Glasgow Against Atos (GAA) supporters joined other demonstrators on Monday 3 December at the cenotaph in Glasgow’s George Square, to commemorate the victims of Atos.
Demonstrators breathed in the cold December air as they remembered the seventy three people who die each week to the government’s war on welfare. However it was not only a commemoration it was a protest against the deaths that are happening daily as one of the demonstrators pointed out; the death toll is only going to get higher.
One of the organisers of the demonstration, Nick Durie, the campaign coordinator for the Committee of 100 in Glasgow, stated that; Labour had failed to live up to their pledge to protect people from the impact of Government welfare reforms and that Labour made this bold commitment and we want them to live up to it. A GAA supporter commented after the protest that; we must never forget that it was a Labour Government that introduced the work capability assessment and hired Atos in the first place. They are the same as the Tories – out to destroy welfare benefits and services!
The consequences of the benefits blitz were laid bare as protesters highlighted the number of disabled Britons – from the terminally ill to those with industrial injuries – who die every week to the Department for work and pensions WCA regime while trying to scrape by on breadline payments.
After the demonstration at the cenotaph in George Square a protest was held outside Atos’s office on Cadogan Street. Joyce Drummond, a nurse who used to work for the company Atos, joined demonstrators in condemning the assault on the sick and disabled;
Today is a mark of remembrance to everyone who has died due to the policies of Atos and the DWP. It is fitting that it is International Disabled Person’s Day. Now anyone placed in the Work-related Activity Group (WRAG) by Atos, and sanctioned by the DWP, will have to work for nothing in work placements to get their benefit. If you are placed in that WRAG group, you are deemed not to be fit for work. That claimants are not only being forced to work but then to work for nothing is an outrage! All that’s going to happen is that more and more people will be kicked off their benefit.
After this the demonstration moved down to the Commonwealth Games headquarters on Albion Street in the Merchant City where a protest letter was handed over demanding that the Atos sponsorship of the Games is immediately brought to an end. A further demonstration took place at the Cadogan Street Atos headquarters before the day’s action was closed.
Hands off the sick and poor!
End Atos sponsorship of the 2014 Commonwealth Games!
Next Glasgow Against Atos Organising Meeting
Wednesday 12 December, 7.30pm
Avant Gard pub
34-44 King Street
Merchant City, Glasgow
The venue has wheelchair access
Donations welcome towards the cost of the venue (£30)