Anti ATOS campaigners demonstrated today at the door of the legal advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – Harper Macleod LLP. There was no monkey business – but there was a ‘gorilla’ wearing a white ‘doctor’s coat’ with ‘trained ATOS Medical Examiner’ printed on the back.
The law company is located in the same city centre office block in Gordon Street as ATOS health care which carries out assessments for people being reviewed by the Department of Work and Pensions to find those capable of working.
ATOS (Societas Europae) is the IT wing of ATOS which provides the technology for the Games results, volunteers and many other facets of the 2014 event.
In recent months the campaigners have carried out a series of similar demonstrations at targeted companies including ATOS health care and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games offices.
Spokesman for the Anti ATOS campaigners, Sean Clerkin, said: ‘We think Harper Macleod should be ashamed for not calling on ATOS to be removed as a sponsor of the Games. We consider ATOS is responsible for the deaths of 2,200 people who died before the end of their ATOS assessment process. Some committed suicide, others were terminally ill. ATOS is responsible for driving tens of thousands of disabled people from social security benefits, reducing them to utter penury and extreme poverty.’
The group left a letter for the law firm’s chief, Professor Lorne Crerar calling on him as a co-sponsoring company of the Commonwealth Games, to: ‘talk to your fellow sponsors, such as Ernst & Young, Ford, etc to exert pressure to remove ATOS as a sponsor as they are not fit to grace such a fine occasion as the Commonwealth Games in 2014.’
Harper Macleod’s website says: ‘The values we treasure: Integrity, trust and a strong sense of social responsibility. We expect our people to maintain these characteristics in all our business dealings with clients, with each other and with our stakeholders in our wider communities.’ A comment is awaited from Harper Macleod.
By the end of the brief demonstration inside the Ca’d’oro building, the half dozen demonstrators were outnumbered by nine police officers. After some discussion between the demonstration leader and the senior police officer, the group left the building quietly.
Later ATOS issued a statement: ‘We fully respect people’s right to peaceful protest and we understand that the Work Capability Assessment can be very difficult.
We do not make decisions on people’s benefit entitlement or on welfare policy but we will continue to make sure that service that we provide is as highly professional and compassionate as it can be. We do this through a constant programme of training and education for our staff, a rigorous recruitment process for healthcare professionals and through continual work with the Government, disability rights groups, healthcare professionals and those going through the process on the ground.’
Thursday 7 March 2013
For almost two hours today, people spoke in Gordon Street, Glasgow using a megaphone. No one was arrested. Last week, when exactly the same public protest was being made - about Atos, a sponsor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – two people were arrested after a heavy squad of police officers ‘kettled’ them.
‘We want the charges dropped,’ said Sean Clerkin, one of the speakers last week and today. ‘They were doing nothing wrong. They were simply speaking with a megaphone. I’ve lodged a formal complaint with the Chief Constable and understand it is being investigated.’
Today’s public gathering attracted a crowd which averaged between 40 and 50 people at any one time.
Said Paul McKenna, another speaker: ‘It is vital we defend our right of free speech. We are calling for charges against the Anti-cuts activists – the Atos 2 – to be dropped. We’ll be outside the Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday 22 March to support them and let the public know what is happening.’
Friday 22 February 2013
Two people were arrested today at an anti-Atos rally in Gordon Street. Around 40 people had gathered to hear protests about the French company Atos being an official sponsor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when it is also responsible for screening people who are being re-assessed for benefits. Till now, all the regular fortnightly protests have been peaceful.
Strathclyde Police later confirmed that a man aged 22 and one aged 27 had been arrested in connection with alleged public order offences. They were released on an undertaking to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday 22 March.
A small band of protestors succeeded in having a Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Gordon Street, closed for a short time on Wednesday 8 February.
They said that bankers’ bonuses were paid for through benefits to the poor and disabled being cut.
Said lead campaigner Sean Clerkin: ‘ Bankers’ bonuses are leading to serious inequality in society. To pay for those bonuses, day centres in Glasgow are being cut. The people who use those centres are the poor and vulnerable. The bottom line is, the poorest and the most vulnerable in society are paying for the top bankers’ bonuses. It is financial rape.’
He said the protests would continue until something was done to rectify the situation.
When a request was made to the bank in Gordon Street, Glasgow, for a comment this website was told to ‘write to us.’
Saturday 4th February
Buchanan Street/Gordon Street
12 noon assemble
Rally and Speakers around 12.30 pm
Following a number of attacks on labour movement stalls in Glasgow over the last few weeks, Unite Against Fascism is organising this rally in Glasgow.
We believe that these attacks are part of a fascist strategy to widen the targets of their violence in an attempt to indimidate people off the streets. We cannot allow this to happen.
We are inviting organisations to bring banners and provide a speaker to join a short rally near the spots where the attacks took place.
