Save the Independent Living Fund: join the party and picnic this Friday!
Following their very successful and widely-reported direct action at Westminster Abbey grounds on Saturday, Disabled People Against Cuts continue with their fight to save the all-important Independent Living Fund with a Fourth of July picnic this Friday!
Video: Disabled protestors chain their wheelchairs together at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 28 June in protest at the government's plan to close the Independent Living Fund:
The government wants to close the Independent Living Fund - which is a fund that severely disabled people use to pay for the extra carer hours they need to live independent lives. Last year, disabled people got the courts to overturn the closure decision - but the government is trying again. Mike Penning says the fund will close at the end of June 2015. Without those extra care hours, disabled people face lives in carehomes.
On 4 July, Disabled People Against Cuts will hold a day of protest and action as part of the fight to save the Independent Living Fund. The party will begin at 2pm at the DWP, Caxton House in Tothill Street SW1. There will be fun and games and entertainment - and of course, some civil disobedience! More details below.
In this video, ILF recipient Sophie Partridge explains why the Independent Living Fund is so important and why she will not tolerate the idea of life without it:
DPAC is delighted to extend an open invitation to celebrate Independent Living Day with us on the 4th of July at the 'Independent Living Tea Party '.
The party will begin at 2pm at the DWP, Caxton House in Tothill Street SW1. There will be fun & games, and entertainment; and of course, some civil disobedience.
We have come a long way since the demand for Independent Living was first made nearly 50 years ago. Then, as now, IL was our solution for how society supports disabled people to take our place as equals. For how society addresses inaccessible institutions, structures and process it created, which do more to disable people than their impairments ever could.
There are many strands of Independent Living, and all are under threat. Cuts to:
· Support funding - such Social Care, the ILF & Disabled Students Allowance
· Education - in areas like the wholesale destruction of SEN Statements and the continued segregation of disabled children into 'special' schools
· Transport - the withdrawal of taxi-cards, freedom passes and the halting of planned works to make infrastructure more accessible, amongst a host of other cuts combine to make disabled people second-class citizens in society
But we have fought this fight before - and won. Our Disabled Peoples Organisations, legal gains and the policy victories we have won previously are testament to the power, know how and skills disabled people have to develop solutions to problems created by society. We must celebrate these achievements and remind ourselves that each of these successes have had to be earned, no-one ever gave them to us without a struggle.
So celebrate with us, or alternatively create your own party. Get together with friends and supporters, and create the kind of vibrant, positive spaces we have always created. Bring the noise - bells, whistles, drums, pots and pans etc. Bring food to share. Bring your enthusiasm.
if you are planning your own party, here are some suggestions:
1) Choose your target -
focus on the important issues locally; support, education, transport etc - its up to you. Identify what you want to celebrate and who represents the biggest threat to that locally. Is it your local council or Uni? Is it a transport provider? Or is it someone else?
2) Tell everyone -
yes, EVERYONE. Media, campaign networks, activists, local people. DONT FORGET TO TELL DPAC so we can list and support your action!
3) Be heard, be seen -
make your event loud and proud. Bring music, choirs, drum, bells, whistles. Remind everyone out there that we won‘t be separated from society, we are society. We won ‘t go quietly.
4) We're also holding a Twitter Party on the hashtag #IL4JULY so that people at the DWP and at other events round the country can tweet in pictures of their events and we can all join in. Further details to follow - watch this space.
The famous Boston teaparty led to a revolution against the British government let’s see where our teaparty leads....
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