Atos Origin Recruitment Event Disrupted by Angry Protests
Around 60 disabled people, supporters and benefit claimants held an angry protest outside the Atos Origin recruitment event in London yesterday.
Atos are currently recruiting healthcare workers as Disability Assessors whose job is to carry out the computer based ‘health’ assessments which have seen thousands of disabled and sick people lose benefit entitlements. Protesters gathered from 5pm and began handing out leaflets to those attending the event (re=produced below) reminding them of the fundamental medical principle of ‘First Do No Harm’.
A recent survey by Mind revealed how 51% of people with mental health conditions were left with suicidal thoughts at the prospect of a work capability assessment carried out by Atos. Tragically some people have already taken their own lives as a result of Atos’ decisions.
Groups including Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), London Coalition Against Poverty, Mental Health Resistance Network and Winvisible Network were all present at the event.
As the evening wore on a megaphone turned up and angry chants of ‘Atos Kills’ rang out across the corporate facades of Triton Square. Later the mood turned increasingly spiky and the protest made it’s way directly in front of the doors of Atos Origin’s UK Head Quarters whilst police and private security guards hurried to try and maintain access for the job applicants in attendance.
Eventually the front doors were largely closed down so applicants and Atos staff found themselves herded in and out of the building via the rear fire exit. Despite the obvious anger on display of those present, the protest remained peaceful and good-natured, whilst displaying a fitting contempt for this company some have dubbed the ‘Euthanasia and Racial Purity Arm of the DWP’.
Only and handful of people appeared to even want a job with Atos and they were given a fitting taste of the growing rage felt by disabled people and claimants at this company. Atos were invited to address the crowd and justify their activities but as ever remained silent.
One message rang through loud and clear which was that people will continue to protest and take action against Atos until they pull out of the notorious Work Capability Assessment.
Some pics of the protest can be found at: http://www.demotix.com/news/726068/disability-activists-demonstrate-against-atos-origin-london
Please post links to more pics/reports in the comments.