We must not ignore the Cameron government's attack on disabled people
You can read below how Beth was brutalised and convicted for the crime of voicing dissent to David Cameron’s vicious attack on disabled people. She was fined £745 including costs – more than what she makes in a month.
Since we launched our appeal to help with these costs at lunchtime today, dozens of you have donated and amazingly we reached the cost of Beth’s fine in just a few hours.
We’ll carry on raising money in Beth’s name – anything we can raise over and above her fine will go to Disabled People Against Cuts, fighting every day against this government’s vicious attack on the vulnerable. Please continue to donate here if you can:
Beth will be appealing the judgment, and if she is successful we’ll be able to donate all the money to DPAC.
Beth stood up for us. Thank you for standing with her.
— the Bright Green editors
Yesterday I was found guilty in the Oxford Magistrates’ Court of causing “harassment, alarm and distress” following a peaceful and legal political protest in Witney in December. The judge said “I can think of nothing more alarming than the statement that ‘Cameron has blood on his hands.'” I will continue to say that Cameron has blood on his hands, whenever the opportunity presents itself.
30 people have died as a direct result of the government’s ‘welfare reforms’. Thousands have died after being found ‘fit for work’. Over the long term, as more and more is taken away there will be increasing harm and death, including many hidden ones. The fine and costs come to more than I earn in a month, the judge said that on a whole £700 a month of course I’d have no trouble paying it back. After rent, travel to work, food and paying off loans I don’t have money left at the end of the month, and my salary is going down soon, so I’m not sure what will happen next. Except that I’m going to keep saying that Cameron has blood on his hands.
Here’s some notes I wrote earlier on what happened:
On the 30th November David Cameron was booed as he came on stage to turn on the Witney Christmas Lights. You can watch a very funny video of him trying to drown out any criticism by awkwardly getting the crowd to cheer everyone from themselves to the Queen below. When there’s some background heckling during the countdown he appeals to the crowd to “come on, shout louder!”
Kind of funny. Also, kind of not funny. I find it very weird watching the video, because while this was going on I was being beaten up by the police on the other side of the stage. I have never been so scared. My face was being pushed into the ground, I could feel blood coming from my nose, there was someone putting their whole weight on my back while someone else was stamping on my knees, along with various people grabbing and twisting my limbs. And then the officer on my back moved a knee up onto the back of my neck. Up until then I’d been shouting “I’m not resisting, I’m cooperating,” trying to ask them to stop, but from the moment I felt someone pressing their body weight into the back of my neck I gave up trying to communicate anything to them, I realised the police officers on top of me either couldn’t or wouldn’t hear me. Instead I began begging anyone who was nearby to intervene, to tell them to stop. Images flashed into my mind of what could happen. I was in pain, I couldn’t see what was going on, I was crying and bleeding, I couldn’t properly breathe, and I thought that they might leave me seriously injured. I’ve worked supporting people who’ve badly damaged their necks or back, and I can’t believe that any police officer was taught that kneeling on the back of someone’s neck is every an acceptable thing to do.
So that was one of the background sounds that Cameron was trying to drown out with his calls for round after round of applause. One of the things Cameron asked the crowd to cheer was “the Paralympics, that was great.” Well yes, the paralympics was great, but he should remember that his ministers were booed loudly whenever they appeared at paralympic ceremonies, and that it had the least popular sponsor possible, ATOS. The government gave ATOS the contract to kick disabled people off benefits they need to survive, and despite some of its staff quitting on grounds of conscience, they’ve done an admirable job of swiping those benefits away.
To rub salt into the wound the government justify their cuts with misleading press releases about what percentage of disabled people they’ve deemed “fit for work.” These are taken up by the press, who spin them still further from reality and stir up public hatred of “scroungers” and “shirkers”. A survey by Inclusion London found that the general public believe that between 50% and 70% of disability claims are fraudulent. The reality is that the fraud rate for disability benefits is 0.5%.
