On Monday 2nd of March 2015, there were demonstrations in over 30 towns and cities around the UK (plus Toronto) against Maximus, the US based health insurance corporation that has taken over the contract from the French IT Company Atos to administer the Work Capability Assessment on behalf of the Department Of Work And Pensions. Atos announced its exit from the contract in early 2014 following an intense period of direct action against the company by groups such as Disabled People Against the Cuts.
The day of action was timed to coincide with the first working day of the new contract, with the spotlight turned on Maximus as well as the continued use of Work Capability Assessments and the life-threatening consequences of the ongoing government attacks on the sick and disabled.
In central London, to the chorus of "David Cameron is a W*****" (YouTube) activists from DPAC hit the streets, taking direct action to block traffic and at one stage bringing traffic to a standstill on Victoria Street in the shadow of Big Ben.
The demonstrations across the UK on the streets were complemented with an online Twitter campaign using the hashtags #Maximarse and #ScrapWCA, the latter trending for a number of hours. This gave the opportunity for those unable (including through sickness and disability) to make it to demonstrations to vent their anger and frustation around the Work Capability Assessment and at a government hell-bent on targeting the sick and disabled.Read more >>
In the face of massive cuts to Oxfordshire's public services, a group of activists and campaigners are determined to fight the Con-Dem government's austerity package and their plans to privatise services that should rightly belong to all of us.
The group has recently campaign on youth services, NHS reforms, and welfare reforms for people with disabilities.
Opposition to the planned public sector spending cuts is growing across Oxfordshire and beyond.
In early September there was a sit-in protest in Lloyds Bank in central Oxford. Protesters pointed out that the banks are being funded by the public at the expense of our frontline services including heath care, social services, and housing.
A week later, Oxford Save Our Services held a public meeting to start mapping the cuts in Oxfordshire and to start building resistance to them. Around 50 people - including service users and public sector workers whose jobs could be under threat - all spoke about the cuts that were being made. These ranged from closing the GAP homeless project, stopping schools & parks projects, closing care centres, turning off speed cameras, and much more.
Resistance to the cuts is in fairly early stages, but rapidly gathering momentum. Events coming up in the near future include:
23 September 7pm: Town Hall Oxford Trades Council open community meeting for all groups and unions against the cuts.
27 September: Oxford Save Our Services planning meeting. Update: Meeting details.
3 October: Demonstration at the Tory party conference. Coaches going from Oxford.
20 October (day of the Comprehensive Spending Review): National day of action against the cuts.
Public sector cuts
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