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Disabled people occupy the UK 

When: Sunday 13 November 2011, 12:00pm

iCalendar

Where: Your local occupation,

Google map

It’s a simple fact that a lot of disabled people can’t camp out at the various occupations around the UK. Fatigue, sensitivity to cold, the access issues presented by camping or just having too many hospital appointments to go to make occupying impossible.

Disabled New Yorkers have started going down to Occupy Wall Street on Sunday afternoons at midday for a few hours. https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=126877490750232 - a few hours on a Sunday is a very different proposition to camping full time.

Many non-disabled activists simply don’t know or care how shafted disabled people are by issues like the welfare reform bill. Last week Where’s the Benefit asked OccupyLSX for some solidarity and for them to support the Hardest Hit protests; they didn’t.

So taking inspiration from New Yorkers I think we should join our local occupations for a couple of hours every Sunday afternoon. We need to go down to the occupations and tell them about the issues affecting us. We need to make sure the occupiers understand what we’re facing and to get them to support us. Tell the crowd about the welfare reform bill and how you’ll be affected. Tell them about how cuts to Access to Work mean that when your current equipment breaks (because wheelchairs, etc, don’t last forever) that you might have to give up work. Tell them about how cuts to care packages will limit your independence. Hand out flyers for Where’s the Benefit, DPAC, Broken of Britain, Black Triangle, CarerWatch or any of the other grassroots groups you feel do well at disseminating info about our issues.

Disabled people are around 18% of the population. The occupations claim to represent the 99% that didn’t break the economy, but unless we participate the occupations are only really representing 81%.

The occupations in London have been the most newsworthy, but there are others around the country:

Norwich: http://www.occupynorwich.co.uk/

Nottingham: https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyNotts

London: http://occupylsx.org/

Bristol: http://occupybristoluk.org/

Birmingham: http://www.occupybirmingham.co.uk/

Sheffield: Not up and running yet but planning meeting on 30th https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002993390797

Glasgow: http://www.occupyglasgow.org/

Belfast: http://occupybelfast.blogspot.com/

Cardiff: (in planning stages) https://www.facebook.com/occupycardiff

Edinburgh: http://occupyedinburgh.org/

Manchester: http://www.occupymanchester.org/

Newcastle: http://occupynewcastle.org/

Like New Yorkers we will aim to participate for as long as the occupations are ongoing. And like New York we’ll meet at midday on Sundays.

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