Tuesday, 28 November 2017

International Day of People with Disabilities & Disability History Month + Extra News

Dear Friends,

The 3rd of December is the International Day of People with Disabilities. Every year it has a different theme; this year it’s Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all www.un.org/en/events/disabilitiesday

The UK celebrates Disability History Month (DHM) between the 22 November to 22 December and around www.ukdhm.org/what-is-ukdhm DHM started in 2010, as the chance to “celebrate our lives, challenge disableism and achieve equality.”

In East London the Together! 2017 Disability History Month Festival started on 17 November and goes on till 15 December 2017 www.together2012.org.uk/activities-programme/together-2017-disability-history-month-festival/
including the Together! 2017 Disability Film Festival www.together2012.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017filmfestprog.pdf

The National Disability Arts Collection & Archive (NDACA) Project Team is currently bringing to life the heritage and rich history of the Disability Arts Movement. The Disability Arts Movement is a heritage story that began in the late 1970s and still flourishes today. It involves disabled creatives, activists, their allies and disability arts organisations all over the UK, who campaigned and broke barriers to make real change for disabled people www.ndaca.org.uk April 2018 will sees the launch of the new website.

Sending much Love and Solidarity to those living with one or more disabilities, chronic and difficult pathologies and severe health challenges, and as if that was not enough, even often bullied and discriminated for these. Thank you to all those that seemingly tirelessly (no spoon theory ignored here) fight and campaign for justice, for the families/friends/partners/carers that offer real help and support. Life is not always easy, but spirit must be kept high to carry on. Stay strong!


Today, 28 November, is the 260th birthday of William Blake.
Annual do at Tate Britain, Blake Room starts at 1pm.
Above the new visual poem by Sean Burns "blakean".


Appeal Hearing No Extradition for Lauri Love#NoLove4USGov

CHANGE OF DATE The hearing will take place on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th November.

The date has been moved at the request of the court. On Wednesday start times are 10 for the hearing (going to be packed, be early) and 8.30am if you want to be part of the support outside.

Case summary: www.storify.com/laurilove/i-got-99-problems-and-murkah-is-every-damn-one Donate: www.freelauri.com

Celebrated London-based spoken word artist Potent Whisper has just released “The Rhyming Guide to Lauri Love”, a brilliant nine minute poetic exposition of the background to Lauri Love’s case and his fight against extradition. The piece takes in social attitudes to hackers, the story of Aaron Swartz and the key issues raised by Lauri’s case.


RECOVERY Assistance Dogs - Annual Gathering 2017

The Exchange Bar, 50 Rutland Street (opposite Curve), Leicester, LE1 1RD

Tuesday 28 Nov 5pm –7pm. Programme RAD ANNUAL REPORT 7pm – 7.30pm SUPPER 7.30pm-8pm COMEDY ROB GEE 8pm-9pm DANCING & SINGING WORKSHOP DMU CHOIR.

recovery4wellbeing@gmail.com www.RECOVERYAssistanceDogs.org.uk


Survivors History Group meeting (please, note new location)
Wed 29 November 1pm - 5pm, Lower Meeting Room, Wesleys Chapel, 49 City Road, London, EC1Y 1AU

This month the group will discuss:
new ways to run the Survivors History Group;
Asylum magazine and the changes in that over the years and how they relate to survivors history;
working with the Friends of Philip Morgan to preserve his legacy of "health through history" and, related to this, survivor responses to deaths and other tragedies - a theme that has been raised by David Kessel and Frank Bangay;
how the Scottish Union of Mental Patients was formed in the locked wards of Hartwoods Hospital, Shotts, Lanarkshire in the early 1970s


Reminder: "joey" - a new play from gobscure
thu 30 nov & fri 1 dec at 7.15pm camden peoples theatre, london & zine-make (30 nov 3-6pm).

you are invited to work in progress - sharing of joey a new play from sean burn

short behind the scenes film at https://vimeo.com/243906881

"blakean" knackered & in pain got off at wrong wakefield station to hear recording ov blakes jerusalem playing in underpass. charity shop find ov blake book with words underlined & marginalia have been scanned & recut – along with an island & text from guardian newspaper style guide on reporting mental distresses to make these 4 new visual poems (attached)


UNITE: The new magazine aimed at people with disabilities. UNITE is a new magazine aimed at people with disabilities and those parents and carers fighting for the rights of their disabled children.

