DPAC, who spoke movingly about their own experiences or the experience of loved ones they had already lost. The Dean of St. Paul’s introduced and led the event but it was the baby (as it were) of our Alison Playford and Ian Chamberlaine.
It is poignant that this action was called 10,000 cuts because for every person who has died from illness, or stress, and for every person who have killed themselves, there will be another group of people who’s hearts are broken;cut up, as they mourn the loss of their loved one.
I have often said on these actions that if you know the outcome of your behaviour -policy-making in this case – and you continue to do it, then you are culpable. Government are partially – largely responsible for these ten thousand deaths and they should Stop what they are doing and Rethink this murderous policy before we lose the next 10,000.
After the 10,000 Cuts and Counting event in Parliament Square. the Disabled People Against the Cuts decided to take direct action in front of the Houses of Parliament.