Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle, the Mental Health Resistance Network and the WOW petition bring you:
*Reclaiming Our Futures*
Join this year’s week of action to protest against austerity, fight for our rights and celebrate disabled people.
Our rights are being stripped away day by day, by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems, leaving us without much hope for our futures – or our children’s.
We have been here before. Our history is littered with examples of how our community has come together when under attack to fight – and win.
From the early campaigns of NLBDP (National League of Blind and Disabled People) through to the founding and manifesto of UPIAS (Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and on to DAN (Direct Action Network).
Now we have DPAC leading direct action and a host of other key grass root campaigns working towards reclaiming our rights and futures.
We have fought our corner over 3 centuries. And those fights have brought victories; the Independent Living Movement, our early CILs (Centres for Independent Living) and early active DPO’s (Disabled Peoples Organisations) and the significant rights for disabled people (which are now under attack).
They represent big victories, brought about by mobilizing in our communities around our common cause – and having the will and determination to see our demands met without compromising our rights. We have consistently united in anger and celebration.
DPAC Reclaiming our Futures Action
This Autumn, we are asking our community to come together in anger, and celebration again – and to unite around our demands.
We will be launching the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto setting out our vision of how the resources, structures and institutions of our society today can be re-designed to empower disabled people to take part in life on our terms.
Disabled people are, and always will be, the experts on our lives and our self-determination. It will be a vision and practical plan that we can take forward in our communities, workplaces and lives to reclaim our futures.
In the build up to the manifesto launch, DPAC is leading The ‘Reclaiming Our Futures’, seven days of action to protest against the targeting of disabled people by austerity measures, to fight for our rights for inclusion and independence as equal citizens and to celebrate the value, pride and self determination of disabled people.
From 29th August – 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in.
These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.
The plan below is only half the story. We want YOU, your Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, your campaign group, your community, your friends to put on events and get involved too. Can’t get to our exhibition? – then put on your own. Can’t get to our direct action? – then do your own. Barbecues, debates, quiz nights, family days, picnics – whatever! ACT – in celebration or in anger! (PS don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing).
Day by Day: 29th August-4th September
Thursday 29th August – YOU launch our 7 days of action
A range of resources will be available for your use as we ask all supporters to start our week of action with an online blitz.
You will be the ones creating the buzz and the hype sending letters and twitter messages to targets of your choice ranging from MPs to disability charities to the media. We will be producing twibbons and memes but make and circulate your own. If you haven’t got a Social Media account (such as Facebook & Twitter) set one up now, link to DPAC ( twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest) and let’s create a cyber wave. #dpacrof
The launch will coincide with Transport for All’s Day of Action to make CrossRail accessible.
Friday 30th August – Local Protests
Last year during the ATOS Games over 30 local actions took place around the UK Local actions mean you get to choose the target of your choice.
You could take the Reclaiming Our Futures manifesto to present at your local MP’s constituency office, spread it through social media, protest on the streets against segregated education, the proposed ILF closure or show solidarity at your local Remploy site (for those few factories in their last weeks of operation).
Alternatively, you might want to lobby your local Council on the Bedroom Tax and cuts to local services/support. Oh, and as we know ATOS offices are still around too….we’re sure you have other great ideas to add… Remember to let us know what you are doing so we can promote your actions. We will be producing local action resource packs but any materials you develop please send us copies to share with other protests and online.
Saturday 31st – Disability, Art & Protest Exhibition and Fundraising Gig
An exhibition and sharing of work exploring disability, art and protest followed by a ticketed fundraising gig run in partnership with Madpride and Tottenham Chances. Come during the day and join in our banner making workshop to prepare for the big Freedom Drive on the 4th September. If you would like to nominate an artist, collective and/or piece of work please let us know (including any links) and we will try to get them involved. If you want to do a local, street or online art protest too-this could be the day to do it.
Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN
12 – 7pm Exhibition: disability, art and protest
1 – 3.30pm Banner and placard making workshop
4 – 6pm Sharing of Work
7.30pm til late Gig
Sunday 1st September – Reclaiming the Social Model: the social model in the 21st Century
Key speakers : Anne Rae: former UPIAS and current chair of the Greater
Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), Colin Barnes: Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds Centre for Disability Studies
As government and the private sector increasingly use a so-called ‘modern understanding of disability’ to redefine who is and who isn’t disabled it is more important than ever that we understand, defend and promote the social model of disability.
This isn’t helped when the social model is not fully supported within our movement. This event will be a chance to hear from a range of speakers and to discuss why the social model is still relevant today to our lives and our futures and to map out what we need to do to fight for it. The event will be live-streamed with the opportunity for people to participate in the discussion virtually. We will also be promoting a range of resources around the social model.
Venue (tbc): University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Time: 12.30 – 4.30pm
Monday 2nd September – Direct Action
Despite the huge efforts of thousands of disabled people throughout the country, it is increasingly difficult to find spaces where lies, inaccuracies and mis-use of statistics can be challenged. DPAC recently released a study into how the DWP uses all of these to vilify and demonise disabled people. But why is this down to us? People should be presented with both sides of the story and this isn’t happening. Disabled people are having to find ways to make sure our truths will be heard. Watch this space…
Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day
A day of online action to reinforce that we want Rights not Charity and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people. Dare to ask for Rights not Charity. Dare to be an activist. Dare to ask more of ‘our’ organisations. We aren’t asking for Care, we want Power: Power to write the script for our own lives, and not to be written out or written off by others. A range of actions and captions will be available for you to capture in an image and circulate online.
Wednesday 4th September – FREEDOM DRIVE
A final-day march and events in and around Parliament. Four themed ‘blocks’ will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament for a lobby where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our elected representatives.
Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:
• Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation (Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)
• Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits (3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)
• Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance (Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)
• Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence (Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)
Lobby of Parliament: 5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto
WE WANT EVERYBODY TO JOIN US ON THIS MARCH ideally in person, but also online-this is for everyone everywhere. There will be accessible transport from a variety of towns and cities throughout the country (details to follow) and there is some funding available for transport but we will need your co-operation and patience to make this work for everybody, so please bear with us and note that while DPAC members will be given priority we want to support as many people as we can. If you can’t get there send a photo or your name and you can march with us.
This week of action is yours. Please take part at whatever level suits you – BUT MAKE SURE YOU TAKE PART. Share our events, resources and actions as far and wide as you can.
Lets Reclaim Our Futures, together!