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Maximus: Same Circus, Different Clowns

solidarity collective | 05-03-2015 23:42 | Health | Public sector cuts | Repression | Birmingham | Cambridge | Liverpool | London | Oxford | Sheffield | South Coast | Wales

On Monday 2nd of March 2015, there were demonstrations in over 30 towns and cities around the UK (plus Toronto) against Maximus, the US based health insurance corporation that has taken over the contract from the French IT Company Atos to administer the Work Capability Assessment on behalf of the Department Of Work And Pensions. Atos announced its exit from the contract in early 2014 following an intense period of direct action against the company by groups such as Disabled People Against the Cuts.

The day of action was timed to coincide with the first working day of the new contract, with the spotlight turned on Maximus as well as the continued use of Work Capability Assessments and the life-threatening consequences of the ongoing government attacks on the sick and disabled.

In central London, to the chorus of "David Cameron is a W*****" (YouTube) activists from DPAC hit the streets, taking direct action to block traffic and at one stage bringing traffic to a standstill on Victoria Street in the shadow of Big Ben.

The demonstrations across the UK on the streets were complemented with an online Twitter campaign using the hashtags #Maximarse and #ScrapWCA, the latter trending for a number of hours. This gave the opportunity for those unable (including through sickness and disability) to make it to demonstrations to vent their anger and frustation around the Work Capability Assessment and at a government hell-bent on targeting the sick and disabled.

On the Newswire: Maximarse is more than a farce | Mental Health Resistance Network Statement | Wrexham joins National Day of Protest Against WCA & Maximus

Other links: Johnny Void | Video: Maximarse the Movie (YouTube)

Read more | 3 comments

Protest at Queens visit to the Nuclear Death Park in Rotherham

IMC Sheffield | 21-11-2010 19:33 | Anti-Nuclear | Anti-militarism | Health | Terror War | Sheffield

On 18th October the Queen's visited Sheffield and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Catcliffe, was greeted by protestors.

The press release for the event didn't mention the arms industry related work that takes place there but simply stated that, "The Nuclear AMRC is a new collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the University of Manchester, with the backing of the Government and leading companies involved in building the new generation of civil nuclear power stations."

The day before, Stuart Parkinson, executive director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, speaking at the Sheffield CND AGM exposed the often used argument about job creation for facilities of this nature — only 3,000 are employed in the defence sector in the Yorkshire and Humberside region and the money invested could generate far more jobs in sustainable industries.

Newswire: Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Protest | Protest at the Queen's visit to the Rotherham Death Park | Royal Visit to Death Park! 18th Nov. 2010 | Nuclear Dawn at Rotherhams Advanced Manufacturing Park | Stuart Parkinson: Arms Conversion for a Low Carbon Economy

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'Defend the NHS' National Day of Action

imc-uk-features | 06-03-2007 19:24 | Globalisation | Health | Workers' Movements | Cambridge | Sheffield


Saturday, 3rd March, saw a national day of action to defend the National Health Service (NHS), called by NHS Together, an alliance of health service unions and staff associations together with the TUC. Demonstrations and rallies took place across the country, in Birmingham, Cambridge, Hackney (London), Leeds, Preston, Sheffield and other places. The aim of the protests, according to the organisers, was "to send a powerful message in celebration and defence of the NHS" against more cuts and privatisation. Almost three quarters of NHS trusts in the UK are reported last year that financial deficits are forcing them to make massive cutbacks; wards are being closed down, hospitals shut and jobs cut. Billions are going into 'restructuring' the service along market lines, with millions going on management consultants and financial advisers and millions more, in massive PFI payments, to shareholders and bankers.

Reports and pics: Defend the NHS Day: Sheffield Demonstration [photos] | Demo against the privatization of the NHS in Preston | Hackney Save NHS Demo | Leeds General Infirmary For Sale!

Previous Indymedia Features: Is Britain ready to defend its NHS? | The NHS in Crisis | Sheffield Children's Hospital: Save Ward S2 | Local Trusts Take Scalpel To NHS | Indymedia UK's Health topic page

Links: NHS Together | Keep Our NHS Public

Read more | 1 addition

Sheffield Children's Hospital: Save Ward S2

Sheffield IMC | 10-09-2006 19:34 | Health | Sheffield

Protestors took to the streets of Sheffield on Saturday 9th September in response to Ward S2 in Sheffield Children's Hospital being threatened with closure.

S2 is a specialist childrens ear, nose and throat ward and its closure is part of a £3 million cuts package for the Hospital, which is just a fraction of the 3 year £100 million cuts package for the NHS in Sheffield. Hospital unions are objecting to cuts which include not filling vacancies and workers' hours being cut.

