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Atos Mobbed – Poverty Pimps Shut Down By Benefit Claimants

January 25, 2011

The Second National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts took place yesterday with events targeting poverty pimps like Atos Origin and A4e.

Over 100 disabled protesters and claimants gathered at Triton Square, London where a noisy mob made their way to the front doors of Atos’ shiny corporate headquarters despite the best efforts of police to stop them.  Police formed a line protecting Atos whilst chants rang out of ‘Atos Kills’.  Many people spoke out of their often heart-rending experiences at the hands of Atos’ medical testing which has repeatedly stripped sickness and disability benefits from the most vulnerable.

Anti-poverty and disability protest groups were well represented including Disabled People Against Cuts, Welfare Action Hackney, London Coalition Against Poverty, Mad Pride and many more.  Also present were members of PCS Union’s Euston branch who work in Euston Tower which overlooked the protest and who expressed solidarity with claimants.

Over the top as ever, the police briefly kettled the protesters.   After some time however people were able to leave if they agreed to be escorted from Triton Square, which lies on a privately owned business estate where protest is presumably not part of the corporate strategy.

One disabled protester valiantly attempted to breach the police line, but was bundled to the ground and dragged away to chants of ‘Let Him Go’.  With cameras everywhere and no doubt fearing another Jody Mcintyre youtube sensation they complied and as far as we know there were no arrests on the day.

Speeches and chanting continued as well as one impassioned song whilst many people, who had brought food to share, laid out a picnic alongside the impromptu free shop that had also been established.

It is unclear whether Atos closed their offices, but certainly the only people going in or out for the afternoon appeared to be cops and private security guards.  Also doing slow business were Virgin Health Clubs who found their main entrance inside the police lines and were therefore effectively closed for the afternoon.  They might like to think about that at their next meeting cosying up to the Condems in the hope of stealing a slice of the NHS.

As the day wore on police melted away and around 20 protesters headed to the Atos Testing Centre  and Jobcentre Plus administrative offices just up the road at Marylebone.  Entering the, admittedly almost closed building, they briefly occupied the Atos waiting room leaving messages of their experiences of Atos stuck to the walls.

Protests also happened around the country.  Atos testing centres were leafleted in Nottingham, Archway and Glasgow.  The protest outside Atos’ Scotland offices, reportedly in the middle of nowhere, still drew around 40 people and an equal number of police who surrounded the building and once again protected the poverty pimps.  Latest reports indicate heavy-handed policing but the good news is it appears Atos Scotland’s offices were closed for the day.  It’s nice to see Atos Origin being the vulnerable ones for a change.

A protest held in Leeds outside Atos called by West Yorkshire Solidarity Federation and Yorkshire Black Triangle was successful in closing the Leeds branch of Atos’ corporate empire whilst a smaller, but successful protest in Burnley gathered significant local support.  Protests were also held in Newcastle, Lydney, Birmingham, Crawley, Chesterfield, Hastings and possibly elsewhere, please send details to notowelfarecuts (at) yahoo.co.uk.

Earlier in the week the Cardiff Unemployed Disco drew a fine crowd and they’re holding another one on February 18th.  It’s not over for Atos yet either as Brighton Benefits Campaign are holding an event this Saturday highlighting the pantomime which is the Work Capability Assessment.

Finally tories the length and breadth of the internet were well and truly trolled as part of the second National Troll A Tory Day.  Comments were left, letters to MPs written, petitions signed and Atos were not left out as many took advantage of their recently published health advice phone-lines.

Benefit claimants have vowed to be back with a third National Day of Action to be announced soon.  Atos Origin, the rest of the poverty pimps and the farcical Condem coalition should know that we are not going anywhere.

Pics of the London demo can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteriches/with/5385496598/

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Angharrid.. permalink
    January 25, 2011 2:46 pm

    Well done to all!!!
    but…..where the hell was the media? Why wasn’t it reported in the papers or on tv?
    Seems footie pundets and their big gobs warrant more airtime than people dying or living in poverty/homeless….spineless scum!!!

    • Anne Marie permalink
      January 25, 2011 6:51 pm

      Where were the media? In the pockets of the people who pass the legislation. This is news, but it won’t be reported unless it’s too visible for them NOT to report, and then they’ll slant the rerportage to make the protestors look bad. The internet is where it’s at if you’re not on the side of those who wield power.

