Islington ATOS demo today - pics and short reportTagged as: atos benefits disability
as part of a uk-wide protest against ATOS today, there was a small but noisy presence outside the islington business design centre all afternoon. here are some pics from the early part of the protest.
click on image for larger version. 'some rights reserved' - free for credited non-commercial use, otherwise contact author for permission
ATOS is the IT company which 'tests' disabled people on behalf of the government to see if they are capable of work. the 'work capability assessment' tests involve a short interview and a computerised programme.
the testing regime has resulted in a catalogue of sad and horrific stories, with people forced to work while facing serious or terminal illness, and with benefits stripped leading to suicides.
not only that, but the company has also aggressively countered criticism, resorting to bullying legal tactics to close down websites.
today's nationwide action saw gatherings at ATOS offices in 17 towns and cities.
the london islington protest took place outside the british medical journal's trade fair where ATOS were recruiting medical staff for their assessment teams. from midday around 60 protestors gathered near the islington business design centre. police kept them away from the main entrance as the area is apparently 'private property' despite being an open plaza. at one stage a small group moved up to the main entrance of the building with the large 'atos kills' banner, but were soon pushed back to the official protest area.
many groups were represented today. some of them are listed in the press release below.
PRESS RELEASE -
The Day of Action has been called by a range of different groups and organisations throughout the UK. For the full list of supporting organisations and further details of all protests please visit the website at: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/
Contact details of some of the paticipating groups are as follows:
· Benefit Claimants Fightback: email@example.com
· Black Triangle: firstname.lastname@example.org Scotland contact: 07778 316875
· Defend Welfare network
· Disabled People Against Cuts: email@example.com contact:07714 927533
· WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities): firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7482 2496.
Atos Healthcare is part of Atos, the French multinational IT company which operates in 42 countries and which has the IT contract for the Olympic Games.
The National Day of Action Against Atos is the sixth National Day of Protest targeting benefit cuts, which has seen a diverse network of claimant, disability and anti-cuts groups and individuals taking action in every major city in the UK. As well as protests outside Atos offices, demonstrations have been held outside jobcentres, workfare
provider's offices, the Daily Mail for witch-hunting benefit “scroungers” and Westminster Council over the ban on soup runs.
Contact email: rikkiindymedia(At)gmail[dot]com