GAA Chant Sheet & Speech on Bedroom Tax Protest

A big well done to everyone who supported yesterday’s march and rally against the Bedroom Tax. To give you a flavour of the day the Glasgow Against Atos chant sheet and rally speech is below. Hope to see you all out again very soon!

Fintry anti poll tax bannerGAA on 29 marchMarch 4March 2

Glasgow Against ATOS chant sheet

We remember John MacLean! In the year 1915!
We remember Mary Barbour! and the women of the harbour!
We remember that rent strike! Glasgow told them take hike!
As were marching on our way! We remember them today!

When our people stand together
We shall not be moved
When our people stand together
We shall not be moved
Not by a landlord! A sheriff! Or a Government!
We shall not be moved!

No evictions, No Arrears, You will drown in children’s tears!

  • Bedroom Tax, No way! Can’t Pay, Wont Pay! (Repeat)
  • The people united will never be evicted! (Repeat)
  • Labour, Tory, SNP all stink of hypocrisy!

Commonwealth Games!, Shame! Shame! Shame!, Atos sponsors of the Game!

1234, we won’t take anymore, 5678 you won’t have our welfare state!

(loudspeaker shouts) – ‘What are you sayin?’ (crowd shouts back) ‘were no paying!’ (everybody shouts) ‘End the war on welfare!’

Glasgow Against Atos Rally Speech

My name is Daniel McGarrell. I am a supporter of Fight Racism Fight Imperialism. I am also involved in the Hamilton Against The Bedroom tax Campaign. Today I am here to speak to you on behalf of the Glasgow Against ATOS campaign.

Glasgow Against ATOS have been organising against the cuts in welfare for sick and disabled people since last June. The campaign has been built by the work of groups such as The Save the Accord centre campaign, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism, the Black Triangle Campaign, supporters of the 32 County sovereignty movement and individual anarchists and people opposing the cuts.

The DWP’s persecution of the sick and disabled has led to 73 people dying each week after being found ‘fit for work’. This was the DWP’s own figures. Atos are a private company being paid over £100mn by the government to carry out these degrading ‘fit for work’ tests. Our aim is to build an open and democratic campaign against this abuse of human rights.  It began under a Labour government and is now being carried on by the Tories.

We believe that it is the people being affected by the cuts that must be at the front of the fightback. At our open, democratic planning meetings anyone who wishes to stand with us against ATOS and the cuts is welcome along with their ideas. None of us are experts! We all need to learn from each other to fightback for each other.

As well as talking we also take action. We have a picket of the Atos office on Cadogan St on the last Friday of every month. We show our solidarity with people going through these tests and also head into the busier parts of Glasgow city centre to let people know that a fight back has begun.

Our protest targets companies that are connected to ATOS. We end our protest outside the offices of the commonwealth games which Atos are sponsoring.

We demand that Atos sponsorship of the Games is cut. We also demand justice for the Save The Accord carers and the Jaconelli family who were thrown out their centre and home!

Since Glasgow Against ATOS was launched we have seen numbers at our meetings and actions grow each month. This has not gone unnoticed by the defenders of the upper class – the Strathclyde police force.  Strathclyde police have been harassing and disrupting our monthly protests. On 22 February two of our campaigners were arrested for using a megaphone in Glasgow City Centre. The Glasgow Against Atos Two are facing a trial in July. I am one of the people on trial. Last week we took 30 people down with us to picket Glasgow Sheriff Court to demand that all charges are dropped.

In 1915 thousands of people taking part in the Glasgow rent strikes forced the courts and the government to back down. This is a lesson for us today as we fight the bedroom tax.

Despite receiving threatening calls and door visits from shadowy police officers our campaigners will not be intimidated. We know that you the people of Glasgow will stand with us, as we are standing with you against all cuts!

We say –

End the war on welfare!

Defend the right to protest!

Cant Pay! Wont Pay!

We will not be beat!

Glasgow Against Atos Report Of Rolling Picket And Anti Bedroom Tax March

Glasgow Against Atos organised a lively contingent on today’s march against the bedroom tax from Glasgow Green to George Square. With ‘Atos Kills!’ and ‘Defend The Right To Protest’ placards, our big banner, a open megaphone for anyone to speak or chant on, chant sheets, leaflets and our supporters we were able to unite more people around the demand to ‘end the war on welfare!’.

Yesterday, 29 March, we held our last Friday of every month rolling picket in Glasgow City Centre. This started at the Atos office on Cadogan Street. While some of our campaigners stayed at the office to give support to the people going through tests others set off to picket the Royal Mail office on St. Vincent Street (who hire Atos as an occupational health provider), Royal Bank of Scotland on Gordon St and the offices of the Commonwealth Shames (which Atos are sponsoring) on Albion St. The action was successful with speeches made throughout and hundreds of leaflets distributed to the general public.

Two van loads of Strathclyde Police officers, positioned in what they thought was our intended path, were not able disrupt the protest as we simply changed the target of our picket and were gaining a lot of support from passers-by.

These two events show once again that Glasgow Against Atos is much more than a talking shop campaign. We unite words with action and have done since we came together in June 2012. We are increasing the frequency of our planning meetings and actions as we become stronger.

