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Holocaust Memorial Day- 70th Anniversary Vigil

January 27, 2015

From John McArdle

For Immediate Release: 70th anniversary Holocaust Memorial Day Vigil to Remember the 1,300 ‪#‎disabled‬ people who died after being sent back to work by the Government’s austerity regime.

Holocaust survivors, descendants of Holocaust survivors and people from across the UK challenging the deaths by austerity from the disabled community will march arm in arm down to 10 Dowing Street, the Department for Work and pensions, Maximus HQ (1) and the British Parliament. The protest – vigil is organised by by Never Again Ever!(2), Disabled People Against Cuts (3) & The Black Triangle Campaign(4)

The large banners state ‘Arbeit Macht Frei – Work Will Set You Free – Attitude is Alive and Well’ (5) and ‘ATOS Kills – never forget the Holocaust Black Traingle – we say ‘Never Again Ever!’’. The vigil exists to challenge the austerity cuts and the 1,300 people who have died unjustly after being sent back to work. Those who are too sick work, and disabled people, have been particularly targeted by ‘welfare reforms’, and sent back to work by government contractors against the advice of doctors leading to the deaths of 1,300 people (6)

When the Nazis decorated the gates of their concentration camps with this slogan it meant: ‘If you can’t work you have no value and you don’t deserve to live.’ The Nazi’s promoted the following ideology – If you are from a community we condemn and we have dehumanised – Jews, Communists, Gay and Lesbian, Transexual, Roma and Sinti, disabled people and more, then we will work you to death. Killing those who couldn’t work and working others to death was the logical conclusion of Hitler’s belief that: ‘In the Volk community, he who doesn’t work for the Volk community does not have the right to live’.

John McArdle from Black Triangle Campaign says -“Today we are protesting against government policies and propaganda that tell us that if we cannot work we too are worthless. Though there are insufficient jobs to go round, though many of the jobs offer insufficient hours and insufficient pay to keep people out of poverty, though many people are working for nothing through unpaid internships, workfare and other schemes that exploit high unemployment, we are still told that only those who can support themselves without reliance on welfare are ‘strivers’ not scroungers.”

The protest-vigil is to remember all those have died in genocides around the world and as the result of so-called ethnic cleansing; and organise for human rights for everyone today. The vigil is to highlight the ideologies and policies that create the preconditions for genocide: discrimination and othering of minorities, the devaluing of human lives, the belief that the needs of the individual should be subjugated to the priorities of the state. The vigil demands a A Legal right to Independent Living and Self- Determination: The creation of specific independent living law: a legal right that fully enacts and enforces, as domestic law, the UNCRPD incorporating the 12 pillars of independent living as its key goals and principles (7).

Andy Greene from Disabled People Against the Cuts steering group member said “Despite what we are told, many of the mind-sets and conditions that led to the Holocaust still exist. The narrative and legislation today are almost in lock-step with much of 1930’s Europe. The scapegoating and marginalisation of groups of ‘others’, laws to prevent dissent and collective action; these are with us today, and if left unchallenged will only encourage those who benefit to go further. We can see clearly how the increase in the ‘scrounger, work-shy’ rhetoric used to demonise disabled people has directly lead to a spike in Disability Hate Crime. This isn’t scaremongering; its a straight up acknowledgement that these events don’t just happen – they are the result of creating the right environment for these ideas and conditions to flourish. And it usually starts with demonization of the few, and silence of the many.”

Dan Glass from ‘Never Again Ever!’ says – “Under the Nazis, my grandparents were hunted and bludgeoned by those who decided that Jews, along with other minority groups, had no right to live on this planet. I was shaped by their stories of what they experienced. Holocaust Memorial Day often leads to a problematic culture of silence and prayer, at the expense of genuinely understanding how fascism still exists and what ordinary people can do about it. That’s why we stand here with disabled movements against the cuts to confront structures in society that are still vulnerable to fascist mobilisation. Like those working to targets, handing out penalties in dole offices these contractors are only doing their jobs, just taking orders – just like the Nazi’s said”


Meeting Point – 27th January 2015
11am outside Westminster Tube

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 9:57 am

    Reblogged this on Disability Voices.

  2. January 27, 2015 10:01 am

    Wish I could go but only found out through this site this morning, too late to make plans. Hope it goes well

  3. January 27, 2015 10:11 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

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