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A Month of Festive Action Against Atos and the Benefit Cuts

November 13, 2011

December 1 – December 31 2011

Everywhere!

Join us in December for a month of protests, actions and demonstrations against poverty pimps Atos and the condem government’s Welfare Reform Bill.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122853381158514

With thousands to face homelessness in the New Year due to housing benefit cuts, the harassment and further impoverishment of hundreds of thousands of disabled people due to punitive ‘assessments’, the continued persecution of people on sickness benefits, soaring unemployment and forced labour in the name of Workfare, a truly Victorian Christmas is on the cards for millions of us.

Whilst Atos CEO and disability denier Keith Wilman tucks into his organic Christmas turkey or multi-millionaire poverty pimp Emma Harrison of A4e hangs tinsel in her tax payer funded stately home, millions of disabled, low paid, unemployed or sick people are facing a future of poverty, worsening health and homelessness.

Parents will be spending Christmas terrified that the new demands of conditionally for benefits, such as forcing single mothers into workfare schemes, will leave them unable to properly care for their children. People will life threatening conditions or mental health problems will be terrified that their upcoming Atos assessment, notoriously flawed as it is, will further strip them of vital and life saving benefits. Tens of thousands of low waged families are about to be socially cleansed from city centres due to housing benefit cuts whilst unemployed people face the prospect of being forced to work full time and still survive on just a few pounds a day.

The Welfare Reform Bill will see millions of disabled people forced into a similar, if not identical, testing regime for the new Personal Independence Payment that has tragically led to suicides amongst people already forced to undertake Atos’ Work Capability Assessments

For the last year disabled people, claimant activists and supporters have been protesting against the inhumane treatment being inflicted on already vulnerable people. Scores of protests have been held outside (and sometimes inside) the offices of Atos ‘Healthcare’, the largest ever march of disabled people and supporters has taken place, protests have been held outside the Daily Mail, A4e offices and other workfare providers and online activity about benefit issues has exploded.

Still the Tory Government pushes ahead, with their Lib Dem lap dogs never far ahead. We need more than ever to increase the pressure and fight these attacks on our most basic needs and very survival. Organise and help spread the word now, please list all local actions, protests below and we will do our best to help promote and support all events as well as list them here.

Alternatively why not gather up your friends and turn up to spread seasonal cheer at your local Atos unannounced and then tell us about it afterwards. Everyone loves a surprise guest at Christmas!

We will not stop until they kill us.

A list of Atos corporate offices can be found at: http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/a bout_us/locations/

A PDF of all Atos Assessment Centres is available at: http://www.atoshealthcare.com/UserFiles/File/fact-sheets/2011/Assessment%20Centre%20Location%20List_July%202011.pdf

Brighton
12th December & 19th December

Brighton DPAC telephone and email blockade of Brighton ATOS Healthcare.

http://www.facebook.com/events/132910660153707/

Edinburgh

16th December 10-12am
Atos Benefit Testing Centre, 44 York Place, Edinburgh

Join us in this protest and in leafleting and showing solidarity with claimants going into ATOS.

https://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/edinburgh-protest-against-atos-16th-december/

Glasgow

16th December 1.30-2.30pm
Atos Medical Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogan Street

http://www.facebook.com/events/243943635673280/

London

1st December – 5.30pm-6.30pm
LSE Campus, Aldwych

Protest at Iain Duncan Smith’s LSE Talk.  Millionaire Iain Duncan Smith wants you to join his army of unpaid workers. Come and expose his doublespeak!
https://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/protest-at-iain-duncan-smiths-lse-talk-december-1st/

3rd December – 2pm
Olympic Park, Stratford

Protest Against Atos Outside the Paralympic Test Event!
http://www.facebook.com/events/313266012034394/

14th December – 9am
Downing Street, London SW1

The Right to Work Campaign will be protesting in Central London on
to highlight the scandal of mass unemployment to coincide with the announcement of the unemployment figures.
http://righttowork.org.uk/2011/12/protest-to-highlight-scandal-of-mass-unemployment/

16th December – 2pm
Triton Square, London NW1

A Real Victorian Christmas Party and Picnic at Triton Square
http://www.facebook.com/events/197478607000007/

Everywhere

12th Decmber – 23rd December

A Rolling Festive Phone-in to Atos ‘Healthcare’

http://www.facebook.com/events/281777128534663/

Online

Sign the petition against benefit cuts: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

Also on the 17th December – Join the UKUncut Christmas Special: http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/christmas-special

26 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2011 9:51 am

    good luck. I don’t live in London so all I can do is cheer from the sidelines. We the poor are all in this together, up to our necks. Shame the rich aren’t.