Our campaign has been built by people either being affected by the ‘fit for work’ tests or committed to opposing them. This same rule of people power applies to the fight against the bedroom tax. The various parties of the upper class (Tory, Labour, Liberal, SNP) are scrambling over each other to pass on the blame for the cuts while attempting to claim ownership of the fight against them (especially Labour and the SNP). It is up to working class people to separate their friends from their enemies.

The trade unions clearly cannot be relied upon; they have been promising to resist the cuts since the crisis officially began in 2007/8 but they have done no such thing and we can wait no longer! It is up to you the people to build resistance in your local communities, like the poll tax.

On account of our record of principled and consistent campaigning Glasgow Against Atos managed, with a struggle, to secure a speaker on the main platform at the end rally today. Danny spoke on behalf of our campaign; his speech will be republished in our next blog post and so will the Glasgow Against Atos chant sheet from today’s march (please use this to inspire  you to think up more and better chants!).

We send solidarity to all the people who supported the march today whether they were able to make it along or not!

We shall not be moved!

Join the campaign!

Email: glasgowagainstatos2012@gmail.com or call 07734348065 for more info about getting involved.

GAA 29 March at Cadogan Street

The lassies!

Cops 29 March

 

GAA at Royal Mail

Glasgow Against ATOS in the Daily Mail!

Glasgow Against ATOS in the Daily Mail!

The notorious right wing, anti-working class, lying rag the Daily Mail has mentioned Glasgow Against ATOS in a recent article. ATOS are complaining about the regular organised demonstrations taking place outside the testing centres – so we’re doing something right! GAA is stands firmly against violence and intimidation – that is why we are on the streets to defend ourselves against the vicious violence against sick and disabled being perpetrated by these profit-hungry criminals.

Organising against ATOS in Glasgow – January reports

The millionaire gangsters of the Coalition government, along with their friends in the banks and the media, continue to turn the screw on the working class and poor –  more welfare cuts, rising unemployment, workfare, hospital closures, bedroom taxes for benefit recipients and tax cuts for the rich.

Not to be outdone, Glasgow’s Labour council has announced more closures of learning disability centres while paying off ‘charity’ chief execs £500,000 and council leader Gordon Matheson does the dirty in local parks while wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money in a corrupt and ill-fated attempt to sell-off George Square.

But never fear – Glasgow Against ATOS is here! Throughout January, we have continued to organise and protest against the war being waged on the sick and disabled. Seize the time! Join the campaign!

On Wednesday 16 January, we held our biggest organising meeting yet, as 25 people came along to discuss how to disrupt the vicious ATOS juggernaut which is killing over 70 people a week on behalf of the DWP. Ideas were discussed for future protests and targets, such as the new contract with ATOS signed by the Post Office, and victories such as the Co-op’s decision to drop its deal with ATOS. Future meetings and protests were planned, actions against the Commonwealth Games and excellent new anti-ATOS t-shirts, stickers and leaflets.

On Wednesday 23 January, campaign members supported a protest organised by UNISON outside Glasgow city chambers alongside hundreds of other service users, workers and campaigners to oppose the closure of three learning disability day care centres in Glasgow (Summerston, Cardonald and Hinshaw Street). This is yet another brutal cut aimed at the most vulnerable, and speaker after speaker

On Thursday 24 January, Glasgow Against ATOS activists joined a Citizens United occupation of the Scottish Government offices in Glasgow city centre, to demand that ATOS be dropped as lead sponsors of the Commonwealth Games 2014.

On Friday 25 January, nearly 30 people braved the driving wind and rain to join our monthly picket outside the ATOS testing centre on Cadogan Street, offering support and solidarity to those forced through the Work Capability Assessments inside.

Supporters of several groups including Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, the Black Triangle Disability Rights Campaign, the Socialist Party and 32CSM then joined a rolling picket of targets throughout Glasgow city centre. The massive ‘Glasgow Against ATOS’ banner was unfurled outside the Royal Bank of Scotland, the offices of the Scottish Sun and the swanky offices of the Commonwealth Games, as activists took to the megaphone to denounce the obscene situation whereby the ruling class are forcing the poorest in society to pay for a crisis of the rich. We received vocal support from members of the public and people personally affected by benefits cuts as we exposed the real ‘scroungers’ and ‘shirkers’.

And on Wednesday 30 January, GAA campaigners headed down to Toryglen Asda to an event promoted by Labour councillor, and Commonwealth Games Chief Executive, Archie Graham to get unsuspecting local residents to hand over their free labour time to the Games as volunteers. The esteemed councillor unsurprisingly failed to show up to such unglamorous environs but campaigners nevertheless confronted the lies and cover-ups of the Commonwealth Games and distributed leaflets and petitions about the reality of ATOS, the closure of the Accord centre and the eviction of Margaret Jaconelli.

So, lots being done and lots more to do! Head down to the next meetings and protests:

Wednesday 13 February, 7 – 9pm

Glasgow Against ATOS action meeting (disabled access, all welcome)

Wednesday 13 February, 7 – 9pm

Unite the Union offices, 145 West Regent Street, Glasgow city centre 

Monthly picket of ATOS! Kill ATOS!

