ATOS kills – kill ATOS! Monthly protest of Glasgow Against ATOS - 25 January 2013

On Friday the 25th January, Glasgow Against ATOS campaigners took to the street for our monthly picket of the Atos premises on Cadogan Street where people are put through the degrading work capability assessments. The protest also included a rolling picket of companies in the Glasgow city centre area who are cohorts of Atos, DWP and the government in their attempts to criminalize the sick and disabled of our country.

Although we had miserable weather the campaigners were not going to let their spirits be dampened and carried on in our usual determined manner. After gathering at the Atos centre on Cadogan Street we set of for our first destination an RBS branch in the heart of the city.  This target was chosen to highlight the links between the failing capitalist system and the attacks on welfare that we are facing. Next destination for the picket was the offices of the Scottish Sun newspaper this was chose for their constant attack on the sick and disabled of this country through portraying those on benefits as scroungers and fakes. Last on the route of the rolling picket but certainly not least was the swanky Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 offices. Not only are the Commonwealth Games shrouded in a cloak of corruption with dodgy land deals, people being thrown out of their homes to make way for the games, disability day care centres being shut down to make way for bus parks for the games but on top of all that the official sponsors of the games are…Atos! Enough said!

Strathclyde police have been increasing their presence month by month as the peaceful protests have grown in strength. At a picket in November, one member of the campaign was charged by police with a ‘breach of the peace’ for having a £1 plastic toy gun from Poundland as part of a ‘Dr. Death’ costume. We will continue to oppose this harassment of political activity, especially as the real criminals are protected in their murderous campaign against the poor.

Two days previously, Strathclyde police were also present as we joined a lobby of Glasgow city chambers alongside hundreds of other service users, workers and campaigners in opposition to proposals by Glasgow’s Labour council to close down three learning disability day care centres across the city. The effect of these closures will be to further isolate and brutalise the poorest and most vulnerable, as part of the overall attack on state provision of care and moves towards ‘Self Directed Support’. An activist from Glasgow Against ATOS addressed the protest, emphasising the unity of the struggle against service cuts and the attacks on the disabled by companies such as ATOS.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters have been playing a leading role in the campaign alongside other activists from the Black Triangle Disability Rights Campaign, the Save The Accord campaign, The Irish republican group 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Socialist party and some individual anarchists.

The campaign’s aim is to bring together the claimants, individuals, campaigns and groups in Glasgow who wish to oppose the notorious private multinational Atos. Now that some level of unity has been achieved the next task is to expand the campaign involving more disability claimants and the general public. FRFI supporters will be working to maintain the open and democratic nature of the Glasgow Against Atos campaign which will be vital if the goals outlined above are to be achieved.

Solidarity with the sick and poor!

Victory to Glasgow Against Atos!

 

Daniel McG.

Next Glasgow Against ATOS campaign meeting:

Wednesday 13 February, 7 – 9pm

Unite the Union offices, 145 – 165 West Regent Street, Glasgow city centre

(disabled access, all welcome)

 

Next picket of ATOS:

Friday 22 February, 12.30pm assemble

Outside ATOS offices, Cadogan Street, Glasgow city centre