These cuts are not an isolated incident, in July there was a protest against privatisation on the 58th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. The Government's ongoing underfunding, cuts and privatisation of the National Health Service have also been covered by Cambridge and Liverpool IMCs.

Read more | 1 addition

Defend Disability Benefits

IMC Sheffield | 14-05-2006 15:55 | Health | Social Struggles | Sheffield

Sheffield Welfare Action Network (SWAN) is one of the lead organisations in the campaign against the proposed welfare reforms. They are organising the forthcoming People's March and Rally Against the IB cuts, a national demonstration on the 17th June being held in Sheffield. SWAN has been steadily helping build the campaign and seen opposition grow to the draconian welfare reforms as their implications become clear. There is also a benefit concert in aid of SWAN on the 20th May.

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Local Residents Fight Parkwood Landfill Expansion Proposals

Sheffield Indymedia | 04-05-2005 20:37 | Ecology | Health | Sheffield

Local residents with petitions against the expansion plans

Proposals are being put before the council for a massive enlargement of the Parkwood Landfill site, allowing a substantial increase in capacity from just 266,000 tonnes a year to a staggering 1 million tonnes. The Parkwood Landfill site is on the edge of Shirecliffe and overlooks many areas including Hillsborough, Upperthorpe and Walkley. Local residents are fighting these proposals and demanding a public consultation. However, their on going investigation into the proposals is raising more questions than answers. Residents are beginning to see a possible link emerging between the new massive incinerator in Sheffield, which is nearing completion, and the proposals for the enlargement of the Parkwood Landfill Site. If under these proposals the Parkwood landfill site was to have its suspended special waste licence reinstated, the expansion of the landfill site would enable the ash from the new Bernard Roads incinerator to be dumped there.

Article | Photos

Planning application info: September 2005

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Bhopal: 20 years on

Sheffield Indymedia | 03-12-2004 13:33 | Health | Social Struggles | Sheffield | World

Bhopal Victim

The Bhopal Disaster of 1984 killed thousands of people in the Indian city of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. It was caused by the accidental release of forty tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) from a Union Carbide pesticide plant located in the heart of the city. This event remains the worst industrial disaster in history with significant injuries to at least 50,000 people.

The MIC leak began shortly after midnight on December 3, 1984. The vapors killed more than 2,000 people outright and injured anywhere from 150,000 to 600,000 others, some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries.

To commemorate the lives lost in the disaster Sheffield Indymedia has arranged for a screening of the film Bhopal Express to be shown at 6:30pm Sunday 5th December at The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield with all proceeds from the film to be donated to the Bhopal Medical Appeal.

Indymedia India has a number of articles about the disaster: Fast for clean up of Bhopal Factory Site | Cloud over Bhopal | Students at 60 Colleges on Five Continents Demand Justice

See also: Wikipedia: Bhopal Disaster | Website of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal | Website of Students for Bhopal, the student network for justice in Bhopal

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Sainsburys Blockaded Nationally [updated]

daisy | 02-07-2004 11:54 | Bio-technology | Ecology | Health | Technology | Sheffield

Sainsbury's chilled food distribution centres were blockaded across the country on Thursday in protest against GM feed being fed to dairy cows. Sainsbury’s five biggest UK distribution centres were shut down as evironmentalists and consumers simultaneously blockaded the supermarket chain's chilled-goods depots in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Sheffield. They were chained together through steel tubes, or sat up scaffold tripods, blocking the depot gates. The co-ordinated action was intended to halt distribution of Sainsbury's dairy products that come from cows fed GM animal feed.

The protest follows Sainsbury’s failure to provide non-GM fed milk as standard, despite rivals like Marks and Spencer and the Co-op doing so. The action was taken in solidarity with farmers, demanding they get a fair deal of 2p on the pound for non-GM milk. The coalition of groups campaigning on this issue includes Farmers for Action, the Small and Family Farmers Alliance, The Small Farms Association, the Wholesome Food Association, the Institute of Science in Society, Genetic Food Alert and the Genetic Engineering Network (see GM animal feed campaign PDF). Also see National press release

Local reports: Birmingham report, photos and video | London
Yorkshire | Liverpool [ 1 , 2 ] and photos [1 | 2]
Bristol report and photos
Sainsbury's Essex Waltham Point Depot Blockade Report
See also Genetic Engineering Network

In a related action, farmers in Barnstaple blockaded a Sainsbury's store, while consumers and campaigners labelled GM milk inside the store: report and press release here.

Latest news:
Cows leaflet shareholders are Sainsbury AGM - Monday 12th July
Store demo in Plymouth - Saturday 10th July
Farmers vist Welsh store - Saturday 10th July

Read more | 24 comments


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