The words that the government and media are using is the indirect part of their attack on disabled people. Disability hate crime, which ranges from comments in the street through vandalism of motability cars up to imprisonment, torture, rape and murder (yes, in the UK, this happens) is growing. A Comres study found that 66% of disabled people in September 2011 said they experienced aggression, hostility or name calling compared with 41% in May 2011. That’s a huge increase in a short amount of time.
I knew about this through hearing and reading stories about the people who are being affected, I also knew that these stories weren’t being given the front page spreads that ‘scrounger’ stories get. I think it’s important to show that some of us are refusing to buy the rhetoric that would have us scapegoat disabled people. So I held up a placard that said “Cameron has blood on his hands,” and I shouted that “disabled people are dying because of Cameron’s policies.” I didn’t expect that to be a big deal, I only wanted to do my bit to show that we’re not all taken in by the rhetoric that disabled people are ‘scroungers’ and ‘shirkers.’ I didn’t think that it would lead to being beaten up, arrested, held overnight and then taken to court on two ridiculous charges.
Since December there has been a little more attention slowly coming to focus on the horrific way that this government is treating disabled people. MP Micheal Meacher told the House of Commons that Cameron has blood on his hands (he didn’t get arrested). We’ve heard more about how the bedroom tax is going to hit disabled people.
But still, there’s very little media coverage of the disability campaigners who are also in court today, in London, challenging the cut of the Independent Living Fund, which will force people into residential homes? We had a huge amount of coverage of one large family getting one large council house. Where are the front page stories about the far more common experiences of people who are losing their independence, their ability to meet their basic needs, even their houses? Where are the front page stories about the people who have killed themselves, seeing no other option as the support they need is pulled away from under them? There are now 30 cases listed on the website Calum’s List, a memorial site for those who have died because of the welfare reforms, either through suicide or through ill health and hardship. Aren’t any of those 30 people as newsworthy as one large family getting a large house?
We must do what the mainstream media will not, and resist the government’s attempt to divide and rule. We can listen to the voices of the people who know what’s going on, the people on the frontline of the cuts, and share them with our friends.
Calum’s List is hard reading, but important. It lists the deaths caused directly by welfare reform.
Disabled People Against Cuts campaign tirelessly, provide an endless amount of information and analysis, and receive hardly any media coverage, or even the recognition they deserve from the wider anti-cuts movement
The Black Triangle Campaign tells it just how it is, read their about page, read some of their blog posts, and you get a sense of just how violent the government’s two-pronged attack on disabled people is, and how dangerous it is for the rest of society to stay silent.
Hello, of course this paragraph is in fact nice and I have learned lot of
things from it regarding blogging. thanks.
I survived severe brain injury caused by the UK government, and as many others cannot understand how the welfare cuts could have been implemented before a full study was made.
Some say these studies were made but the consequences are considered acceptable losses.
Whichever way, deaths were caused, which brings us into the new reality that David Cameron, due to his responsibility is to blame for these deaths and any which may follow. Hence, within the law regarding self defense – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-defence_in_English_law – which is the ability to defend yourself and others from being killed. This means that any citizen within this world aware of David Cameron’s actions that kill is effectively obliged to defend, and as ALL manner of defense previously tried has failed – calls/letters/protests etc – the only available opportunity is to kill the killer.
Who is responsible? Look at who is is in control.. David ‘The dog’ Cameron, unfortunately needs to have his leash pulled and get him put down, this ‘dog’ is too vicious and cannot be controlled!, and obviously some within his pack need to follow suit..
How he was able to give 11,000,000 of the stolen money to another country is beyond me… Imagine, ‘Mr Cameron, you want us to give these stolen funds to another country..but people are dying due to our effective theft of what was calculated years previously…before price and cost rises…’
‘yes,’ says the dog, ‘acceptable losses…the poor die and social drains are lowered…’
Then he probably ran around the cabinet waving his arms, ‘I am immune from consequence..’
