Accessibility and Legal Information for Saturday

Posted on Wed 25th Jan 2012, 3:00pm


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On Saturday 28th January in central London, a group of disabled, sick and elderly people are going to engage in a daring and disruptive act of civil disobedience. UK Uncut will be there to support them. We hope that together we can stop the government’s Welfare Reform Bill in its tracks.

Thank you to everyone who pointed out problems with the accessibility of this action. We’ve tried to change some things to make the event more accessible and inclusive. We’ll also try and build these lessons into planning for future actions. Disabled people have been leading the battle against the Welfare Reform Bill, as they will be on Saturday.

Accessibility information

The meeting point for Saturday is outside Holborn Tube station. Holborn isn’t a wheelchair accessible station. This was a mistake made by UK Uncut and we apologise for this oversight. It is now an opportunity for lessons learned to inform and enrich our future actions, which will hopefully encourage more people to take action against the cuts with us.

The protest will involve being able to travel either by bus, taxi (this can be funded), or on foot/wheeling a reasonable distance from Holborn Tube station. If you have mobility issues and would like to attend the protest, please come to Holborn for 11am. Make yourself known to someone from UK Uncut (they’ll be holding a flag). We will then fund a taxi to take you to a point near the target. There will be people to 'buddy up' with at Holborn and someone to meet you at the other end, so we can get to the target together at the right time.

The protest will also involve being outside for at least an hour. We will try and bring portable chairs and raincoats, but please bring your own if possible. There will be an activist with British Sign Language, although they may not be available all of the time, so please let us know if you need any BSL support and we will try to provide this.

If you would like more information, please email mail@dpac.uk.net with basic access support needed: e.g. do you need support with manual wheelchairs; do you need to be guided from the tube; do you need a ‘buddy’ to help? Send your mobile number to mail@dpac.uk.net in case we need to text you.

Legal information

The fantastic Green and Black Cross legal support group will have legal observers there on the day, checking police behaviour, and giving out advice cards. Here are a couple of things you can do:
  • Take a look at this advice card, and keep one in your pocket on the day. This time, please call Hodge, Jones & Allen if you need a solicitor (07659 111 192).
  • Bring a friend with you, and make an agreement to look out for each other throughout the day.
Now that you’re prepared, we’ll see you at Holborn!

Message from the Invisible: scrap the Welfare Reform Bill!

Posted on Fri 20th Jan 2012, 6:41pm


Facebook event »

On Saturday 28th January in central London, a group of disabled, sick and elderly people are going to engage in a daring and disruptive act of civil disobedience, and they’ve asked for our support. Meet at 11.30am at Holborn tube station with a charged Oyster card, ready to travel to a secret location. Look here for accessibility information, and here for the press release.

Britain isn’t perfect. But our welfare state offers something that everyone can be proud of. It’s a comforting thought that if tomorrow you lost your job, your home or even a limb, society would be there to help you through it.

At least until now. The government’s Welfare Reform Bill is just weeks away from becoming law and is the biggest threat the welfare state has faced in its history.

The Bill will take vital lifelines from the most vulnerable people in society. Right now, 500,000 families stand to lose their homes. Others will become imprisoned in them. Half a million will lose their disability allowance, including disabled children. People with terminal illnesses will be forced into work, and 3.2 million will be put through cruel tests that are pushing some to take their own lives. Millions of people – pensioners, low waged workers, the disabled, sick and unemployed – will fall deeper into poverty.

The government’s excuse for all this? The deficit, of course. Yet it continues to turn a blind eye to the £25 billion in tax dodged by corporations and rich individuals every year, a sum greater than the projected savings of the entire Welfare Reform Bill. Vodafone’s brand new £2bn tax dodge alone could pay for all of the cuts to Disability Living Allowance, which affects 500,000 people.

Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and Co. are choosing to inflict suffering on sick and disabled people rather than tackle rich tax dodgers, because they think the poor and vulnerable are invisible - that they won’t or can’t make a fuss - and the rest of us don’t care.

On Saturday 28th January, let’s show them that they’re wrong. A group of disabled, sick and elderly people are going to engage in a hugely daring and disruptive act of civil disobedience, and they’ve asked for our support.

