- Created: Tuesday, 03 July 2012 14:04
- Written by Dominic Mulgrew
People! The war being waged on the poor, sick and disabled in this country has well and truly begun. The former Labour Government set the ball rolling with its introduction of the notorious Work Capability Assessment (WCA) in 2008 and its hiring of the private, profit driven, multinational Atos to carry out these assessments. The Coalition Government have continued this policy with devastating consequences. Reports have shown that between January and August 2011, up to 1,100 claimants died following Atos assessments and being found fit for work. We have both a moral and political incentive to stand with those being cut; the ruling class will widen out there attacks on living standards (around 80% of cuts are still to come); if we are unable to defend the most vulnerable in our society how will we defend others?
With these questions in mind Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! held two events in Glasgow this week; supported by the Black Triangle Disability Rights Campaign, the Accord Campaign, the Merrylee Matters Campaign and the Glasgow Defence Campaign. On Wednesday 27 June we hosted a meeting ‘War on welfare: Time for action!’ and this was followed by a two hour picket of the Atos testing centre on Cadogan Street on Friday 29 June.
The meeting was addressed by supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the founding member of the Black Triangle Campaign, John McArdle. The FRFI comrade highlighted the parasitic nature of the Atos multinational and its links with the British military and oil and gas exploration abroad. Opposition to Atos he argued had to go hand in hand with a fight against those responsible for its hiring, the British ruling class. John McArdle followed this with a passionate and concrete speech about the reasons why we must support those fight backing, the progress that has been made in this so far and where we must go from here. After the speakers a creative discussion took place with solutions and ideas put forward about how we can most effectively target Atos. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will be working with others to now put these words into action.
The follow up picket two days later was well attended and everyone; both the people going through the assessments and their cold hearted assessors; inside the centre were made aware of our presence with noisy chants of ‘Atos Doctors, Nazi Doctors!’, ‘Say it loud, say it clear, Atos are not welcome here!’, ‘Hands off the sick and poor: Atos do not have a cure!’. Despite the torrential rain spirits were kept high and anger at seeing those sick and disabled people going to and from the centre, many with tears in their eyes, made sure that everyone was committed to the protest.
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will be holding a picket of this Atos testing centre on the last Friday of every month from now on. The next picket date is below. Between now and then we will be organising different activities to combat the scourge that is the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and its hired lackeys Atos.
We call for the greatest unity on this issue amongst the people of Glasgow and left groups (The International Socialist Group/Coalition of Resistance, Scottish Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party etc), who have failed so far to unite and did not attend the events against Atos this week. The Socialist Party sent one member to the picket. Political sectarianism must be left behind and real unity must be formed in the interests of the people on the receiving end of the cuts!
Victory to the poor, sick and disabled!
Oppose Atos and the Work Capability Assessment!
Friday 27 July, 2-4pm
Atos testing centre,
Glasgow City Centre.