  2. Emma Cronin permalink
    March 14, 2012 4:43 pm

    Back on May 10th 2010 my husband was involved in a road traffic accident which resulted in the following injuries; Whiplash Classification III, nerve impingement, tendentious, and damage to his subscapularus and upper thoracic spine. At the time of this accident, I had not long given birth to our beautiful little daughter Amber, of which should have been a time filled with happiness and joy, yet was soon filled with dread, sadness and worry. Due to the nature of my husbands’ injuries he was of course unable to go back to work and as time has went on, due to the slow treatment and long waiting lists of the NHS for the appropriate treatment, he is still on his road to recovery. Also due to not being able to take care of our daughter alone because of his health, I am also unable to work, especially as childcare costs are so very expensive, leaving us with no other option but to rely on the help of the governments Employment Support Allowance Benefit, as without this benefit we wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves, support our daughter, but most of all, we would loose our home.

    About 2 months ago, Daniel was sent a letter from ATOS requesting him to go on a “Work Capability Assessment”, to which he was more than happy to do so. Last Wednesday (7th March) we received a call that completely put our world into an uncontrollable spin. According to the DWP, Daniels assessment score results had come back and was found to be under the line of requirement, which meant that he was no longer entitled to ESA and that he had to now go on to Job Seekers Allowance. Now, my husband is not only physically incapable of holding down any type of work placement, but is also on so much medication for pain, that due to the nature of the drowsy side effects that come with this medication, and the after effects of the nightly sleeping medication (Amitriptyline), there is no way he would even be able to concentrate on any such task. Now I am not emailing you to ask for your help in our appeal, what I do need is your help to put a stop to ATOS and these are my reasons why;

    1) On entering his assessment and speaking with the assessor, it became apparent very quickly that he had not read any of Daniels notes and had no knowledge of his previous medical history in relation to his condition.
    2) Each assessment by the recommended guidelines from an benefit advisor should last for no less than 45 minutes, Daniel was in there for no more than 10.
    3) At not one point was Daniel even asked about his medication or how his medication affects him, which for an employer should be a VERY important question, when making a decision on whether someone is able to work.
    4) When receiving a copy of the report it looks as though firstly it is a standard print out (nothing personal on the answers to relate to Daniels case) and most importantly only 40% of the questions on this report was asked and the other 60% answered on his behalf, of which had they have been asked, would have had very different answers and would also have given him enough points to qualify for ESA. Also the questions that were asked of him, also had wrong answers written by the assessor. It just seems that very little questioning or research takes place and that they make their own judgement, without knowing all the facts and all in a space of less than 10 minutes, which is appalling.
    5) Also on his letter from the DWP it stated that the assessor had called Daniel to gather more information, to which this is an out and out lie, as Daniel has never spoken to anyone. Once again more lies.
    6) This company also has a duty of care to all patients that they assess, to which not only are they making wrong decisions (which do effect people in the worse possible ways), they also have no concept of the word “care”. The person that assessed my husband was cold, abrupt and made him feel like a product on a factory production line (quick in and quickly out!).

    Now on doing my research I have found out many worrying facts about ATOS and heard many a sad story from others who have been left in similar situations. I think the most worrying is that in August of last year 11 assessors from ATOS were under investigation by the General Medical Council for misconduct. I also found out that over 37% (and it could be more) of decisions made by ATOS got over turned once reaching tribunal stages. Now I know the government use this outsourcing company to save costs, as they do charge a competitive rate, but with all the time and money spent by the government having to look into and over turn such a large amount of cases (which means that they’re paying a company to do a job, that they then have to do all over again!), isn’t that costing our government a huge amount more in the long run?? Surely after all of this mess, shouldn’t their contract of business from the government be terminated, so that the government can give that contract to a company who is actually far more cost effective, far more people friendly (which is hugely important as at the end of the day (and yes you do get your exaggerators) the majority of people seeking help are genuinely ill and most of the time need understanding, support and empathy, all of which ATOS wouldn’t know the first thing about), but most importantly make the right decisions, which in the long run would result in a happier community and a large reduction of damage control that the government is having to undertake, due to using such an appalling company.

