Monday, 20 September 2010

tories block disability rights march

I follow various people and sources on twitter and recently found out about a march going on in Birmingham to protest at the Conservative party annual conference on the 3rd of October. This is to protest against the proposed reduction of DLA and other such benifits disabled people, such as myself will feel in the coming years as welfare cuts take affect.

This is a protest i wanted to attend to voice my anger to the tories for treating disabled people in this way and stand up for our rights. THis email below is a email i recieved from the campaign and it looks as though the tories are preventing one of the most crucial human rights, the right to protest.

take a read of this.


We have amended our original leaflets which are attached to advise people to meet at Chamberlain Square since following a lengthy meeting with the police last week we are still not in any position to arrange anything beyond that. Originally the police had agreed that we could rally at and march past the conference centre.

We are now being refused permission to march past the Tory Conference by the Tory controlled Birmingham City council and West Midlands police. Last week we were told that the march would have to start from outside the city centre and would take some obscure route through a suburb of the city. It would have been impossible for disabled people to get to this.

There was a suggestion from one of the council’s employees there that we could travel via an inaccessible rail station, obviously also ignoring the fact that anyone who needs assistance to travel by train has to book at least 24 hours in advance and only one wheelchair per train is allowed even if the train is accessible .

We then managed to get agreement that the route would be based in the centre and that we would be assembling at Chamberlain Square. Other than this after 2 hours we were no further forward.

We have a legal, democratic right to protest against these cuts which we know have already resulted in the deaths of a number of disabled people and which if not stopped will lead to further deaths. We want to be able to exercise our rights and disabled people from all over the UK are planning to attend this march.

If we are prevented from protesting outside the conference this will deny us of our rights under the UNCRPD article 29 - Participation in political and public life “ States parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others…” and article 5 - Equality and non-discrimination “states parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.”

We are asking individual disabled people and especially our DPOs to email to insist that we are allowed to rally and march past the Tory Party Conference on October 3rd.

Leader of Birmingham City Council - Mike Whitby

Copy to cabinet member for Equalities and HR – Alan Rudge –

West Midlands police- for attention of Inspector Matt Ward

or directly onto internet form at

Please copy any emails to any press and Disability Now to increase their interest in this event

Local press in Birmingham.

Birmingham Mail news editor – Andy Richards

Editor Disability Now –

Able magazine –

You may also want to ask our Lords and Ladies to support us and if so


Baroness Jane Campbell –

Baroness Rosalie Wilkins –

Baroness Grey-Thompson –

Lords Morris and Rix have no email contact details but can be written to at

House of Lords. London, SW1A 0PW

The road past the conference centre and into Centenary Square will not be totally sealed off and there will be footpath access anyhow for the general public.

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