David Cameron kills, the police are probably being slipped a sum…as causing death by personal actions is murder and no arrest or investigation or conviction is made…
As the punishment needs to be Just, he should serve his sentence – if he is arrested before any citizen can defend the poor and needy once told by him they had no fear – the relevant life-sentence will be served with the largest black gay who will be doing to him what he does to us… ‘He fucked the community…so I fuck him…’ he will say.
The country he paid the 11,000,000 – details of which have been deftly hidden but are there somewhere.. – is where the dog wants to run and hide when the shit hits the fan!
The people seem unaware that a killer, such as David Cameron who is causing some to die via his immoral welfare cuts – suicide incitement/starvation etc – can be defended against. As this has been attempted by letters and protests to no avail, another option, a legal option, is to kill relevant killer/murderer – legally, a killer can legally be killed.
Will you be his next victim? If this is possible, defend yourself. The self defense clause of law states that if a citizen becomes aware of any attempted killing of ANY other citizen, legally any citizen can defend and kill this killer. David Cameron should look over his shoulders…a defender awaits him…
omg are we living in a dictatorship now these tory and sdlp cunts need to be removed and they should all be hung for crimes against humanity
David Cameron is shot dead!
Due to the caused deaths he is guilty of, and his further attempt via robbery from the poor and needy he did say had no fear should he be elected…unfortunately he did not complete this statement with the appropriate, ..’that I will endeavour to kill them,’ and hence his death has been committed in the self defense aspect of law..to protect his proposed victims..
Alternately, he was mobbed and trampled to death by the hoards of victims who saw hi in public, and the police were unable to stop the excessiove numbers from causing him to fall to the ground where he was crushed to death…while some were attempting to drown him in urine!
Which is more preferable? At least with the drowning – 50+ victims urinate on him….and trampling, at least the victims will feel some achievement, ..’I help kill the most ignorant and corrupt riobber of the disabled…I save lives by extinguishing 1!
…these occurances will happen as soon as the public see him as he is, a corrupt imbecil just waiting, in the self defense clause of law….be killed as the murderer he is!
00359 897 550 428
Hi everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this web page, and article is truly fruitful for me, keep up posting these articles.
..surely the citizens are aware…suicides have been committed due tothese cuts…and any death effectively caused by another is defendable! We can defend against threats for ourlives?.
Hence any citizen aware of these attempts by Cameron to kill off the poor and needy they said they would help…and eliminate what is considered a drain on society…can legally defend these poor and needy citizens and if..as seems necessary…he is killed or crippled in this defense of our poor and needy this is a legally permitted action.
‘why?’ the Judge may say, ‘did you kill Mr Cameron?’
‘..because,’ you will answer, ‘his benefits cuts and robberies from these poor and needy souls causes some deaths – starvation/suicide etc’
‘hmm,’ says the Judge, ‘so David Cameron was killed due to his attempted killings, this is self defense for the relevant poor and needy he was still trying to kill…’
..he excuses himself for a second, and returns smiling..
‘Well done!,’ he says, ‘if people of the country stand up for their rights as you have…we WILL have a better country!’
…’er..’ you say, ‘can we urinate on his grave to make sure he is washed away?’
‘Yes!,’ says the Judge, ‘and we’ll charge £1 each for this…and perhaps raise the necessary payback funds for the poor and needy he tried robbing!’
headline – Cameron is dead…and the citizens smile..rattling the pocket change removed by his incompetant idiocy..
There are quite a few misunderstandings circulating, and yes, Beth has left a few things out of her account, which would have clarified these to most people’s satisfaction.
However, bear in mind that an appeal is still pending, so she may be under legal advice not to explain everything at this stage.
As for myself, I would love to be at liberty to clarify those points, but as a friend of Beth’s I don’t want to do anything that might have an effect on the appeal.
In the meantime, I will just point out that at the time when the worst violence from the police occurred, Beth was ALREADY thoroughly restrained on the floor, and could not possibly have been perceived as a threat at that point.
Finally, if children really were scared by what they witnessed, that is probably because they saw several plainclothes cops violently restraining a young woman, rather than because she had one foot on a barrier and was heckling!
