Disabled People in UK Lead Fight Against Austerity

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1647 ... August 7, 2018

Disabled People in UK Lead Fight Against Austerity

John Clarke

On July 20, I was truly honoured to represent the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) at the International Deaf and Disabled People’s Solidarity Summit, in Stratford, east London that had been convened by one of our key allies in the UK, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). This powerful gathering was an important moment in the building of a resistance by disabled people as part of a broader international struggle against the forces of neoliberal austerity.

The Summit was called as a fitting response to an act of unbridled hypocrisy by the Tory Government of Theresa May. Two days later the Tories would be convening a "global disability summit" on the nearby Olympic Park site.... This was a shameless attempt to pose as an international champion of disability rights, especially in poor and oppressed countries, when the Tory track record at home is one of abuse and outright abandonment of disabled people. The appalling legacy of death and despair that has been left through the implementation of the Work Capability Assessment, used to deny social benefits to disabled people living in poverty has become an international scandal. In 2016, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) found the UK Tories to be guilty of "grave or systematic" violations of the international agreements it had entered into.

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