    • wishface permalink
      January 25, 2011 6:52 pm

      I’m not at all surprised at the lack of coverage.

  2. January 25, 2011 7:34 pm

    A CORRECTION

    The Leeds ATOS demonstration was called by Yorkshire Black Triangle anti-Defamation Campaign and supported by West Yorkshire Solidarity Federation.

  3. Michael Forde permalink
    January 26, 2011 12:17 am

    I arrived at Duke St, Norwich, nobody else was their except those waiting for their medical assessments, I asked if anyone was prepared to say anything by way of protest, nobody would look me in the eye and was then escorted of the premises by a security guard, sorry my attempt at protesting was meek and hopeless

  4. stuart permalink
    January 26, 2011 12:30 am

    its like as if everybody has given up and lost there bottle,no good moaning and groaning the time has come to take some action to show these devils in no 10 we deserve respect and dignity and we aint having your cuts after cuts after cuts that is all bleeding us to death into a lifetime of misery..no no no ive had enough of this and will be taking some protest action.

  5. January 26, 2011 6:04 am

    Its REALLY Going Too Far ……… HELP URGENTLY WANTED !!!

    Just over 5 years ago, i was given 6=12 months life expectancy due to my alcohol addiction, and was very ill and on benefits due to being unable to walk, near the end of my addiction.

    I was given HOPE by being offered an bed in an alcohol detox centre in Eccles, England ….. BUT that was luck, and now i am over 5 years alcohol free and in recovery with my own community interest company helping people with alcohol addiction ..

    BUT

    There is talk on STOPPING benefits for those who dont get treatment, BUT what about their childrem families etc??

    I have set up an petition online which will be taken to 10 Downing Street once i get a few thousand sognatures BUT hard to find the right sites to promote this.

    CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ????

    PEOPLE CAN AND WILL DIE IF THIS IS TAKEN FORWARD

    http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/apss

    Many Thanks

    Brian Morrrison
    Alcohol Peer Support Services (APSS) CIC
    Blackpool, Lancashire

  6. January 26, 2011 11:36 am

    There will be hardly any media coverage from national papers ( gaggig orders from above ) But try and get local news coverage . ATOS are trained liars i know that as the medical nurse lied on all my medical forms , i was told i turned up alone ? my sister had to accompany me as i could barely stand up with dizziness / vertigo .I am still fighting for benefits i have ME/CFS and i am housebound . GOD HELP US with this condem Goverment and its side kicks . we are back to the workhouses .

  7. noxi permalink
    January 26, 2011 7:54 pm

    Pic of Burnley demo http://twitpic.com/3t0kwo

  8. stuart permalink
    January 27, 2011 2:56 am

    this is a civil rights issue now aka ,martin luther king and the civil movement in northern ireland in the 60s,this is the best approach to get the masses out on the streets and it will work beleive me, it will.

  9. January 29, 2011 12:55 am

    wish I had known…

  10. mjaynemarie permalink
    February 3, 2011 1:06 am

    the condems are cowards atos dont give atos and the dwp (down with poorpeople) are heartless swines

Trackbacks

  1. Atos Origin targeted by disabled protesters | Work Programme & Flexible New Deal: Ipswich Unemployed Action
  2. R&C Euston at the Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts (Updated 15.30 26/01/2011) | PCS Euston Branch
  3. Over 100 disabled protesters visit ATOS! « Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy
  4. Tweets that mention Atos Mobbed – Poverty Pimps Shut Down By Benefit Claimants « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts -- Topsy.com
  5. Second National Day of Protests Against Benefit Cuts | Work Programme
  6. Atos Mobbed – Poverty Pimps Shut Down By Benefit Claimants « Norfolk Community Action Group
  7. Atos Mobbed – Poverty Pimps Shut Down By Benefit Claimants « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts « WorldWright's …
  8. Atos Origin and Triton Sq:we were kettled « DPAC
  9. Disability activists protest ATOS ‘poverty pimps’ | Liberal Conspiracy
  10. Picnic and Party Against Atos Origin – part 2 « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  11. * Home * About * Resources Picnic and Party Against Atos Origin – part 2 | the void
  12. R&C Euston at the Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts (Updated)

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