DPAC: Reclaiming our futures week of action

Thursday 29th August – launch on anniversary of coffin delivery to Atos, make Crossrail fully accessible protest, plus more….
Friday 30th August – local protests –go to local MPs, Atos offices, schools and colleges that are creating barriers to inclusion..plus more…
Saturday 31st August – disability, art and protest exhibition and gig
Sunday 1st September –
The Social Model In the 21st Century – Why is it still relevant?
Monday 2nd September – Media direct actions, picking up the pace as we come to the end of the week of action, despite everything we do it is getting more and more difficult to get media space to present the facts whereas there is plenty of space given to misrepresentation of stats and government lies
Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day – to reinforce that we want Rights not Charity and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people.
Wednesday 4th September – Grand Finale events in London and public launch of the Manifesto ‘Reclaiming our Futures’
We want to get disabled people from around the UK out resisting, based on their experiences, creating disabled people’s space, raising awareness of what we are all about. But there is plenty of social media stuff too- everyone can be an ‘extremist’!
The Anti Atos message last year was very clear and very successful. This year we want the messaging to be broader and to be about what we want and expect from any future government including all aspects of inclusion.
At the Rethinking Disability Policy event last September a network of Disabled People’s Organisations agreed to develop a manifesto of demands. The manifesto is nearly ready for consultation and sign up and will be sent out around the network by Inclusion London. Let us know if you’d like a copy.
The Reclaiming Our Futures week will launch the manifesto and say what we want to protect our futures.
Last year’s ATOS GAMES protests had at least 33 separate local protests in different locations in England, Scotland and Wales over the course of the week.
While the Atos Games focused on demonstrating and closing things down, this year’s week of action will retain that anger and include direct action but it will also be a celebration of disability pride.
DPAC has some funding for the week of action and we have worked out what we have the capacity to do. We are asking other groups to think about what they can put on and contribute to the week. This needs all of us!
We are asking people around the country to do things as well – debates, forums, art exhibitions, protests, to link in with this. Let us know what you’re planning and we’ll publicise it!
If you need help with funding to get to London (4th Sept) email us at mail@dpac.uk.net with details. DPAC members will get first priority but we’re hoping to be able to contribute to all that want to come along. If you are unable to come but would like your picture carried send us a photo or message. Please get in touch with any other queries as well and we’ll try to help.
more to come…….
DPAC is a grass roots user-led campaign body. It was formed by a group of disabled people after the first mass protest against the austerity cuts and their impact on disabled people held on the 3rd October in Birmingham 2010, England. It was led by disabled people under the name of The Disabled Peoples’ Protest. DPAC has over 15,000 members and supporters and works with many anti-cuts groups, Universities, Disabled Peoples’ Organizations, and Unions.    
Email: mail@dpac.uk.net    web: www.dpac.uk.net   
twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest

Your Choice Barnet offered a way out of its financial crisis by Professor Dexter Whitfield

In his report “The Way Out Of Financial Crisis” Dexter Whitfield States, “The core objective of this report is to set out the case for full and continuing engagement with service users, carers and community organisations, together with staff and trade unions and to show how YCB’s current approach is flawed, fails to provide value for money for the taxpayer and therefore unacceptable.” Please download and share Professor Whitfield’s analysis and recommendations below – this is a campaigning tool against similar plans in your local authority.

At present Your Choice Barnet has not engaged in meaningful consultations with service users and their families. Service users and their families have no direct representation on the Board of Your Choice Barnet.  Your Choice Barnet is very selective about what it chooses to disclose.

Dexter Whitfield urges Your Choice Barnet not to implement its proposed changes to management and staffing.  Service users and their families are concerned that these changes would cause a considerable deterioration in the quality of services provided.

Despite considerable financial difficulties Your Choice Barnet has agreed to new contracts with consultants.  Dexter Whitfield feels they will give little information that Your Choice Barnet does not already know.  He recommends these contracts should be terminated.Campaign Against the Destruction of Disabled Support Services (CADDSS)

Dexter Whitfield recommends that Barnet Council should return YCB services in-house, extend the block contract to ease YCB cash flow problems, and prepare a three-year service development plan with service users, carers, staff and trade unions.

A member of CADDSS voiced the concerns of many, “Carers are extremely worried about  the future care of their loved ones.  What will happen when we are no longer around to look out for them?”

SWAN Conference 2014: Social Work in a Cold Climate

The main plenary sessions will be organized around the following themes:
1) Social work and social justice; building critical alliances.
2) New radicalism: Reflecting on the past, shaping the future.
3) Global austerity and social work; listening to voices of resistance.

We invite workshops, presentations and papers ne the following themes and topics:

• The disability movement
• Debating Government reviews on social work education and adult care
• Challenging the “troubled families” agenda
• Defeating the policies of austerity
• Anti-racist/ social work practice
• Challenging managerialism
• Work with asylum seekers and refugees
• In defense of youth and community work
• Defeating sexism and gender oppression
• User-led groups and community campaigns
• Building alliances- Challenging the strategy of divide and rule
• Radical social work education and practice
• Other themes relevant to the conference

Speakers, workshops and a call for papers will be announced soon.

Important dates and Information

Call For Papers 1 September 2013
Online Registration Opens (information on accommodation will be circulated on this date) 1 October 2013
Close of Abstract submissions 15 January 2014
Notification of accepted abstracts 7 February 2014
Online Registration Closes 25 March 2014

Conference registration costs (including coffee and lunch):
£15 Students
£35 Waged
£65 Academics, trade union representatives
Free For service users and asylum seekers

We want to keep costs down to promote inclusion and participation. To this end   sponsorship is welcome. Any organisation that supports the ethos of SWAN and would like to contribute to this important event contact swandurham@gmail.com

12th November: Palestine-UK Social Work Network conference

SWAN is pleased to hear this evening that the Palestine-UK Social Work Network is holding its second annual conference on 12th November this year in London. SWAN National Convenor, Michael Lavalette, spoke among others, at last year’s event.

The conference is £15 waged and £5 for those who are unwaged. The event will be held at the Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA (near Shoreditch Overground and Old Street tube).

Download the flyer below and email palukswnetwork@gmail.com to register your interest with ‘Conference 2013’ in the subject box.

Solidarity with Palestine – Social Work Action Network.