The Manchester Coalition Against Cuts and Manchester Against Benefit Cuts organized a protest march on May 31, 2012 in Manchester, demonstrating against recent changes to current disability allowances, based on ATOS evaluations. ATOS is an organization that was hired by the UK government, to assess whether or not individuals' claims to being unfit to work are valid.
Protesters marched from Manchester Town Hall to the ATOS assessment center at Albert Bridge House. ATOS is responsible for performing 30-minute assessments. According to the Disabled People Against Cuts website, over 1 000 people died between January and August last year, after losing their disability benefits following fitness evaluations, in spite of their incapacity to work.
Our contributor writes that the protest was "complete with [a] cardboard coffin and a wreath to remember those who had died since their 'assessments' by ATOS. This 'campaign against ATOS and attacks on welfare' will be the subject of a public meeting to be held at Central Manchester Friends Meeting House on Wednesday June 6 at 7 pm."
The protest march was the first event in a planned week of action against ATOS.
For more information about the protest against ATOS please visit the ATOS victim's group's official website.