Unite Against Fascism
People against the Bankers
outside RBS Gordon Street,
Wednesday 8 February 2012
Have your say. All welcome.
Info from: 07948010959
Photograph by Stuart Maxwell
For a third time in just over a month, Citizens United against Cuts to Public Services occupied a bank in protest of Government cuts, this time Gordon St’s HBOS in Glasgow city centre.
On Thursday 18 November, at 11am, 14 members of the group occupied the branch for 40 minutes, forcing the bank to close for 40 minutes, until the police arrived and the demonstration dispered.
The group have vowed to continue their opposition to the cuts in public spending with theatrical protest.
by Stuart Maxwell
The Glasgow community group, Citizens United Against Cuts to Public Services, have struck again, this time occupying a RBS Bank in Glasgow’s city centre. They are protesting at budget cuts to public spending and tax benefits for the wealthy.
Two weeks after shutting down a Lloyds TSB branch for an hour, 14 people from the group entered the RBS on Gordon Street on Thursday 4 October and announced that they were occupying the branch in protest at ‘criminal and casino banking’. They believe this to be the cause of the £billions cuts in public services which were announced in the House of Commons last month.
Citizens United leader, Sean Clerkin, told the LOCAL NEWS, from inside the bank: ‘So far, things are going very well. Our message is spreading and we are going to make very big efforts to carry on protesting in banks in unique ways. Our war against casino bankers is attracting young and old alike. We will not stop. It has been a very effective occupation, effectively, we stopped business. Only a few customers got in.’
At one stage, RBS staff allowed Campbell Johnstone into the bank to deposit money. After talking with protesters Mr Johnstone joined the protest. Unlike Lloyds TSB, RBS decided to resume business while the occupation was in progress. At one stage a female customer pushed Sean Clerkin from behind and then attempted to put her hand over his mouth as he delivered his message to fellow protesters and bank users. Later, an elderly gentleman told Mr Clerkin he was ‘wasting his time’ and to ‘stop shouting’.
Becky Buchannan, a dressmaker from Glasgow, joined Citizens United for the occupation. Dressed as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Becky told LOCAL NEWS: ‘I am embarrassed how the people in this country have taken the cuts lying down, unlike the French who fight back. I am embarrassed to live in a country were the rich can evade tax and the poor are obliged to pay. That is why I’m here in this bank today.’ If the gauge of success for Citizens United is exposure, then this occupation can be seen as better than Lloyds.
Outside the bank, a group called Fight Racism Fight Imperialism set up a stall and announced to the passing public the occupation in progress. In the end, a throng of people had gathered at the RBS entrance. A spokesperson for RBS said: ‘We fully respect the right to protest, as long as it does not affect the safety of our customers and staff ‘ The police were called but stayed outside the bank. After an occupation that lasted over an hour, Citizens United supporters left the bank under the eye of the police but not at their command. Together, they sauntered off for cups of tea, to discuss future bank jobs perhaps? Said Sean Clerkin: ‘We have no choice. George Osborne is holding a gun to our head.’
Two new Nite Zones were launched in Glasgow on Friday 24 September as the fight to combat violent crime continues.
The two new zones, on Albion Street in the Merchant City and Byres Road in the West End, will see marshalled taxi queues- often a source of trouble when pubs and clubs close- and more CCTV cameras, as well as better street lighting.
The launch of the two Nite Zones takes the total in Glasgow to four. The initiative was born in 2005, on Sauchiehall Street and Gordon Street the two city centre spots chosen to pilot the scheme.
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson believes the initiative has been a success, and is confident the expansion into further zones will prove justified. Said Gordon: ‘Nite Zones have helped to significantly reduce levels of violent crime in recent years by creating safe areas for people to wait for transport home. We believe that expanding an already successful concept will lead to fewer incidents and will build on the city’s reputation of being a safe and enjoyable place to visit at weekends.’
Stewards will attempt to curb queue jumping while Glasgow Taxis Ltd continue to support the scheme, pledging that the flow of taxis will equal the flow of pleasure seekers pouring from pubs and clubs after the last bell has been tolled. Pleasure seekers should be able to find out where their nearest Nite Zone is situated, as many local pubs and clubs, near the four spots, have jumped aboard the scheme and may provide information on request.
The two new Nite Zones form part of Strathclyde Police’s Policing Plan for the weekends. City Centre Commander, Superintendent Bernhard Higgins sees the expansion as a good example of the cohesion at play within Glasgow’s public services. Said Bernhard: ‘ The extension of the Nite Zones to take in the Merchant City and the West End is a positive step which will enhance current service provision and will demonstrate the determination of the Council, Police and the GCSS to work together to make Glasgow City centre one of the safest places to visit in the UK.’
According to the Strathclyde Police the Glasgow city centre saw 24,023 crimes reported in 2009 with 24,847 already reported this year.
The new Nite Zones will operate every weekend from 11pm- running until 2am on Byres Road and 4am on Albion Street.