Demonstration Against ATOS & Police Repression
On Friday 3rd February, campaigners returned to Atos Healthcare’s offices in Notttingham. ATOS (poverty pimps) are the multinational company with a £500 million contract from the government to carry out the tests which are central to deciding whether or not people get sickness benefits. This is all part of the wider attack on the majority of us, to try and make us pay for the greed of the rich This was the first protest there since a demonstration on September 30th last year, part of a national day of action, which ended with two of the participants being arrested, and subsequently charged, with aggravated trespass. While the charges were dropped in January, the protest was a reminder to Atos that people have not been intimidated by the arrests and that protests will continue as long as they are making people’s lives a misery. There were around 30 people, an impressive turnout given the extreme cold. There were two brief speeches. The first delivered by one of the “Atos Two” was about their own experience of the criminal justice system and the need to continue the fight against both Atos and the economic system of which it is a product. The second speech focussed on the policing of protest (touching on the publication the previous day of the HMIC report into this matter), arguing that the police would always be used to render protest ineffective in a class system and that this would only become more obvious as the government sought to impose “austerity” on an unwilling populace.