Crippen and the call for grassroots activism

Speaking at the online launch of a new book by a disabled activist, Ellen Clifford, Professor Colin Barnes, one of the most significant figures in the development of the social model of disability, said that disabled people had faced a decade of oppression and that we will only end this by getting involved in grassroots activism.

Reported in the Disability News Service, Professor Barnes said: “The problems of disabled people have been compounded by the austerity process and now, particularly, with COVID-19 and the treatment of disabled and elderly people by this apology for a government.”

But he added: “The evidence of history shows that history can be changed through disabled people and their allies, and this is why ongoing activism is fundamental.

“Grassroots activism and involvement (are) the only way we will change this appalling situation.”

When you look up the definition of grass roots activism, it describes an action that relies on individuals who are willing to stipulate changes that they are related with from the ground up; it is the most basic level of activity that unites people to undertake actions that promote changes. A grassroots activist can be anyone who feels strongly about an issue and acts upon it.

So, there you have it. We need to get off our backsides and start to challenge this appalling status quo that is being imposed upon us by the current Tory government. We are ALL affected by the changes they are making to legislation; the scrapping of significant sections of the Care Act and the suspension of local authority services and the replacement of the European Convention on Human Rights with something yet to be defined.

So, let’s get that grass growing folks!

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

This cartoon is basically a pun with small disabled protesters sprouting out of the ends of blades of grass and carrying banners. The heading is ‘grassroots activism by disabled people’. The banners that the protesters are carrying cover most of our historic statement and include, ‘rights not charity’, ‘nothing about us without us’ and ‘we shall not be removed’. The protesters represent a diverse representation of ethnicity and impairments.

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