Protestors gather outside Romford Atos Healthcare building
15:32 21 February 2014
Furious protestors staged demonstrations all over the country on Wednesday to vent their anger over the way disabled people are assessed for benefits.
A crowd gathered outside the Atos Healthcare offices in Eastern Road, Romford, to oppose the work capability assessment, the company’s method for deciding whether or not a claimaint is fit for work.
Campaigner Isobel Whittaker said the peaceful protest was important in letting people know about the issue. She said: “Tens of thousands of disabled people have been left without any benefits after an Atos assessment.
“This is a national scandal - that is why it is so important for the whole community to support them.
“There are a lot of people this has affected that would want to be here but they are too unwell.”
Twelve people protested throughout the day in Romford.
“People stopped and chatted with us,” added Isobel, “but no one from the company came out to talk.”
An Atos spokesman said: “We absolutely respect people’s right to peaceful protest and are well aware being assessed for benefit entitlement can be a difficult experience.
“However, lobbying against Atos Healthcare will have no impact on welfare policy. It is not the role of Atos Healthcare to make decisions on who can or cannot receive benefits.”