To claim your first free issue please visit Unite 1 free copy unitemagazine.co.uk/?page_id=133



Speaking truth to power: Speaker - Stephen Pattison. With input from Mirabai Swingler, NELFT mental health chaplain
Wednesday, 6 December 2.00 - 4.30pm Upper Room, 8 Greenland Pl, Camden London NW1 0ND

"In the world but not of it; the challenge to healthcare chaplains to become professionalised and still retain their prophetic role of speaking truth to power". Bookings: https://tinyurl.com/y7ujbfgd £15 delegate £5 unwaged/student

Email: brian.bingham@spiritualitymentalhealth.org.uk www.spiritualitymentalhealth.org.uk 


Campaigners protest against Universal Credit outside office of IDS in Chingford, Saturday 2 December

Campaigners from trade unions such as Waltham Forest Trades Council, Unite Community and PCS will gather outside the office of MP Iain Duncan Smith to protest against his role in Universal Credit. Protesters will be joined by members of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) on Saturday, December 2 in Station Road Chingford. The groups will meet at 11.30am and will walk to nearby Chingford Mount at 1pm. www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15677101.Campaigners_plan_protest_against_Universal_Credit_outside_office_of_IDS/?ref=fbshr


Abolish Universal Credits before it puts majority of the UK in poverty Online Petition

The new Universal Credit replaces JSA, Income Support, ESA, Housing Benefit, Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits. BILLIONS taken from the needy and most vulnerable in society. Universal Credit is about cutting the Social Security bill meaning millions will be worse off. Once fully implemented Universal Credit will mean easier sanctioning forcing people to live off nothing. Housing subsidy will be time limited for some 18-21 year olds forcing more to be homeless. Support for child care drastically cut. Disability elements cut or abolished altogether. Thousands of small businesses will be forced out of business. Some rates are lower than current benefit rates.

Please sign and share the Online Petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200213


Universal Credit – have you had a bad experience? Let Lord Shinkwin know.
In last week’s House of Lords debate on Universal Credit, Lord Shinkwin, who is himself Disabled, accused MPs of scaremongering to exaggerate the problems that Universal Credit is causing.
So DPAC is encouraging anyone who has a personal story about how Universal Credit is causing you problems to write to him and let him know. You can write to him at: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW Or send an email marked for him in the subject line to: contactholmember@parliament.uk Please send copies of your letters and any response you receive to us here at: mail@dpac.uk.net


ESA claimants owed up to £500 million due to DWP error
Some Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants were underpaid up to a total of £500 million between 2011/12 and 2014/15 due to DWP error, according to the BBC. The BBC understands that assessors wrongly calculated the income of around 75,000 claimants. Mistakes began in 2011 when the Government started moving incapacity benefit claimants onto the new ESA benefit. Continues here https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2017/november/esa-claimants-owed-%C2%A3500-million-due-dwp-error

Find here a template letter if you are a claimant who may be affected and entitled to arrears of ESA, courtesy of Nick Dilworth @Mylegalforum


Benefit assessors ‘must be held accountable’ for report failings, MPs hear

The healthcare professionals who carry out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the government should be held accountable for failing to report what they are told accurately, MPs have been told.

Members of the Commons work and pensions select committee were told repeatedly this week that assessors working for the outsourcing giants Atos, Capita and Maximus were producing reports that did not reflect what they had been told by the disabled people they were assessing. Read more:


Friday, 17 November 2017

November Newsletter & monthly meeting Mon 20 Nov 6:30-8-30 pm

Dear Friends,

Ten years ago this week (15th Nov to be precise) the first gathering of the Friends of East End Loonies took place in Whitechapel. We already celebrated our decade of campaigning and achievement with other mental health Survivors and friends at the awesome Loonies Fest two months. Some memories are collected on Facebook 

Some more were shared by courtesy of Cheryl Prax 1drv.ms/f/s!Aqb_F-IbVW5tmRBEg6oVW3La0rSr. We also had the debut of the song "Prescriptionpath" by Sam & Daryl youtu.be/1ipdN8rWrFw

But what has actually changed in the mental health field/services in all these years?

