Photo by Hans Moerman on Unsplash

As the Chancellor jets off to California with his wife, millions of families throughout the UK are facing the misery he has imposed on all of us. Critical Mass supports the Big Power Off protests organised by Disabled People Against the Cuts (Sheffield).

Throughout this week we are highlighting the human cost of pursuing recession fuelling policies.

This Sunday (April 10th) sees the second Big Power Off protest, and we caught up with disabled activist and campaigner Rachael Tomlinson from East Yorkshire to discover the human cost of government policies that are pushing more and more people into poverty. This is Rachaels’s story:

In 2018 I was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and left work soon after.

In my working life I have been a project manager, programme manager, service manager and facilities manager, predominantly in the NHS. Being unable to work I needed a way to keep my brain working and knew I also had a lot of knowledge to share. My blog was formed from this, and I quickly became an accessibility and disability champion, fighting accessibility issues, mainly focussing on Rugby League grounds. It was only during the pandemic that I became more of an activist, I started to have an active input in my local CLP, for which I am the Disability Officer.

From this my activism was born; it had always been there but, watching what was happening with the Tory Party and Prime Minister, I couldn’t just sit back and let it go unnoticed. Meeting Jen [Jones] was the catalyst to joining DPAC and supporting their campaigns. I was proud to speak on their behalf at a recent cost of living protest in Hull.

We have to make this government realise that people are going to die. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s really true. I would like to think this protest can win, but you never know, when Sunak can jet off to California, when we are dealing with the worst cost of living crisis since the 50s and ration books, just tells us all we need to know about how much they care about us. Britain will become a worse place, sadly, unless we can get this government out, because they will never truly understand what it means to eat your child’s leftovers. We also have a weak opposition as they aren’t really fighting for all of us.

I have quite a lot of electrical appliances which I use to support me, due to balance issues mainly. So, on Sunday, the dishwasher and the washing machine won’t be turned on and I plan to eat cold food all day to ensure I don’t have to turn one of my many cooking appliances on.

What we need to do now is gather support. It’s no use people sitting at home on their computers shouting at social media. We need support now. We need you on the streets with us. If you are unable to attend physically, we need you sharing our materials – tweets, Facebook posts, tiktoks etc.

The current crisis has reached boiling point; it’s now about survive or die.

We absolutely must speak in those terms, lest we minimise what people at the bottom of this mess are going through.

Without your solidarity, so many people are simply going to die, but with it we might just hang on until the next election when we can get these Tory bastards out once and for all.

Enough empty words.

Enough empty gestures.

Give your solidarity, defend and protect industrial struggles, defend and protect the right to life. The right to life. That just shouldn’t even have to be said.

It might not affect you now, but I can guarantee it will be affecting someone very close to you, be that family, friend, neighbour, you get where I am coming from.

Support #BigPowerOff.

Strength in unity.

We all stand together.


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