Socialist Worker

Activists turn up the heat on Atos in London and Cardiff

Issue No. 2318

Protests around the country against Paralympic sponsor Atos continued yesterday, Wednesday.

Over 40 protesters held a remembrance ceremony outside the Atos headquarters in London in the afternoon, with a coffin full of messages for Atos from disabled people who have undergone assessment.

“It was really really moving,” said Ellen Clifford of Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac). “A group of wheelchair users were the pall bearers.

“People put white lilies and rose petals on the coffin. We lit candles and read out the names of the dead.” More than a thousand people have died after being declared “fit for work” in Atos work capability assessments.

The ceremony follows a day of protests in towns around Britain on Tuesday. “The local action shows how much appetite there is to take action against what Atos is doing,” said Ellen.

“And we’ve been really pleased with the exposure in the media. You can tell it’s getting to them to them. They even sent someone down to take the messages—although they wouldn’t accept the coffin.”

Protesters are set to return to the headquarters for a “Closing Atos Ceremony” tomorrow, called by Dpac and UK Uncut. “We keep getting calls from more people saying they’re coming down tomorrow,” said Ellen. “Atos has really been put on the defensive.”

Meanwhile around 150 demonstrators gathered on Wednesday evening in the shadow of Cardiff’s Aneurin Bevan statue to protest against Paralympics sponsor Atos.

They staged a “die in” that blocked Castle Street in both directions for around an hour, forcing the police to divert rush hour traffic around the city centre. Those lying in the road held up “death certificates” that read “Cause of death: Atos”.

Closing Atos Ceremony protest: Friday 31 August, 12.45pm, Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London NW1 3HG — Facebook event

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Thu 30 Aug 2012, 15:44 BST
Issue No. 2318
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