Getting disabled people to vote
Crip the vote started in the US in February 2016 during the run-up to the last presidential campaign. It is a nonpartisan online movement activating and engaging disabled people on policies and practices important to the disability community. It is grounded in online conversations encouraging individual and collective action in the face of inequality, ableism, and oppression in all forms.
Their campaign was – and is – high profile and has incentivised many disabled people to get involved in politics and vote for candidates whose views would best serve disabled people. Although that election is over the campaign continues. Activists are now looking to move into other forms of political participation.
Now Crip the vote has launched in the UK. Started by some campaigners from DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts), it has had its own blog, and is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
DPAC have organised or been involved in all the Direct Action protests against Austerity Cuts in the UK since 2010. Their visibility for those of us who may be unable to be involved so publicly for whatever reason, has highlighted the inequalities faced by disabled people.
I’m proud to be part of #CripTheVoteUK. As my friend Dennis Queen said; “Disabled people are quite literally voting for our lives. We need ALL voters to know this is an emergency for thousands of disabled people and help us fight back.”
You can read more about the campaign here.
Did you know both the United Nations and the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, have condemned the UK government for many abuses against disabled people?
Did you know that at least 10,000 disabled people have died in the last 7 years (since 2010) within 6 weeks of being declared ‘Fit For Work’, and the government has ignored warnings from its own research about the impact of their regime? The next Labour Government has pledged to scrap these cruel tests.
Those two facts alone, should make any voter think hard about what sort of a country the UK has become under the last three Tory led governments. Don’t forget the LibDems were part of this too.
This is why I’m voting Labour at this election. If you live in a constituency that is already a Labour seat or could become one, please join me. If you live in a seat held by a Tory or LibDem vote for the party who can most easily unseat the sitting MP.
Disabled people, our families and friends make up almost half the UK voting population. Think what a difference your votes could make?
By voting for a Labour MP you could, quite literally, be saving the lives of disabled people.
A shorter version of this blog post has been published on the Huffington Post UK site, where I will be blogging regularly.
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