On July 22nd with the help of some fellow disabled activists from DPAC, Mental Health Resistance Network and WinVisible, we performed a symbolic action – called ‘Broken Hearts for the DWP’ – to remember those who have not survived the cuts. Each person carried a large red heart with the name of a person who has died due to DWP cuts. We concentrated on four names, even though there are thousands to choose from. These hearts were once beating, but the building behind it helped those hearts to stop forever. These names cannot speak for themselves any more, we as fellow disabled people, are going to show we mourn these hearts stopping. The government is deeming people ‘fit to work’ despite being dying of cancer, unable to leave their beds, having heart attacks during assessments.

I also asked the workers coming in and out of the building whether they were willing to sign off the next DWP death. Not one looked me in the eye or engaged with me – they just walked on by.

As a mad person living in a maddening world, what did you think I was going to do?

When I heard about Mark Wood starving to death because his benefits were stopped, what did you think I was going to do?

When I read Jodey Whiting ended her life because the DWP stopped her benefits as she did not attend an assessment, no matter that she was seriously ill in hospital, what did you think I was going to do?

When I know a local school in Yarmouth has set up a food bank, laundry and hair cut service for its pupils due to Universal Credit, what did you think I was going to do?

When people love to hate because they are cowards, what did you think I was going to do?

When I see neighbours sweating away at two jobs but still need to be on Universal Credit to make sure their kids eat, but are called scroungers, what did you think I was going to do?

When we have narcissistic capitalists in charge that will fuck the majority of us over, but are clever enough to divide and rule, what did you think I was going to do?

Nothing?

This action was part of my Section 136 project to question madness and to show institutional monsters being confronted using art, love, rage and sheep.

Film still of people holding large card love hearts

Broken Hearts for the DWP

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Richard Downes
4 years ago

what do you think i was going to do is a great refrain Dolly. Hope i hear it again / the longer version maybe