Meet at 11.30am at Holborn tube station with a charged Oyster card, ready to travel to a secret location. The government are going to discover that the vulnerable can be very visible indeed, and that the rest of us do care.


The Lords have already shot down some of the government’s most damaging proposals. Our aim now is to shame the government into withdrawing the bill completely and instead create a welfare system that protects us all. Let’s make sure everyone knows that Cameron would rather make millions of sick and disabled people’s lives a misery than collect the tax from his millionaire mates.

See you at Holborn.

“Yes, disabled people will be among the hardest hit by these cuts, but they will also hit back the hardest.”

Thank you to everyone who pointed out problems with the accessibility of this action. We’ve tried to change some things to make the event more accessible and inclusive. We’ll also try and build these lessons into planning for future actions. Disabled people have been leading the battle against the Welfare Reform Bill, as they will be on Saturday.

Guest post: Last chance to save Disability Living Allowance

Posted on Mon 16th Jan 2012, 4:25pm

This is a guest post by Lisa Egan, who tweets as @lisybabe


"Yes, disabled people will be among the hardest hit by these cuts, but they will also hit back the hardest."

Last week’s votes in the House of Lords in which the government were defeated 3 times in their plans to make Britain a crueller place were an outstanding success for this country’s disability rights activists. The Uncut community helped make this happen by tweeting and emailing peers telling them that dismantling state assistance for people unable to work was not acceptable.

We need your help again.

Tomorrow, the Lords will vote on amendments to preserve Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The most glaring fact that you need to know is this: They plan to cut the Disability Living Allowance budget by 20% despite the fact that only 0.5% of claims are fraudulent. This means that one in every five genuine DLA claimants will be losing out on money we depend on to get by.

Despite what you’ve probably read in the papers; DLA is not an out-of-work benefit. If you need to use a wheelchair to get around or you need help to get out of bed; those needs don’t go away because you’ve got a job so the money to pay for that help doesn’t go away either.

As a manual wheelchair user who gets the care component for supervision because of my unfortunate habit of doing things like snapping a rib when I bend down to pick something up: I’m set to lose everything. I honestly don’t know how I’ll be able to cope without that small amount of support. The government keep saying that the reforms are about “making work pay,” but as DLA is what enables many disabled people to work, these cuts will force a lot of people out of the workplace.

What you can do

We need you to email and tweet at Lords tonight, particularly Lib Dems and Crossbenchers, so that their inboxes are full before the votes on DLA tomorrow. You can find a list of the email addresses of all Lords below and a list of all Lords on Twitter here.

Ask them whether they are comfortable destroying disabled people's lives for the sake of £1.2bn in savings when the country continues to lose up to £120bn in tax avoidance and evasion each year.

Ask them whether they have read Responsible Reform AKA #spartacusreport: A piece of research published last week which proved that the Department for Work and Pensions misled the Commons and the Lords by suggesting disabled people approved of the reform. All Lords have received a printed copy of the report, but it won’t hurt to email them the link in case they’ve left their copy on a train or something.

Ask them whether they are aware of the devastating consequences of taking benefits from people that need them.

Finally, ask them why disabled people should pay the price for a crisis caused by the greed and recklessness of the banks.

If you need any more information about the DLA to PIP planned changes, please see below and have a read of Deborah’s excellent piece. And then please, please, please act. Email the Lords, then send a few tweets too. And if you happen to be free on Tuesday afternoon please attend the vigil outside the House of Lords to remind them when they go in to vote that British people will not tolerate making innocent disabled people pay for a financial crisis we didn’t cause.


