Saturday 26 March 2011

Kettled in Cyberspace

I can’t be in London to protest on Saturday; I’ve talked about why that is in another post, discussing how disability prevents me and many thousands more like me from getting out there in public and putting a human face of the mass of disabled people deliberately demonized as feckless and fraudulent benefit scroungers by the unholy alliance of political parties and right-wing media. If we can’t make our message heard in public, can’t get it picked up by the few media organizations who are independent enough, ethical enough, to tell our story, then the most effective means of spreading our message are denied to us.

But that doesn’t mean every option is denied to us. Cyberspace is increasingly a venue for protest, just look at the stories coming out of the Middle East, just look at the desperate repression of virtual forms of protest by the dictatorial governments in both the Middle East and China, and cyberspace is an environment that many of us can access no matter our disability, no matter the restrictions it places on us. A simple trip into town today to collect a repeat prescription meant hours curled up on the couch, sleeping off the physical impact of the trip, and means that I’m now writing this a little after midnight, far later than intended, a time of day when making a physical protest in person would be pointless, but in cyberspace the time of day means nothing, my message will be read by you whenever you get around to it and the physical limitations of my disability are taken out of the equation.

So I won’t be protesting in London tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be protesting, I’ll continue to post both here at Where’s the Benefit and in my own blog and I’ll spend the weekend polishing my submission to the Parliamentary Works and Pensions Committee’s investigation into the realities of ESA and the WCA and the real impact they’re having on disabled people. I’ll copy that protest to my MP, no matter she’s a Conservative, because if I don’t tell her what the reality is then her party certainly won’t. I may not be able to stand in the crowd on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean my voice cannot be heard, it doesn’t mean your voice cannot be heard. Write to your local papers, write to your MP, write to other MPs, blog about what is happening to you, what the cuts really mean, tell your friends on Facebook, tweet your truth to the masses. Cyberspace is an environment in which we can transcend the physical limitations of our disabilities to protest like any other person, the choice to take advantage of that medium and let our individual truths be known lies with each of us.

1 comment:

  1. i so hope they will listen, i hope thousands and thousands of people can go tho i do not have enough spoons or the ability to get there i am with you in my heart. i like mny others am filled with fear that the govenment will demonise me for daring to choose to get disabled - yeah right like i would give up my whole future for this existence!!! good luck to all who can go and i pray that somebody is listening and will stop this rubbish government from attacking the weakest people