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.
Paralyzed since I was 18 years old, I have spent much of the last 30 years thinking about the reasons why the social life of crippled people is so different from those who ambulate on two feet. After reading about the so called Ashley Treatment I decided it was time to write a book about my life as a crippled man. My book, Bad Cripple: A Protest from an Invisible Man, will be published by Counter Punch. I hope my book will completed soon.
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Thursday, May 12, 2011
Hardest Hit March: Part Two
Posted by william Peace at 12:41 PM
PhD 1992 in anthropology Columbia University, I am interested in disability rights and bioethics.
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