Hardest Hit: Defending Disabled People’s Futures

Last Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, and to celebrate (ahem) this momentous date, thousands of disabled people and their supporters took to the streets of London in an angry and powerful protest against the government’s planned welfare and healthcare cuts; cuts which are set to have a disproportionately negative effect on those claiming disability benefits and/or those with particular social care needs.

Supported by the forty plus charities and organisations that make up the Disability Benefits Consortium, Wednesday’s Hardest Hit march and rally was probably the largest demonstration of its kind ever seen in London, with protesters coming from all over the UK to take part – despite the challenges many of them faced in getting to the capital.

Personally, I marched because I’ve fought (and am still fighting) my own battles with long-term chronic ill health – and I’ve also had to fight simply to get the treatment I need. Things have been difficult for the sick and disabled for a long time, but the possible outcome of this government’s crass, cruel and ill-thought-out welfare and health policy frightens me.

Marching with others who feel as I do was, unsurprisingly, a profoundly powerful experience – and the sheer numbers and depth of feeling on the streets of Westminster were inspiring and empowering for many of the protesters I spoke to on Wednesday.

But the Hardest Hit demo is only the start. Giving voice to the voiceless for one day is not enough: the campaign must continue. Only time will tell whether this peaceful, passionate protest has had any impact on the ConDem way of thinking at all, but we can’t let them shut us up in the process…

Extra special thanks to the staff, volunteers and service users of the Mind contingent for their kind and friendly welcome to me on the march (and for the colourful Mind t-shirt – which I will wear with pride!).

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Pingback: “It happened in Germany with the Jews, soon it will be the disabled who get the old painted sign on their homes to distinguish them from the rest of society” it’s heading that way….. « atos victims group
  2. atosvictimsgroup

    Just like to say I think your site is A1, I shall be putting your site on my links page..

  3. Pingback: Hardest Hit Demo « Bocciakid's Blog

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s