Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Glasgow Against Atos Campaign Launch Meeting - 10 October 2012

The launch meeting of the Glasgow Against Atos campaign went ahead with a number of people committed to the fight against the attacks on welfare sharing ideas on how to organise the campaign and what future actions to take.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! speaker Connor O’Hara called for a new unity to be formed amongst all progressive groups and individuals and placed the struggle of the sick and disabled alongside other groups such as asylum seekers suffering at the hands of the British state. Founding member of the Black Triangle Disability Rights Campaign, John McArdle, addressed the role played by the three agents of the DWP, private corporations such as Unum and Atos in the implementation of state attacks on welfare. He urged those present not to have any illusions that things would be any better for the sick and disabled under a Labour Government, indeed we remember it was the Labour Government which introduced the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) with Atos contracted to carry these out in 2008!

Helen McCourt, leading activist in the Save The Accord Centre Campaign, was next to speak arguing that Glasgow City Council rhetoric and spending around the 2014 Commonwealth Games would give the illusion that there was no poverty in the East End of Glasgow. As we know this is far from the truth as Helen said from her own experience of the closure her daughters disability centre – ‘we are now left to sit in a cold church hall...where is our velodrome?’

Jan Hevern, a campaigner who has been central in the formation of the Glasgow Against Atos campaign, spoke passionately about her own experience of the welfare attacks; ‘it has been a real struggle just to live at times and people fear the future’. She echoed the calls for direct action.

Finally leading campaigner in the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network Sarah Glynn pushed for pressure to be placed on politicians to pick which side they stood on; with the welfare cuts or the people facing them?

A fresh and productive discussion followed the speakers. General agreement was reached on the urgent need for creative and consistent direct action particularly in the period leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. As is well known by now Atos are sponsoring the Games and this is a publicity opportunity which must be exploited. In the words of John MacLean, a fighter for the Glasgow working class, ‘The adversity of the capitalist class is the opportunity of the working class’. Let’s build Glasgow Against Atos and exploit the potential for struggle to the full!

A pre action meeting will take place on Wednesday 24 October, 7.30-9.30pm, upstairs in the Piper Bar, Cochrane Street, George Square.

All welcome!
Join and build the struggle!

Visit for updates -
'Glasgow Against Atos' facebook page

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