Several demonstrations have taken place today as part of a week-long protest against the involvement of Atos in the Paralympic Games.
Atos is the company responsible for the means testing of disabled people, and is believed by those taking part to be responsible for ruining the lives of countless disabled people in the UK.
Several horrifying stories and statistics have emerged surrounding the controversial French firm, including an Atos "assessor" asking someone who had taken several overdoses why they weren't dead yet and stories of people being forced to walk until they collapse, before being declared "unfit for work". Some individuals pronounced "fit for work" by Atos are those with serious illnesses, including advanced Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. An investigation by the Daily Mirror claimed that 1,100 employment support allowance claimants died after being placed in "work-related activity groups" (32 a week).
The anger felt by many that such a company is a sponsor of the Paralympic Games is hardly suprising given such examples of malpractice.
Today in Manchester, Northampton, and Birmingham among others, protesters gathered outside Atos buildings holding banners and even trying to award a gold medal in hypocrisy to the company. However, such efforts were stopped by G4S security personnel at the sites.