I notice how you gloss over the actual crime you commited, namely public order and threatening behaviour while you tried to climb over a security fence, scaring children in the process. I’m glad you got done, and the feckless sheep who are suppirting you on here are full of shit too. You cannot act in a threatening and violent manner then claim charges are trumped up. You are full of shit.
Frank and Sky: Both newspapers state she “tried” to climb the barrier. She never actually climbed it, and it’s possible she never did. If she did, why wasn’t she asked to move back? None of the articles indicate that she had been told to stay off the barrier or anything, but instead it seems the police immediately escalated and forced her to the ground.
I also notice old articles from December state she was charged with “obstructing or resisting a constable in the execution of their duty” but there is no mention of a conviction. In light of that, I think it’s possible some exaggeration of her behavior has occurred.
And Sky, regarding the quote being out of context, the Guardian report actually sounds worse than Beth’s paraphrase: ‘Judge Pattinson…said her comments that Cameron “had blood on his hands” could “hardly be more insulting to anyone, whether a politician or not”.’
in reply to Bertie if you look up “Callums list” on the internet there is an ever growing list of people who have died because of the reforms and the way theyve been treated or theyve taken their own lives because of it, many very moving stories on it, the links on here are apparently broken but you can find it yourself! http://calumslist.org/
Cameron has got blood on his hands, he must have heard worse than that before! I do hope you made a complaint about police brutality? you should have carried a voice recorder so you could have had done the police, And they wonder why we end up have riots against them because they can be utter bastards! ID LIKE TO SEE HOW THEY COPED WITH THE SAME TREATMENT! its disgusting! good luck with your appeal! take it to Europe they will support you! reasons not to take us out of Europe! they are our only protection against this becoming another Nazi state!
Frank, thank you for your response and link
Stephanie, I must agree with Frank’s second comment here and reiterate what I began to say previously. Beth undermines her own credibility by omitting this part of the story. Furthermore, an article in the guardian today suggests that the quote she attributes to the judge is out of context; http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/16/activist-shocked-conviction-cameron-protest
The report of force of police arrest seems extreme and unnecessary, yes. But the whole affair seems much more complex than Beth has represented here and that is perplexing
Stephanie – you seem to be assigning a point of view to me which I do by hold. Straw man arguments do not help your cause. What I will say is this though – by not mentioning in her post above that she climbed a barrier, Beth significantly damages her credibility as an impartial reporter of events. She makes out that the police actions were entirely unprovoked and inexplicable, when the facts as reported in the Oxford Mail auger otherwise. There may well be mitigation (along the lines of what you speculate in your post), but Beth’s omission of that information amount to a misrepresentation if what happened.
Reply to Frank Cooper’s comment.
At public events people often cross across or around barriers to get to a better viewpoint before the main event arrives. The plain clothes policeman was clear that she was no threat and that she had a banner held in both hands which he was sure she wanted to display. She had just arrived at the event and was finding a place to stand. We have surely all been at public events, parades, marathon runs etc. where people who would rather be at a different position do often dash across to the other side before the main event starts. She was crossing over, she wasn’t going onto the stage which had security staff in front of it anyway. If a uniformed or identified plain clothes police officer instructs us not to cross, then we obey. Beth had no such request or warning. She is slightly built, and if the powerful policeman really needed to restrain her he could have done so with one hand on her arm. What happened was that an enormous shaven-headed thug suddenly grabbed Beth without warning and held her against the barrier while another man was painfully pulling her hard from the other side of the barrier, she was delivered a vicious paralysing blow upwards under the jaw by a third one who arrived, she was thrown onto the ground, and then thoroughly beaten up by a group of uniformed police. She wasn’t resisting, she was terrified and calling out that she wasn’t resisting and please to stop hurting her which they ignored. In this country we are supposed to be allowed free speech and protest. You may be comfortably off and satisfied, but disability and misfortune can happen to anyone out of the blue. In the current climate banks can fail and insurance companies get out of claims. People who think they are safe can suffer disaster, lose their job, their house and money, and then should be able to trust the state to look after them – but the state is failing to look after the long term disabled, the newly disabled, and the unemployed who are desperately seeking work. David Cameron has a big campaign about scroungers but these are a tiny minority. Beth stands up for the unfortunate people who our current society is failing to look after. Her beating up was so violent that it could easily have killed her or resulted in permanent injury – do you really think this should be condoned by a misguided judge? By the way, the same judge complained about the RSPCA when they prosecuted a “prestigious” hunt (David Cameron’s friends and former foxhunting cronies) who were illegally foxhunting. In effect this judge thought it was a waste of time and money for anyone to harass wealthy lawbreakers. There is something very strange going on whereby the police jump on legal protests. Do you want to live in a true democracy of some sort of 1984/Brave New World?
