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Paralympic Protest – Atos Out of the Olympics!

December 7, 2011

A small but committed protest braved the weather and demonstrated outside the Paralympic Goalball test event last Saturday December 3rd.  A large banner reading ‘Atos Kills’ was unfurled outside the entrance to the Olympic Park, whilst protesters made speeches and handed out leaflets, resplendent in their newly printed Atos Kills T Shirts.

Atos are the company responsible for carrying out the notorious Work Capability assessment which had led to thousands of sick and disabled claimants being stripped of benefits, forced into stressful legal proceedings and made to attend demeaning health assessments.  The assessment has led to people with terminal cancer and other serious health conditions being judged fit for work.  Tragically several people have committed suicide due to decisions made by Atos ‘Healthcare’.

When not harassing sick and disabled people Atos are trying to clean up their filthy corporate image by becoming involved with the Paralympic Games.  Campaigners have vowed that Atos will not receive one inch of good publicity due to their involvement.  Wherever Atos go, we’ll be there, to show people the true face of this corporation.

The protest was a success and despite vague threats from the police, who claimed they couldn’t ensure disabled people’s safety unless we talked to them, relations with police and Westfield Shopping Centre security remained cordial on the day.  It does perhaps leave us wondering why the police think that benefit claimants and disabled people are unable to organise a safe visit to a shopping centre without their help, unless of course the only threat to our safety came from the police themselves.

Lots of leaflets were given out and speeches made about Atos’ involvement in the Paralympic Games, then a short protest was also held outside Stratford Station where the banner was unfurled and more speeches made.

The day was also the anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster and protesters also highlighted the role of Dow corporation as Olympic Partners.  Dow have repeatedly refused to pay compensation for the disaster that claimed thousands of lives and has been estimated to have  caused 558,125 injuries including approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.

The day was part of the Month of Festive Action against Atos which began on December 1st when a speech by Iain Duncan Smith at the LSE was met with demonstrators outside and noisy heckles inside.  Earlier in the week some claimants joined the PCS picket line at HMRC Euston, before carrying out a brief protest outside Atos’ corporate headquarters in Triton Square, which left security scurrying to lock down the building.

Claimants, disabled people and supporters will be back at Triton Square on the 16th December where a Real Victorian Christmas Party and Picnic against Atos will be held from 2pm.

(above pic: Martin Slavin)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. smithy permalink
    December 8, 2011 3:18 pm

    bloody good for them … ATOS are evil …

    I can imagine them at the paralympics with their little computer programme sanctioning every successful British para-olympian, and 95% of the unsuccessful ones too …

  2. December 8, 2011 4:09 pm

    any medal winners from the games are in danger of losing benefits

  3. December 8, 2011 4:12 pm

    think its time to up the anti & target individual ATOS staff simular to the campainge against vivisection find out where they live ‘name & shame them ‘

  4. Bob Brecher permalink
    August 16, 2012 9:05 am


    Dear Mr Pepper

    Your response is wholly inadequate.

    First, it is not a question of my – or anyone’s – feelings: it is a question of right and wrong. Second, you carefully avoid even mentioning any of the actual cases that occasioned my challenge to your company. Third, you make no reply to that challenge. Fourth, your final sentence contradicts your penultimate one.

    I shall refrain from speculating about why all this is the case, remarking only that neither of the two possible explanations redound to your credit. My challenge stands.

    Yours sincerely

    Professor Bob Brecher

    On 15/08/2012 15:25, “PEPPER, Brian” wrote:

    Thank you for your email to Thierry Breton dated 25 July 2012. I am the National Customer Relations Manager for our medical services contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and acknowledge your feelings on this subject.

    We are keenly aware that Work Capability Assessments can be stressful for those involved. We invest a great deal of time and resource in training and reviewing the work of our medical professionals to ensure that those assessed are treated both professionally and sympathetically. However, it is important to underline that we follow the detailed guidance of the DWP and that the assessments form an important but single part of the information used by the DWP when it makes its decisions on benefits.

    While independent reviews have confirmed that Atos Healthcare is providing a high standard of service in its WCA role, we are the first to recognise that in a role as complex and challenging as this, it is also our day-to-day duty to look for ways to improve any aspect of our work.

    Yours sincerely
    Brian Pepper
    Atos Healthcare

    From: Bob Brecher [ ]
    Sent: 25 July 2012 11:41
    To: BRETON Thierry
    Subject: Olympics sponsorship

    Dear Sir

    That a company with a record like yours of harassing, harming and demeaning disabled people – to the point when their lives are endangered – should be sponsors of the Olympic Games shows that the concept of shame is one you clearly do not understand. Had you the slightest human decency, you would resign; had you the slightest modicum of intellectual courage, you would agree to a public debate these issues. Will you?

    Bob Brecher
    Professor of Moral Philosophy
    University of Brighton


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