As there seem to be more awareness about mental health, today it looks like every single person has a disorder with a diagnosis or two to refer to and possibly with pills for life to accompany them. The endless labels of our overly-civilised world...

Social and environmental conditions are hardly referred to as the actual aggravating causes of mental disorders, while the "chemical imbalance" theory is still used by some professionals to coerce patients to take cocktails of several different drugs (number that often goes scarily up when a person is detained crisis in a hospital ward), that only some honest doctors admit the poisonous damage they are causing. Yet, has this so called chemical imbalanced ever been proved before chemicals, in the form of psychoactive drugs, are put into peoples body?

Nevertheless we are more aware of the severe side effects, on mental and physical health, caused by most of medications, thanks to the patients/ex patients shared experiences, these are still ignored most of the time.

One of the most recent and shocking news was reading about the FDA approved Abilify MyCite, a pill with a sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medication. Our bodies, our own personal temples, are used and abused for lab testing and social controlling, under the misleading hat of health care. Outrageous indeed!

The changes in the welfare system and the Universal Credits is the hot topic of the moment, affecting or possibly affecting everyone soon, employed and unemployed alike: it needs to get scrapped out. Gail Ward (Disability Campaigner DPAC/BlackTriangleCampaign) has been running very useful workshops in regards. Highly recommend to follow her blog www.blueannoyed.wordpress.com/ (list of highly relevant blog posts at the very bottom of the email) and DPAC website www.dpac.uk.net for updates and guidance.

An interesting article can be read on the Private Eye www.private-eye.co.uk/issue-1456/in-the-back.

Another article mentions the top suggestion of a Senior Judge to charge the DWP for every benefit case it loses in Court www.buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/most-dwp-benefits-cases-which-reach-court-are-based-on-bad?utm_term=.neyLxwpdq#.jqQ1Dn8Ny (via https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/)

Another burning issue is the Mental Health Act review announced recently by Theresa May. Is this "independent" review going to be of help or actually turn to be even more detrimental at the costs of mental health patient? It does not look like those affected by the Act are being involved in the process. The present Mental Health Act is in breach of fundamental human rights and the current politics and welfare system are crashing these rights even further https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-act-independent-review

The above and more will be discussed at our monthly meeting on Mon 20 Nov 6:30-8-30pm at LARC, ​ 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES.
We've also been approached by a company called Zinc: Will, Fiona and Quinn will come along to the meeting to give an intro to their new project dedicated to using technology to solve issues around women and girls’ mental health www.zinc.vc/mission-1

To close enjoy the special "Pink or Blue" poem by Hollie McNish www.youtube.com/watch?v=NybJ-xHUpdc

Wishing you a good weekend.


​Lgbtqia + Mental Health under Capitalism
22 November at 18:45–21:00 Common House Unit 5E

It's well understood that people who are LGBTQIA+ are at a significantly high risk of suffering from mental health problems. This can be down to a number of factors: everyday abuse and hate, the difficulty of 'coming out' to friends and family, isolation and identity struggles all play a major role. LGBTQIA+ people are consequently predisposed towards a higher risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, and a lot more besides. But in what ways is it harder for us to tackle mental health issues? How does this intersect with capitalism? What kinds of pressures do we feel within queer spaces themselves? How can we look after each other within antagonistic environments?

Join us at 18:45 for an hourly discussion of LGBTQIA+ mental health, followed by our solidarity and support group session. We hope to see you all there.

Mental Health Under Capitalism is a collective of anti-capitalists who are interested in the impact of how capitalism effects our mental health, creating communities of care and support for one another.​


56th Maudsley Debate: Mental Health Act

Wed 22 November 2017 5:30-8:30pm, Wolfson Lecture Theatre Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF Participants will express views (for and against) on the statement '‘This house believes that fundamental reform of the Mental Health Act is required to reduce discrimination and unnecessary detention’' You can attend for free. Registration here www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/56th-maudsley-debate-mental-health-act-tickets-38140429050


The Politics of Psychiatry and Public Health since 1945, Italy and the UK. A Talk by John Foot (University of Bristol) organised by Professor Andrea Mammone (Royal Holloway) and Professor Umberto Gentiloni (La Sapienza, Rome) part of twelve talks on "The Pace of History, the Shape of Democracy" dedicated to contemporary history

Thursday, 23 November 7-8:30pm, Italian Cultural Institute 39 Belgrave Square SW1X 8NX London



Stop data sharing between the NHS and the Home Office

Migrants' Rights Network is challenging a secret deal between the NHS and the Home Office to share confidential patient data for immigration purposes.