    I can promise you that not everyone seeking benefit enjoys being in that situation and that especially goes for my husband and I, but sometimes life deals you a truly horrific hand, to which in that time you have to do what you can to survive, which means swallowing your pride and accepting help from the government. People like ATOS only make people like us, have to fight harder, when some times after all that we have been through and are still going through, don’t have an awful lot of fighting spirit left to deal with this. We, along with many others are most certainly listed under the genuine category and if ATOS were doing their job properly they would see that and we wouldn’t have to endure such fright and stress, which in the long run does have a huge impact on people such as my husband, when what really he should be doing, is putting all his energy into getting well. Instead we are now left with no money for food, as they have stopped our benefit, this in turn has put a hold on our housing benefit, which means we could also loose our home. So now we are left with an empty food cupboard, no money for nappies (with only one parent to help us out and she is also financially struggling, so can only do so much), and this constant fear of what is going to happen to us and our child, who of which is innocent in all of this, This whole situation has made us feel that we are letting her down, which that is a heartache that no parent should have to feel. Yes she is loved more than anything in the world, we couldn’t love her more than we do, but unfortunately love doesn’t put food in the belly, nappies on her bum and shoes on her feet. What ATOS has done, they have done to so many families, who are in genuine need and they need to be stopped! All they are interested in, is getting as many in and out as quickly as possible, making wrong desicions in the process, so that they can fill thier quota and continue to get thier hands on un-deserved goverment money, which in turn is actually the publics hard working taxes.!!!

    They NEED to be STOPPED!!!

  3. Mike Harvey permalink
    August 21, 2012 10:55 pm

    My cousin went to an Atos assessment centre because he receives DLA. He claims this because he lost an eye in an accident. This has been replaced by a prosthesis. He also has a congenital disease, which gradually destroys his retina. Consequently, he is going blind in his sole remaining eye.

    When he went for his medical assessment at Atos they decided he had 20/20 vision in both eyes. Yes, according to an Atos doctor he has perfect vision in an artificial glass! Based on this report the DWP stopped his DLA. Obviously, he appealed against that decision. Now those of us with some basic common sense would have thought it would have been resolved there. Oh no, when the DWP reviewed their decision they decided that a very highly trained doctor must know when someone can see with a prosthetic eye.

    It took the sanity of a hearing at the Tribunals Service for someone to eventually accept that something which is in effect not much different from a child’s marble will not give anyone sight.

    It is questionable not only what Atos doctors are probably told to do to make sure people do not pass medical assessments but what level of intelligence is required by someone to work as a decision maker at the DWP.

    We are all capable of making mistakes. But, when a mistake is pointed out to you, you put it right. You certainly do not continue to insist you’re right when you’ve made such a blatantly stupid mistake.

    In my opinion doctors and other health care professionals who take their thirty pieces of silver from Atos are beneath contempt. A doctor has obviously decided to report my cousin fit for work even though he has such an obvious disability.

    Instead of forcing people who cannot work in to work in order to reduce the cost of the benefit bill to the taxpayer the government should stop paying huge sums to Atos. That would save us millions I’m sure. They should trust the profesionalism of all doctors, If your GP or a hospital consultant says that you are not medically fit to work that should be good enough.

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Trackbacks

  1. A Month of Festive Action Against Atos and the Benefit Cuts « Act of Defiance
  2. Protest Outside the Disabled Rights UK Conference – 22 November « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  3. Time to head indoors? Highlights from a busy week | Cautiously pessimistic
  4. Workfare to be challenged in the courts. | Bright Green
  5. Protest Against Atos Outside the Paralympic Test Event! « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  6. A Real Victorian Christmas Party and Picnic at Triton Square – Friday 16th December « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  7. Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Millionaire Iain Duncan Smith wants you to join his army of unpaid workers. Come and expose his doublespeak!
  8. ATOS –Festive Month of Action- December 3rd and December 16th, London » DPAC
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  10. Protest at Iain Duncan Smith’s LSE Talk – December 1st « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  11. Atos Demo news from JohnyVoid… « ATOS REGISTER OF SHAME
  12. Benefit Claimants in Solidarity With the PCS! « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  13. Benefit Claimants in Solidarity With the PCS! « n30strike
  14. Protest at Iain Duncan Smith’s LSE Talk – December 1st « artsagainstcuts
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  16. Paralympic Protest – Atos Out of the Olympics! « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  17. A Rolling Festive Phone-in to Atos ‘Healthcare’ « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  18. Please show your support for a fellow campaigning group – “A Rolling Festive Phone-in to Atos ‘Healthcare’” « ATOS REGISTER OF SHAME
  19. A Rolling Festive Phone-in to Atos ‘Healthcare’ | the void
  20. Protest to highlight scandal of mass unemployment « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts
  21. A Rolling Festive Phone-in to Atos ‘Healthcare’ by benefitclaimantsfightback » DPAC

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