David Cameron has directed harsh benefits cuts for ill and disabled people which has resulted in deaths through stress exacerbating their medical conditions, or they have been driven to suicide. In some cases severely ill people such as those about to die of cancer have been told they are fit for work and had their benefits taken away and so their last weeks of life have been distressed with no money for food. A civilised society should take care of the sick, disabled and poor. The prime minister is responsible for this.
If you click on the link for Calum’s List in Bethan’s entry above then you will see what this is all about.
Your last point is interesting and in fact yes, I do believe that David Cameron’s actions are crimes against humanity. You can find Michael Meacher,MP, speaking in the House of Commons about this in January (I think it is on You
Tube. He states that is is extremely distressing and appalling.
Can I just ask for clarification on the “30 people have died as a direct result of the government’s ‘welfare reforms’”, thing?
Have I missed something?
What has he done? (obviously in a singular context as opposed the wider political thing)
Who has he killed directly? Wouldn’t that be some kind of murder? Or manslaughter? Would accusations of such, which couldn’t be proved, then be an offence for which prison is an option (sentence wise)
Sky – in answer to your question, the local paper (link below) says that Beth was trying to leap over the security barrier. Frankly, if that’s true, it’s hardly surprising that the police would physically restrain her from getting close to the PM.
This is distressing info but not at all surprising. However bad you think it is, it’s much worse, and there is a reason why the press resist reporting what’s going on.
See the website for more info as we move to the US system of welfare with help from one of the most notorious US insurance giants: UNUM Insurance
and of course Cameron – freemason?
Police – freemasons? Magistrate – freemason?
Do we know the name of the judge or magistrate who handed out this farcical judgement? Whoever it was is clearly not fit to serve in court.
Cameron has blood on his hands!
Come on, all together now.
They can’t arrest us all!
I’m Spartacus, and so am I!
Beth is one of the bravest people I know. She doesn’t deserve this. Good on you Gary for setting the donation up!
How odd that the Judge couldn’t think of anything more horrifying than somebody handing out a statement that Cameron had blood on his hands. Apart from the fact that he does, most definitely have blood on his hands; the blood of 10,600 people last year and more to come, shouldn’t the fact that a few policemen found it necessary to beat on lone woman to the ground and smash her nose in in their efforts to arrest her been far more horrifying?
Since they obviously weren’t listening to your cries that you weren’t resisting arrest one can only think that their violence was deliberate. Under the circumstances one policeman could probably have restrained and cuffed you! Not that I am saying that I approve of the action anyway under any circumstances.
I am going to hazard a guess that Cameron and the rest of them know full well the mood of the British people and have given orders that any protests, no matter from whom, must be answered with vicious force. So now we know that any attempt to approach any member of this Coalition government no matter how calmly will be treated like this. What next? They turn out the military to stop peaceful protests? Innocent people being shot or beaten to death in the streets? Because at the end of the day honey, those policemen could have beaten you to death, just one wrong punch to the temple and you or I would be toast.
To the person who says the country is dead and we should all leave, well you are right, the country is dead, but not all of us are fortunate to be in the position to leave. Just thank your lucky stars that you have been able to achieve that.
“The judge said “I can think of nothing more alarming than the statement that ‘Cameron has blood on his hands.’””
Jeez, the imagination of the current crop of judges really has gone downhill. Can he honestly not think of anything more alarming than that? If not then surely he’s not bright enough to be a judge.