The court challenge alleges that the data sharing agreement "turns doctors into immigration officers", violates patient confidentiality and means that migrants are less likely to access health care.

Fizza Qureshi, director of the Migrants' Rights Network, is concerned that "immigration enforcement is creeping into our public services." A report by the Guardian discussed the challenge as part of a wider pattern of immigration controls seeping deeper and deeper into the public sphere. Help the Migrants' Rights Network fund this important case pledging now (by 8th Dec 2017) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stopnhsdatasharing/



The next Survivors Poetry events will all take place at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Rd, London N17 6QN

Thursday 23rd November, then a Solstice party on the 14th December for a final bash of the year.

Back at the Poetry Café on Thursday 11th January, 22 Betterton St WC2 at 8pm, Covent Garden tube.

For more updates follow Razz Poet's page www.facebook.com/RAZZ-POET-750646335054393/

Please find the Poetry Express Newsletter #55 here bit.ly/2AVPeTh

People wishing to contribute or subscribe to the newsletter can write directly to the Editor, David Russell, at bricolage92@hotmail.com


Lauri Love’s appeal

Lauri Love’s appeal will be heard on 28 and 29 November at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London. Love is appealing against extradition to the United States and a potential 99 year prison sentence for his alleged involvement in the online protests that followed the death of Aaron Swartz.

He needs all the support he can get freelauri.com/


William Blake's 260th Birthday Party

Tuesday 28th November from 1pm. The Blake Room, Tate Britain Millbank London SW1P 4RG

The annual William Blake Birthday celebration is free and open to everyone willing to read, perform and remember this awesome artist: bring music, dance, poems and food and drinks for picnic afterwards, weather permitting.


Mental Health Question Time

Launch of the Mental Health Policy Research Unit for England

Wednesday 29th November 6-9pm, Inner Temple Main Hall Crown Office Row London EC4Y 7HL

Organised by UCL Division of Psychiatry, The Lancet Psychiatry and the National Elf Service, commissioned by the Department of Health via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Free tickets possibly sold out www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-question-timelaunch-of-the-new-mental-health-policy-research-unit-for-england-tickets-39688863459 but the event will be live streamed (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdYhRxM2rlc) and live tweeted #MHQT for those who can't make it to London.


Your Voice Counts by Healthwatch & Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board

Monday 11th of December 1-3pm, Tower Hamlets Professional Development Centre, 229 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6AB This time the foucs is on how older people (and those who are getting older) can shape the future of services and support www.healthwatchtowerhamlets.co.uk


Call for Participants

I am a postgrad researcher looking into non-suicidal self-injury. My focus is on people from the community, who have managed to cease harming, and wish to share what helped and what hindered them on their journey to do so.

My hope is that this will help people who as yet have been unable to do so. I have attached my call for participants for people to email me directly. I can provide them with an information sheet and consent form. The format is generally a conversation either face to face, phone or skype which lasts for approx. 1 hr.
Warm wishes, Lorna Robinson (lorna2.robinson@live.uwe.ac.uk)


Big Gene Gathering +20
December 2, 2017 9.30am – 6pm, December 3rd (10am to 3pm) LARC, 62 Fieldgate St, London E1 1ES.

Celebrate 20 Years of Defeating Corporate GM Food! FREE/donation

For more information, contact info@breakingtheframe.org.uk, or visit http://breakingtheframe.org.uk/calendarofevents/big-gene-gathering-20-london-2nd-december-2017/ or Facebook


​​Universal Credit info by Gail Ward (Disability Campaigner DPAC/BlackTriangleCampaign​) blog posts

​UN Report - blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/universal-credit-report-hidden-dangerous-policy-decisions-that-will-cause-harm/