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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hardest Hit March: Part Two

I have read dozens of articles in British news papers today about he Hardest Hit March. Amazingly, the press is doing a damn good job covering the impact the march has had. Sure the focus is on the obstacles protesters had to overcome but I can overlook this given the focus is on civil rights.

One story however stood out as particularly impassioned. Jody McIntyre in the Guardian wrote "Disabled People Must Fight for a Different Society" and noted:

Today, thousands of us marched to demand that our voices are heard. But just like the thousands of students who took over the Millbank Tower last December, they will be ignored, because the government not only do not understand our struggle, they do not care. The demonstration was called "The Hardest Hit March", but I personally object to such defeatist language. Yes, disabled people will be among the hardest hit by these cuts, but they will also hit back the hardest. We are not asking for sympathy from the public or from the government, we are demanding our fundamental right to live free and independent lives.
This is not a struggle for disabled people, this is a struggle for every one of us.

Hit back indeed. Today I hope the British showed us what can happen when people with a disability forget about our differences and band together. I hope leaders of ADAPT and Not Dead Yet and the DREDF are paying close attention to what is going on in London. Imagine what a protest like the Hardest Hit March would look like in Washington DC? Now that is something to dream about. That is something we must make happen.

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