BLAZERED security officers at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games headquarters tussled with disabled protesters yesterday as they protested against hated sponsor Atos.
Dozens of demonstrators demanded that organisers axe the IT giant from public promotions of the Games in light of its role in deadly cuts to disability benefits.
Atos has sought to boost its public profile by sponsoring database software for international sporting events.
Campaigners have fought to expose a string of scandals and wrongful sanctions arising from its contracts assessing sickness benefit claimants for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Glasgow Against Atos spokesman Sean Clerkin said yesterday their actions offered a “moral compass” for the games’ organisers.
Tim Salter, Jacqueline Harris and Nick Barker were just some of the suicide cases to make national headlines after being ruled “fit for work.”
“It’s a scandal that Atos is a sponsor for the Commonwealth Games, an absolute scandal,” he said.
The department says it does not record mortality rates for those deemed “fit for work.”
But DWP figures released in 2012 suggested that 2,200 people had died before Atos had even completed their assessment — and 1,300 had died within six weeks of being shunted into “work related activity.”
Atos has even seen silent protest from Paralympic athletes who hid their branded lanyards from cameras at London’s 2012 opening ceremony, while Sport Disability Scotland told MSPs in April that their own staff and volunteers had encountered athletes who could no longer afford to continue their sporting careers after losing a work capability assessment.
A demonstrator yesterday who declined to be named described Atos’s appointment as “a total joke.”
He said: “The guy up the stair from me has got one lung and he’s in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank.
“He was put in the ‘fit for work’ group and six months later he died.”
An Atos spokeswoman said the company did not decide on benefit entitlements but merely forwarded “highly professional and compassionate” assessments to DWP officials.
And a Glasgow 2014 spokesman said it remained “very proud” of Atos’s involvement.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.