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Westminster Bridge Closed By Disability Cuts Protesters

Westminster Bridge Closed By Disability Cuts Protesters

Traffic was completely stopped on one of the busiest thoroughfares over the River Thames on Wednesday as a protest against disability cuts closed London’s Westminster Bridge.

Protesting against the impact of austerity on disabled people, protesters carried banners which paid tribute to those who had died due to sanctions and benefit cuts.

 

Press TV reports:

A group from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) blocked the bridge for several hours on Wednesday, in protest against government cuts to disability benefits.

Protesters held large banners reading “No more deaths from benefit cuts.” The protest was met with a heavy police presence, which eventually broke it up and at least two people were arrested.

DPAC said about 150 people, many in wheelchairs, attended the protest to call for better financial support. The protest also drew attention to the treatment of disabled athletes at the Paralympics’ games in Rio.

On its website, DPAC claimed in 2015 that the UK became the first country in the world to be investigated by the United Nations for grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights.

“This is as a direct result of the disproportionate impact of austerity on disabled people and ideological attacks waged by the Tory government that have seen disabled people and the poorest members of society hit by cut after cut after cut.”

Another DPAC official said the protest had formed part of a week of action to highlight changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to help people aged 16 to 64 cope with extra costs, as well as significant cuts of up to £30 per week for some people who claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA).