DPAC to return to scene of high-profile protest


Disabled activists are planning a return to parliament next week, just a fortnight after they caused national headlines by trying to invade prime minister’s questions.

Last week, members of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) attempted to occupy the main Commons chamber (pictured), after lobbying MPs to reverse the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

Now DPAC is planning to attend a debate on the impact of the closure on ILF-recipients that has been secured by the Labour MP Nic Dakin, on Wednesday (8 July).

That will take place hours after chancellor George Osborne unveils details of his budget, which is expected to include further austerity measures affecting disabled people, as the government has already announced plans to cut a further £12 billion from the social security budget.

DPAC will also be protesting with supporters of the Parkinson’s Disease Society about the budget, outside the Houses of Parliament.

Activists will then head inside the Palace of Westminster for the short ILF debate.

Last week, Westminster was the scene of DPAC’s most high-profile direct action protest.

Two activists made it as far as the doors to the members’ lobby, an area directly outside the Commons chamber, but were stopped by police and parliamentary staff before they could interrupt prime minister’s questions.

Linda Burnip, a co-founder of DPAC, said: “We just think we should build on what we achieved last week.

“Obviously there are some people who are not expecting to be allowed back in, but it would be very interesting if they actually stop disabled people going into parliament.”

Burnip said: “We have always said that the really important thing is that disabled people do not become invisible.

“We cannot be ignored, and where better to be seen than in the home of democracy?”

Picture by DPAC

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