Disabled Scots set to rally in Glasgow for their rights as elections loom

Disability rights activists to launch manifesto for equality in Scotland’s largest city

DISABLED SCOTS are set to rally in Glasgow’s George Square today ahead of both the local and General Elections, in a bid to have their voices heard after years of blows to their rights and living standards.

The rally, organised by the largest Disabled people’s organisation in Scotland, Glasgow Disability Alliance, will be held as part of a series of events including a local elections hustings outside the City Chambers, home of Glasgow City Council (GCC), the largest local authority in the country.

GDA founder member Susan McGinley said: “Disabled people make up a quarter of Glasgow’s population – if this seems surprising, it’s because we’re excluded and isolated everyday by a city full of barriers. We know what needs to change - we want to contribute and help make Glasgow a world-leading, accessible city. Our Manifesto is the roadmap, and we are the engine! We’re rallying to get Glasgow City Council on board, working with us for change, supporting equality and our rights.”

Disability rights groups slam UK Gov for falling living standards in week of "catastrophic" cuts

The Disability rights activists will launch a manifesto demanding action on poverty and exclusion in Scotland’s largest city, where one in four people are disabled, at three local elections hustings across the city this morning.

The 3,500 strong member led GDA organisation was recently central to the Scottish Governments consultation into creating a new Scottish social security system, which will organise roughly 15 per cent of the welfare budget devolved to Scotland.

Recent weeks have seen a doubling down by the UK Government on austerity cuts to disabled people’s welfare payments and services. Thousands of disabled people have died after being found fit for work by private companies as part of UK Government efforts to cut public spending and disabled people have been forced deeper into poverty and social exclusion since the onset of the austerity agenda.

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The rally in George Square will kick off from 4:15pm today.

Tressa Burke, chief executive officer of GDA said: “We wanted to change the conversation, and ask our Council candidates to go beyond talk, and work with us on finding solutions.

“Recent UN and EHRC enquiries have shown that our hard-won rights to equality have been eroded - and in Glasgow, mounting challenges have far outweighed progress. Disabled people face extreme levels of poverty – are shut out of decisions that affect us – have our hard-won rights to support and independence eroded – and are at the sharp end of austerity, cuts to services, and rising hostility and discrimination that go along with this.”

The rally in George Square will kick off from 4:15pm today.

Further reading: 1 in 4 working age disabled people live in 'deep poverty', report finds

Picture courtesy of Glasgow Disability Alliance

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