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Atos Picketed, Daily Mail Mobbed and Invaded, Westminster Council Told

April 15, 2011

Protests took place around the country yesterday as part of the Third National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts.

A demonstration of 100 people gathered outside the Daily Mail head office in Kensington demanding that they end the lies they print about disabled people and benefit claimants.  Police initially prevented the protest happening  outside the Mail’s entrance and demonstrators gathered opposite the front door of the Daily Mail Group on the other side of the building instead.

As the protest became increasingly angry it managed to move to it’s intended location where the microphone was passed round and impassioned and diverse expressions of contempt were aimed at the so called newspaper.  The protest ended with mass chants of ‘fuck the Daily Mail’.

Protesters then moved onto to Westminster City Hall where over a hundred people shared food, made speeches and vowed to defy any attempts to criminalise rough sleeping and the handing out of food in parts of the borough.

The Daily Mail’s Scotland offices were also targeted with activists invading their offices to distribute information and tell the faceless hacks personally what they think of the Daily Mail’s abuse of disabled people.  Prior to this the group has demonstrated outside the Glasgow offices of Atos Origin, the company responsible for health testing benefit claimants in an attempt to strip people of benefits.

Atos Origin were the focus of many protests around the country.  Their testing centre Edinburgh was picketed whilst over 40 people protested outside their premises in Dundee.  The protest at Atos’ Scotland Head Office in Livingston turned out to be a red herring, with a large police presence arriving to discover everyone had gone to Dundee instead.

In Brighton the Computer Says No play was performed outside Atos offices to an enthusiastic crowd and heavy police presence.  Liverpool and Leeds both saw demonstrations outside Atos, organised by local Solidarity Federation branches and the Black Triangle Anti Defamation Camapign.

An early morning demonstration in Islington saw a crowd gather outside the North London Atos testing centre, and demonstrations also took place outside Atos in Bristol as well as in Burnley, Poole and Truro town centres.

The Armchair Army, Virtual Resistance and Troll A Tory ensured that those unable to attend protests in person could make their feelings heard.  Hundreds of online activists wrote to MPs, media outlets or trolled Tory websites throughout the day.

Islington demo report on Islington Tribune

Photos from PCS Euston

Photos from Pete Riches

Photos and report from Daily Mail protest Howard Jones at Demotix

Photos and report from Daily Mail protest from Peter Kirk at Demotix

Photos and report from Islington demo from Peter Kirk at Demotix

Photos at DPAC Flickr

Anti-benefit cuts camapaigners are now calling for escalation.  A week of action against Atos Origin has been called beginning on May 9th.  Watch this space for more details.

(please leave details of local events, links to reports and photos of the day in the comments)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 3:13 pm

    Yesterday a group of activist gathered at Leeds Train station from 11am to 11:30am. Once we were all confident that everyone was here, we marched on with pride towards Whitehall Road. When the organiser of west Yorkshire solidarity federation pointed out the building to me, I was absolutely astonished to see how swanky the building was.

    Anyhow we picked outside ATOS for around an hour as two photographers took snaps of our efforts. In our midst was also two friendly police officers who kept their distance. They were more bothered about their dinner break than whenever we were going to cause trouble. It was obvious that we were a friendly bunch and I’d like to thank West Yorkshire Police for their professionalism in ensuring the safety of the protesters.

    Hopefully some pictures will emerge from this soon and I hope I have helped to assist in the reporting side of things!

  2. Steve permalink
    April 15, 2011 5:15 pm

    We were only a small band..but it felt really liberating to join you people. At almost 60 years old..picketing is not something I normally take time to enjoy/participate in…but this genocidal cull of sick and disabled people has to stop…its clear to EVERYONE now..this is not about getting people back to work..but cutting to the barest minimum sick and disabled people have to exist on. This policy is nothing short of State Terrorism. More power to you all. I’d like to be on the London March on May 11th..unfortunately i have to drive to yorkshire and collect my father on that day. I think nothin short of a mass die-in on whitehall is what is going to show these ConDemns we mean business…let the police be seen trying to remove a several thousand sick/disabled people all lying on the floor in the road and being roughed up to get the media attention deserved to this outrageous attack on us. Living is already hard enough…but this behavious by the ConDemns is LITERALLY making me shake with anger and be physically sick more times than my medication is the cause. I dunno how these gov’t ministers sleep at night… SHAME ON ALL OF THEM!!

  3. DarkestAngel32 permalink
    April 15, 2011 10:34 pm

    There were thousands online sending email, not hundreds, and not all of us are disabled. There are single parents and the unemployed all campaigning alongside the disabled protesters. We all stand together because we are all being unfairly victimised and persecuted by this government.

Trackbacks

  1. Two funerals and a wedding: Catching up with the latest anarchist and socialist gossip | Cautiously pessimistic
  2. Picnic and Party Against Atos Origin – part 2 « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  3. * Home * About * Resources Picnic and Party Against Atos Origin – part 2 | the void

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