Friday, 28 October 2011

Disabled people occupy the UK

It's a simple fact that a lot of disabled people can't camp out at the various occupations around the UK. Fatigue, sensitivity to cold, the access issues presented by camping or just having too many hospital appointments to go to make occupying impossible.

Disabled New Yorkers have started going down to Occupy Wall Street on Sunday afternoons at midday for a few hours. - a few hours on a Sunday is a very different proposition to camping full time.

Many non-disabled activists simply don't know or care how shafted disabled people are by issues like the welfare reform bill. Last week Where's the Benefit asked OccupyLSX for some solidarity and for them to support the Hardest Hit protests; they didn't.

So taking inspiration from New Yorkers I think we should join our local occupations for a couple of hours every Sunday afternoon. We need to go down to the occupations and tell them about the issues affecting us. We need to make sure the occupiers understand what we're facing and to get them to support us. Tell the crowd about the welfare reform bill and how you'll be affected. Tell them about how cuts to Access to Work mean that when your current equipment breaks (because wheelchairs, etc, don't last forever) that you might have to give up work. Tell them about how cuts to care packages will limit your independence. Hand out flyers for Where's the Benefit, DPAC, Broken of Britain, Black Triangle, CarerWatch or any of the other grassroots groups you feel do well at disseminating info about our issues.

Disabled people are around 18% of the population. The occupations claim to represent the 99% that didn't break the economy, but unless we participate the occupations are only really representing 81%.

The occupations in London have been the most newsworthy, but there are others around the country:









Cardiff: (in planning stages)




Like New Yorkers we will aim to participate for as long as the occupations are ongoing. And like New York we'll meet at midday on Sundays EXCEPT this weekend when we'll be following on from the DPAC conference in London by going down to the London occupation on Saturday 29th at 4:30pm instead of Sunday. Standard Sunday excursions will commence the following week.

Facebook event. The Twitter hashtag will be #DPoccupyUK


  1. I completely agree and was only discussing this last night. My only reservation is Remembrance Sunday. If any of the occupied will inhibit this day I would not be comfortable with that. I feel it is important to respect this day.

    It is my personal veiw. However I do worry that any sympathy gained would be lost on this day and that the media would jump at the chance of emphasising this.

  2. Please, please, please, please, please if you're going to one of these protests STAY SAFE. A woman was raped at Occupy Glasgow this week.

  3. I was wondering has anyone considered doing a survey amongst the general public as to their knowledge of these cuts in this area and as to whether they feel genuine disabled people should go to work as requested by ATOS on behalf of the government. Also you could ask the public as to whether they even know about ATOS.