Thank you for standing up for the disabled and vulnerable.
Groover – your conclusion is based on a belief that the police would not overreact; that because the police reaction could only be justified by a threat of violence, there must have been a threat of violence.
Sadly, this is naive. The police commonly act in a manner that is totally disproportionate and unjustifiable. This was plainly one such occasion.
I read this account with utter horror, and a dreadful lack of surprise.
This country is dead. Time to leave people, time to leave.
I’m so glad I have left already.
All the very best for you. if you set up a just giving (or equivalent) page, I will be more than happy to donate towards your fine, or the hiring of a decent lawyer to challenge this ridiculous judgement. you have my email.
Like Groover, I’m a little confused about how you got from holding a placard in a crowd to being isolated at the side of the stage with the police
I am inclined to believe the police were heavy handed and you were scapegoated, but in cases such as these full disclosure is vital – could you elaborate?
Truly horrified but not surprised. My brother is severely disabled and the way this government has treated him is nothing short of inhumane. Agree with everything you have said here.
Thank you for your courage. I so wish I could donate but both my husband and myself are currently ill unable to work, him with severe depression after applying for around 700 jobs and not getting anything then being told by dwp he wasn’t trying hard enough. It led to him making a serious attempt on his life. I have hypermobility syndrome which causes me chronic pain and many of my joints semi dislocate during normal daily life, I also suffer from a form of ptsd caused by terrible abuse in children for which it’s taken me almost 14 yrs after a total breakdown to start receiving some form of treatment. We have both been declared fit for work by ATOS and i’ve also lost my dla despite hms being a degenerative condition. We’re now trying to sell our home beforenorthern rock takes it from us, don’t have enough to pay the bills and buy foodbut if we manage to sell up i’ll gladly send some of whats left after we pay back the mortgage. Once again thank you so much for putting yourself on the line for people like me.
The situation sounds very alarming. What we don’t hear about however is what exactly was happening and why the police acted like that. You clearly weren’t just saying “blood on your hands” – you were – as far as the cops were concerned anyway – presenting a threat to the PM, potentially with a knife, gun, etc. I describe it thus – the PM – because if you do present an apparent threat to the Queen, PM, Prince, etc, you can expect a no mercy security response. I’m not a fan of any of that lot. What I’m doing is pointing out facts and inevitable represcussions.
Let’s not forget Labour’s little escapade a few years ago.
Removing an old man from their party conference by force under the “Anti terrorism Act” a week after Tony Blair said it would never be used.
ps your two links to callums list and disabled people against cuts are broken *you can delete this message 🙂
Hi Beth, I am sharing this as much as I physically can.
I am horrified by the heavy handed treatment you received and within earshot of the PM too.
I hope that you haven’t had any long lasting injuries, both physical, mental and financially also…as well as it being very painful that must have been a very traumatising situation for you.
On behalf of a fellow Brit I apologise for the injustice and bad behaviour of our Government and our police force.
All the Best Beth.
Time to get these useless idiots out of power while us ‘plebs’ still can. The future isnt bright under this mob.
So true…and then there is Nick Clegg and LibDems. They are as guilty of the destitution and deaths of the sick, disabled and vulnerable as Cameron. Their closest ally, to achieve most of their aims-was Labour. Conservatives, one would suppose, would have been anathema to them. But, no. Oft Clegg skipped into his future….Deputy PM. And fully complicit in the deaths, the hardships and social exclusion of the sick, the disabled and the vulnerable.
Expenditure on our disabled people? 2% of benefit bill.
Percentage, of benefit bill cuts, experienced by the disabled? 15%.
Cameron says the “caring conservatives” will support the disabled…..he is lying.
I had been told about this by my daughter, who is in Oxford – before your court case – and I find it utterly horrific. I agree with every single word here and I promise you I’ll spread this as widely as I can. I hope you haven’t sustained any lasting physical damage. I also hope there are people willing and able to stump up to help you pay the ridiculous fine.