On 20th October, over 150,000 people joined A Future That Works march in Central London. Members and councillors from Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party were proud to carry our banner and be part of it. There are further photos from the March on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BrightonHoveLabour.
The March, organised by the TUC was a noisy, colourful event, which saw squeezed families, public sector workers, the jobless, disabled people and anti-war activists among other campaigners unite behind the slogan A Future That Works.
At a rally in Hyde Park, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the massive turnout showed how unpopular the coalition’s policies were. He said: “We are sending a very strong message that austerity is simply failing.
Labour leader Ed Miliband dubbed the Prime Minister “clueless” today as he joined the huge protest against the Government’s austerity measures. He said the coalition was cutting taxes for millionaires and raising them for everyone else. ”It is one rule for those at the top and one rule for everyone else.”
Disabilities campaigner Sue Marsh gave a passionate speech, criticising the Coalition government of the sick and disabled, which she’s kindly allowed us to reblog here. The original version is at Sue’s blog, http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/ and you can follow her on Twitter at @suey2y
Friends, every last one of you that marched today believe in one thing above any other. Justice.
You couldn’t sit at home while injustice and exploitation are closing in on us wherever we look.
You are the faces, here, today, of so many millions more who are shocked and frightened by the careless way this coalition of clowns are ripping our communities apart.
But there is a casual cruelty taking place that is so inhumane, so calculating, right now, here, in the UK in 2012, that it shames us all.
When you get home tonight, home to every corner of our nation, tired but exhilarated, weary but filled with pride – When you see the vast, defiant crowd, speaking with one voice, I beg you, to remember this :
For every one of you who marched today, a seriously ill or disabled person will lose the Disability Living Allowance they rely on to live with dignity and a little security.
This parliament of fools use numbers lightly. They count their losses in billions, their debt, in trillions, those thrown on the scrapheap of their incompetent policies in millions.
But THIS – this here, today – is what half a million people look like.
But there’s more :
A million more – TWICE as many as you marching here today – will be “reassessed” by the French IT company, Atos as fit for work. Their only income ripped away on the hunch of a few millionaires. Every single “report” or “committee” or “enquiry” into Work Capability Assessments have found them “Unfit for purpose”.
Coroner’s are reporting this “reform terror” as cause of deaths. Doctors demand WCAs are withdrawn immediately. Appeal tribunals warn that they are swamped to crisis point and beyond.
Hundreds of thousands of profoundly disabled children will see their support cut by an impossible 50% while Osborne’s “Bullingdon Budget” gave millionaires £40,000 extra. Each.
The Independent Living Fund – Scrapped
Severe Disability Premiums – Scrapped
Social Care packages – slashed
They are not numbers Mr Cameron, they are LIVES!
They are our mothers; our brothers; our daughters and sons.
Disease or Disability can strike any one, at any time.
We are the sick and disabled people of the UK, so under threat are urgently crying for help against the wind, like a drowning man.
And so, I’d like to leave you with the words of Edmund Burke :
”Justice will NOT be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
PLEASE, STAND WITH US, SPEAK OUT WITH US, WE NEED YOU.
PLEASE get outraged, because sick and disabled people in the UK need you as never before.