Virtual protest ‘will help send message to government’ on cuts


Disabled people unable to attend the TUC’s mass march and rally over government spending cuts will be able to take part instead in a “virtual” protest online.

Disabled campaigners will be at the front of the protest march on Saturday 26 March, which will start at London’s Victoria Embankment and end with a rally in Hyde Park.

But those unable to attend the March for the Alternative because of access issues, lack of support or impairment-related reasons will be able to back the fight against spending cuts by taking part in an online protest.

The campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is encouraging disabled people who will not be able to attend the protest to email a short message of support, their photograph and the first half of their postcode.

Each message will be added to an online map of the UK to show the scale of support across the country. Messages should be emailed to [email protected].

Linda Burnip, a founding member of DPAC, said: “I think this is a really important opportunity for us to show that disabled people are not just going to sit back and be attacked over and over again.

“It is really important to show people who may feel hopeless and that they can’t do anything that together we can do something.”

She said the protest would send the government the message that “we can fight back, we will fight back and we are stronger together”.

For disabled people who can take part in the London protest, there will be a shorter route for those not able to cover the whole route.

The TUC is also hoping to organise a “static demonstration point” near Hyde Park Corner for those unable to join the march. There will also be a wheelchair-accessible area for the rally in Hyde Park.

The user-led arts mental health charity CoolTan Arts and Disability LIB are organising a “history walk” at the same time as the TUC protest, which will give people with experience of mental distress and others uncomfortable with large crowds the chance to make their voices heard against the cuts.

17 March 2011

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