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Protest against Atos & Police repression

February 03, 2012 12:30

Published by group: GroupNottingham Defence Campagin
Tagged as: aggravated_trespass atos atostwo atos_healthcare atos_two cuts disability law local_communities repression

Meet at the junction of Carlton Street and Heathcote Street, Hockley (outside Ice Nine).

Places: nottingham


Now more than ever:

In September 2011, two Nottingham residents, a retired paediatric nurse and a wheelchair user were arrested following a peaceful protest at the local offices of Atos ‘Healthcare’. Faced with an impressive solidarity campaign and having a pathetically weak case, the CPS and Atos backed down and the charges of aggravated trespass were dropped.

However, this case of political policing, an attempt to intimidate protesters and deter further acts of direct action, is not an isolated one: just before X-Mas three arbitrary arrests were made in relation to a Notts Uncut protest. Aside from coppers manhandling one arrestee these events are particularly disturbing as the third arrest took place as supporters were simply waiting for the others to be released.

In recent years Notts Police had been better known for their frequent blunders and blatant incompetence rather than a particular urge to repress peaceful protests. However, recent arrests and charges, along with other attempts of harassment and intimidation (e.g. confiscating tapes from a photography student who had filmed an arrest) indicate a change in policy. This was summed up by one copper’s comment who said with regards to the ‘Atos Two’ that “There has been too much of this sort of thing going on and we've been told to crack down on it.”

Atos remains however one of the many examples of why we need much more of “this sort of thing”. The company, who administers the Work Capability Assessments for the Department of Work and Pensions, has been the subject of national protests.

Being paid £100m a year, Atos is happy to do their very best to support the government’s attack on disabled people. The company quickly became infamous for its atrocious conduct towards claimants, driven by a fierce determination to force as many people as possible off disability benefits – regardless of their physical and/or psychological abilities.

Atos has helped the government to worsen the living conditions of thousands of people. Many have been denied vital benefits and forced into a job market offering no jobs, which leads to further harassment by Job Center Plus and assorted poverty pimps like A4E, Working Links, etc.





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