Friday 22 February, assemble 12.30pm

Meet outside ATOS testing centre, Cadogan Street, Glasgow city centre

 ATOS protest - ATOS Dr Death ATOS protest - ATOS offices ATOS protest - offices of The Sun ATOS protest - police at Commonwealth Games office ATOS protest - RBS

 

Glasgow Against Atos Action: Christmas Special!

While the bells of Christmas continue to sound out let us not forget the sick and disabled people who have had Christmas stolen from them and their families. The previous Labour and current ConDem government, in partnership with the private multinational Atos, have ransacked welfare rights to the extent that seventy three disabled people a week are dying after having their benefits cut. As things are only set to get worse over 2013, with the replacement of Disability Living Allowance by the Personal Independent Payments scheme, we say that the sooner people get together and start fighting back the better.

On Friday 28 December our campaign hit the streets of Glasgow city centre to show that resistance to the cuts is both possible and necessary. With our very own Glasgow Grinch, a new banner and leaflets with details of our upcoming events, we completed a tour of targets which support the cuts and have been or are involved with using the services of Atos. Pictures of the protest are available on our facebook page ‘Glasgow Against-Atos’.

Campaigners set off from the assessment centre on Cadogan Street, to the Royal Bank of Scotland, to the Cineworld cinema, to the Commonwealth Games offices in the Merchant city and finally back to Cadogan street. Many hundreds of leaflets were handed out and some funds were raised by donations to help maintain and build the campaign. Never shy to defend savage cutbacks against opposition Strathclyde police sent three officers to stalk the protest throughout the day.

The campaign will and must grow – but it will only be with your practical, mental and financial help and solidarity!

Join us in condemning Atos and the work capability assessment this Christmas! Support us in the new year of struggle coming!

Next Organising meeting

Wednesday 16 January, 7.30pm,

Back room in Avant Gard pub,

34-44 King Street,

Glasgow city centre,

G1 5QT

Glasgow joins National Day Of Action Against Atos

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

G1 5QT

The venue has wheelchair access

Donations welcome towards the cost of the venue (£30)

Glasgow Against ATOS End Of Month Action Goes Ahead!

The Glasgow Against Atos campaign held a second day of rolling action today. After speeches and pictures at the Atos testing centre on Cadogan Street (an isolated area of the city centre) a group of our supporters made their way to Central Station and from there onto the Royal Bank of Scotland before returning back to the centre. Other GAA supporters maintained a static picket of the centre throughout.

With chants of ‘Disability is no crime, Atos doctors do your time!’, fancy dress, banners, placards and a loudspeaker the public’s attention was easily drawn and over 500 leaflets, highlighting the targeting of the sick, disabled and poor for more welfare cuts, were distributed. This at a time when millions of pounds are being spent on the 2014 Commonwealth Games and £15mn to ‘revamp’ George Square!

Unfortunately Strathclyde Police constables Dinnen and Armstrong (A20, A967), both of Stewart Street station, were posted to harass our peaceful protest. After the arrival of two more officers, with more waiting in a van close by, one of our supporters was charged with breach of the peace for carrying a plastic toy gun!

We would like to thank all the people who stopped to show their opposition to this abuse of the right to protest, particularly the women who took up the loudspeaker to tell Glasgow of the misery her disabled father had been put through after being found ‘fit for work’.

These are crimes which Strathclyde police do not seek to stamp out – they defend them.

Join the campaign to hold the authorities responsible for their actions.

Hands off the sick and poor!

End the involvement of Atos in the 2014 Commonwealth Games!

Upcoming National Day Of Action Against Atos!

Monday 3 December, 11am

Assemble George Square

Glasgow

Glasgow Against Atos take action!

The Glasgow Against Atos campaign got off to inspiring start on 26 October with a rolling picket of locations complicit in the war on welfare and the Atos multinational. All the people present took part in the understanding that Atos, a company hired on an over £100mn contract to find sick and disabled people fit for work, and their employers, the Department for work and pensions, are unfit for honest work in the interests of claimants and therefore must be organised against and got rid of!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembling at the notorious Atos test centre on Cadogan Street GAA supporters hit city centre targets including the co-operative bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland on Gordon Street before walking to the plush offices of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Trongate. The picket returned to Cadogan Street after that where supporters of the Black Triangle disability rights campaign, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the 32 CSM distributed benefit advice sheets to claimants being assessed. Speeches and chants were made throughout the action with a loudspeaker and hundreds of leaflets publicising the attacks on welfare and GAA’s next organising meeting (details below) distributed.

 

 

Solidarity with the sick and disabled! Oppose the war on welfare!

Visit the following to find out more! Help us build the campaign!  

‘Glasgow Against Atos’ on facebook

glasgowagainstatos.wordpress.com

GAA contact number: 07734348065

Next GAA campaign meeting:

Organising action against Atos planning meeting

Wednesday 14 November, 7.30-9.30pm

Downstairs in Bar Bacchus,

80 Glassford Street,

Glasgow G1 1UR