Reportage from action around day of remembrance for ATOS victims and Labour's Promise 74
Protesters blast Tory cuts and claim breadline payments cause deaths of 73 Brits every week
THE campaigners held the protest against the Tory cuts at the Cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow,and blamed the Conservatives for causing the death of compassion and decency.
CAMPAIGNERS laid a wreath yesterday to mourn the death of decency and compassion caused by the Tory-led crackdown on benefits.
The Daily Record has been highlighting the plight of those who have had their disability payments taken off them by medical testing firm Atos.
Yesterday the consequences of the benefits blitz were laid bare as protesters claimed 73 sick and disabled Britons – from the terminally ill to those with industrial injuries – die every week while trying to scrape by on breadline payments.
The demonstration at the cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow, was followed by a protest outside Atos’s office in the city’s Cadogan Street.
It was led by whistleblowing nurse Joyce Drummond and Nick Durie from the Committee of 100 pressure group.
Joyce said: “Today is a mark of remembrance to everyone who has died due to the policies of Atos and the DWP.
“It is fitting that it is International Disabled Person’s Day.
“Now anyone placed in the Workrelated Activity Group by Atos, and sanctioned by the DWP, will have to work for nothing in work placements to get their benefit.
“If you are placed in that group, you are deemed not to be fit for work, so why would you be working for nothing if you can go out and earn a wage?
“All that’s going to happen is that more and more people will be kicked off their benefit.”
Under the Work Programme, disabled people will be told to take unpaid work or risk losing up to 70 per cent of their employment support allowance.
Joyce said the plight of the most vulnerable was being worsened by cash worries.
She said: “I worked for Atos and they are a shambles.
“They are making profits on the backs of sick and disabled people in this country.”
The ex-nurse also slated the response of politicians. She added: “No political party has stood up to them.
“It was introduced by Labour, the Lib Dem-Tory coalition have made it even worse and in Scotland the SNP are doing nothing about it either.
“I know from the inside that people are set up to fail these assessments. It has got worse under the coalition.
“We all know that these assessments are a joke.”
Nick said Labour had failed to live up to their pledge to protect people from the impact of Government welfare reforms.
He told the protest: “Labour made this bold commitment and we want them to live up to it.
“We have found evidence that they are participating in the work programme.”
Nick slated the move to make Atos sponsors of the Commonwealth Games, adding: “It will mar the image of the city.”
Ex-MSP Tommy Sheridan said: “It is important Atos are exposed as rogues. You wouldn’t let them run a bath, never mind part of the welfare state.”
The protest continued outside Atos’s base in Cadogan Street.
David Churchley, 59, of Pollokshields, Glasgow, is waiting for Atos to rule on his case.
He said: “They are not in a position to state what my circumstances might mean despite the fact my right arm and my right leg don’t work.”
David has been sickened by the cases highlighted in the Record. He said: “There are people with cancer who have months to live and yet their benefits are being cut.”