Email addresses of all Lords using email (send a bcc email):

marm@parliament.uk; marksj@parliament.uk; marland@parliament.uk; marlesford@parliament.uk; martinm@parliament.uk; masseyd@parliament.uk; maxtonj@parliament.uk; methuenr@parliament.uk; millers@parliament.uk; millerd@parliament.uk; mitchellp@parliament.uk; montrosej@parliament.uk; morgan@parliament.uk; stevensonmm@parliament.uk; morrispa@parliament.uk; morrisw@parliament.uk; morrise@parliament.uk; murphyel@parliament.uk; neubergerj@parliament.uk; newbyr@parliament.uk; newloveh@parliament.uk; newtont@parliament.uk; nichollsd@parliament.uk; noakess@parliament.uk; noong@parliament.uk; northbournec@parliament.uk; northoverl@parliament.uk; nortonp@parliament.uk; oakeshottm@parliament.uk; ocathaind@parliament.uk; collinsr@parliament.uk; oloann@parliament.uk; oneillm@parliament.uk; ouseleyh@parliament.uk; oxburghe@parliament.uk; palmerm@parliament.uk; palmerad@parliament.uk; freemanr@parliament.uk; freudd@parliament.uk; freybergv@parliament.uk; fritchiei@parliament.uk; galea@parliament.uk; gardens@parliament.uk; gardinerj@parliament.uk; gardnert@parliament.uk; geddese@parliament.uk; germanm@parliament.uk; gibsonan@parliament.uk; glentoranr@parliament.uk; goldd@parliament.uk; goldingll@parliament.uk; goldsmithp@parliament.uk; goodhartw@parliament.uk; richardsonk@parliament.uk; gordonj@parliament.uk; gouldj@parliament.uk; robertsong@parliament.uk; grantchesterj@parliament.uk; greavesa@parliament.uk; aberdarea@parliament.uk; addingtond@parliament.uk; adebowalev@parliament.uk; afsharh@parliament.uk; ahmadt@parliament.uk; ahmedn@parliament.uk; alderdicej@parliament.uk; greenfieldsu@parliament.uk; allanr@parliament.uk; alliw@parliament.uk; templemorrisp@parliament.uk; altond@parliament.uk; amosv@parliament.uk; trotmang@parliament.uk; andrewsk@parliament.uk; holgovernmentwhips@parliament.uk; armstrongh@parliament.uk; armstrongr@parliament.uk; ashdownp@parliament.uk; ashleyj@parliament.uk; astorjj@parliament.uk; astorw@parliament.uk; attleej@parliament.uk; greengrosss@parliament.uk; bachw@parliament.uk; bakerk@parliament.uk; greenwaya@parliament.uk; stevensonmm@parliament.uk; barkere@parliament.uk; barnettj@parliament.uk; bassams@parliament.uk; batesm@parliament.uk; beechamj@parliament.uk; grenfellj@parliament.uk; greythompsont@parliament.uk; griffithslj@parliament.uk; grocottb@parliament.uk; halla@parliament.uk; hameed@parliament.uk; hamwees@parliament.uk; hanhamj@parliament.uk; pollockd@parliament.uk; harriesr@parliament.uk; harrisa@parliament.uk; harrisonlh@parliament.uk; haskels@parliament.uk; hastingsm@parliament.uk; hawortha@parliament.uk; haymanh@parliament.uk; hayterd@parliament.uk; puttnamd@parliament.uk; healyab@parliament.uk; henigr@parliament.uk; henleyo@parliament.uk; hennessyp@parliament.uk; heyhoeflintr@parliament.uk; higginst@parliament.uk; hodgsonr@parliament.uk; hollinss@parliament.uk; hollisp@parliament.uk; hooperg@parliament.uk; howardm@parliament.uk; howarthv@parliament.uk; howartha@parliament.uk; howeg@parliament.uk; howee@parliament.uk; howef@parliament.uk; howelld@parliament.uk; hughesb@parliament.uk; hughesr@parliament.uk; huntp@parliament.uk; ecem@parliament.uk; hyltonr@parliament.uk; ingep@parliament.uk; inglewoodw@parliament.uk; janvrinr@parliament.uk; jaymh@parliament.uk; jenkinp@parliament.uk; jonesn@parliament.uk; jonesmag@parliament.uk; jordanw@parliament.uk; kakkara@parliament.uk; kennedyro@parliament.uk; benjaminf@parliament.uk; berkeleyafg@parliament.uk; best@parliament.uk; bhatiaa@parliament.uk; m.bichard@btinternet.com; bilimoria@parliament.uk; birtj@parliament.uk; blackgv@parliament.uk; blackstonet@parliament.uk; blackwelln@parliament.uk; bloodm@parliament.uk; bonhamcarterj@parliament.uk; boswellte@parliament.uk; bottomleyv@parliament.uk; bownessp@parliament.uk; boydcd@parliament.uk; brabazoni@parliament.uk; bradleykj@parliament.uk; brettw@parliament.uk; bridgemanr@parliament.uk; brintons@parliament.uk; brookec@parliament.uk; brookep@parliament.uk; browned@parliament.uk; burnst@parliament.uk; buscombep@parliament.uk; butlerf@parliament.uk; butlerslosse@parliament.uk; byfordh@parliament.uk; camerone@parliament.uk; campbellar@parliament.uk; campbelljs@parliament.uk; carlilea@parliament.uk; carswellr@parliament.uk; carterst@parliament.uk; cathcartc@parliament.uk; chidgeyd@parliament.uk; clancartyn@parliament.uk; clarkd@parliament.uk; clarkeaj@parliament.uk; clementjonest@parliament.uk; kingo@parliament.uk; monroej@parliament.uk; kingtar@parliament.uk; kinnockg@parliament.uk; knightja@parliament.uk; kramers@parliament.uk; lairdj@parliament.uk; lawsonn@parliament.uk; lead@parliament.uk; leej@parliament.uk; ramsbothamd@parliament.uk; lestera@parliament.uk; lexdena@parliament.uk; liddellh@parliament.uk; liddler@parliament.uk; lindsayj@parliament.uk; linklaterv@parliament.uk; lipseyd@parliament.uk; listerr@parliament.uk; listowelf@parliament.uk; liverpoole@parliament.uk; loombar@parliament.uk; lothianm@parliament.uk; lowc@parliament.uk; lucasr@parliament.uk; lukea@parliament.uk; macaulayd@parliament.uk; mccolli2@parliament.uk; macdonaldaj@parliament.uk; mcintoshg@parliament.uk; mackayjp@parliament.uk; mackenzieh@parliament.uk; mackenzieb@parliament.uk; mckenziew@parliament.uk; hennessys@parliament.uk; maclennanr@parliament.uk; mcnallyt@parliament.uk; maddockd@parliament.uk; maginnisk@parliament.uk; mancej@parliament.uk; colwyna@parliament.uk; copej@parliament.uk; corstonj@parliament.uk; cotterb@parliament.uk; coussinsj@parliament.uk; craigd@parliament.uk; crathornej@parliament.uk; crawleyc@parliament.uk; crickhowelln@parliament.uk; cumberlegej@parliament.uk; dannattr@parliament.uk; daviesb@parliament.uk; daviesq@parliament.uk; demauley@parliament.uk; deanb@parliament.uk; deargj@parliament.uk; deechr@parliament.uk; redferna@parliament.uk; desaim@parliament.uk; dholakian@parliament.uk; dixond@parliament.uk; dobbsm@parliament.uk; draysonp@parliament.uk; lordspeaker@parliament.uk; dubsa@parliament.uk; ecclesd@parliament.uk; ecclesj@parliament.uk; edenj@parliament.uk; elisthomasd@parliament.uk; empeyr@parliament.uk; errollm@parliament.uk; evansm@parliament.uk; langrishm@parliament.uk; ezrad@parliament.uk; falknerk@parliament.uk; faulknerro@parliament.uk; westm@parliament.uk; filking@parliament.uk; finlayi@parliament.uk; flighth@parliament.uk; fookesj@parliament.uk; fordm@parliament.uk; foulkesg@parliament.uk; fowlern@parliament.uk; pestonmh@parliament.uk; parminterk@parliament.uk; patelkk@parliament.uk; pattenc@parliament.uk; pendryt@parliament.uk; perryp@parliament.uk; pitkeathleyj@parliament.uk; popatd@parliament.uk; prasharu@parliament.uk; prosserm@parliament.uk; quinjg@parliament.uk; ramsaym@parliament.uk; randersonj@parliament.uk; rawlingspe@parliament.uk; reajn@parliament.uk; reidja@parliament.uk; rennardc@parliament.uk; rentont@parliament.uk; ribeirob@parliament.uk; richardi@parliament.uk; risbyr@parliament.uk; ritchies@parliament.uk; robertsw@parliament.uk; robertsr@parliament.uk; rookerj@parliament.uk; roperj@parliament.uk; rosserr@parliament.uk; rotherwickr@parliament.uk; royallj@parliament.uk; stockn@parliament.uk; sandwichj@parliament.uk; scottrc@parliament.uk; seccombej@parliament.uk; selbornejr@parliament.uk; selkirkj@parliament.uk; selsdonm@parliament.uk; sewelj@parliament.uk; sharpm@parliament.uk; sharplesp@parliament.uk; sheikhm@parliament.uk; sheldonr@parliament.uk; westm@parliament.uk; sherlockm@parliament.uk; shipleyj@parliament.uk; shrewsburyc@parliament.uk; shuttd@parliament.uk; simonj@parliament.uk; skelmersdaler@parliament.uk; skidelskyr@parliament.uk; smithangela@parliament.uk; smitht@parliament.uk; smithcr@parliament.uk; smithlady@parliament.uk; smithprc@parliament.uk; soleyc@parliament.uk; soulsbyl@parliament.uk; dalrymplej@parliament.uk; stedmanscottd@parliament.uk; stephenn@parliament.uk; stevensdavid@parliament.uk; stevensonw@parliament.uk; stirrupg@parliament.uk; stonea@parliament.uk; stowellt@parliament.uk; sutherlands@parliament.uk; swinfenr@parliament.uk; tanlaws@parliament.uk; taylora@parliament.uk; taylorjl@parliament.uk; taylorjdb@parliament.uk; goldsmithb@parliament.uk; thomasm@parliament.uk; thomass@parliament.uk; thomascm@parliament.uk; thorntong@parliament.uk; tombsf@parliament.uk; tongej@parliament.uk; topeg@parliament.uk; tordoffg@parliament.uk; touhigjd@parliament.uk; trefgarned@parliament.uk; triesmand@parliament.uk; truen@parliament.uk; tugendhatc@parliament.uk; tunnicliffed@parliament.uk; tylerp@parliament.uk; ullswatern@parliament.uk; vermas@parliament.uk; waddingtond@parliament.uk; wadew@parliament.uk; wakehamj@parliament.uk; walkermjd@parliament.uk; wallacew@parliament.uk; wallacej@parliament.uk; walmsleyj@parliament.uk; walpolerh@parliament.uk; warnockh@parliament.uk; warwickd@parliament.uk; watsonm@parliament.uk; wein@parliament.uk; wheelerm@parliament.uk; whittyl@parliament.uk; wilcoxj@parliament.uk; wilkinsrc@parliament.uk; williamss@parliament.uk; williamscc@parliament.uk; williamsond@parliament.uk; willisg@parliament.uk; willoughbyl@parliament.uk; wilsondc@parliament.uk; stewart.wood@parliament.uk; woolmerk@parliament.uk; younglo@parliament.uk; younga@parliament.uk; youngb@parliament.uk; youngerj@parliament.uk

More on DLA:

There are 2 components to DLA: Care and Mobility. The mobility component is paid at 2 rates:

  • Low Rate: This is mainly for people with learning difficulties, mental health problems or visual impairments who need human help getting around outside the house because they may get lost easily, etc
  • High Rate: This is for people who are unable or virtually unable to walk
The care component has 3 different rates:
  • Low Rate: This is for people who need help with things like cooking, getting out of bed and other personal tasks a lot – but not all – of the time
  • Middle Rate: This is for people who need help all of their waking hours
  • High Rate: This is for people who need assistance 24/7

These reforms plan to change the name of the benefit from DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). They then plan to achieve the 20% budget cut by:

  • Abolishing the Low Rate Care Component: this means that everyone who needs help “merely” most of the time will lose their support
  • Removing the Mobility Component from manual wheelchair users
  • Increasing the time between onset of condition and being able to claim from 3 months to 6 months

Also missing from the draft criteria is any mention of the need for supervision for safety reasons. A lot of people get the care component of DLA for that reason including people with conditions like brittle bones, epilepsy and mental health problems.

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