Support The Atos 2
Two Nottingham residents, a pensioner and a wheelchair user, have been charged with aggravated trespass. The pair, dubbed the “Atos Two” by supporters, were arrested following a peaceful protest the offices of the Atos “Healthcare” on Stoney Street on September 30th. Campaigners accuse Atos of participating in a government-led attack on people with disabilities under the guise of “austerity.”
Upcoming event: Protest outside Bridewell Magistrates Court, Friday 25th November, 9.30am
Sign the statement of support: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2195
Atos Healthcare, is part of IT giant Atos Origin and has been selected by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to administer the Work Capability Assessment, testing sick and disabled people who apply for benefit.
In November 2010, Harrington Report and the Work and Pensions Select Committee, found the Work Capability Assessment implemented by Atos Healthcare to be mechanistic and Atos’ “medical reports” far too often did not reflect circumstances and discussions that had taken place during the assessments (The Harrington Report, pp. 40-41).
A large number of those tested are told they are able to work, but more than a third have the decision overturned on appeal. Yet even those who win their appeals are dragged back within a few months for another test. Small wonder that some have decided to commit suicide rather than continually go through this cat and mouse process. Seriously ill and even dying people have been called for assessment, and the recommendations of family doctors and specialists are apparently ignored.
In addition, twelve doctors working for Atos face being struck off for improper conduct, and other members of Atos’ staff are under investigation over allegations of obscene criticism of benefit claimants.
Over time sick and disabled people and their supporters have grown more militant and more vocal in their condemnations of Atos. In return Atos threatened legal action against the Internet hosting companies of three websites – Carerwatch, After Atos and Atos Register of Shame, attempting to silence claimants and their small organisations who have had the courage to speak up.