By Greg Macdougall - May 7, 2013
Mental health awareness is gradually gaining ground, and so are radical alternatives to mainstream approaches. Community-based initiatives by and for the so-called crazies amongst us tend to be kept under the radar in Canada, challenging discrimination, providing peer support and advocating for a diversity of perspectives on mental health, its treatment and justice.
By Laura Gottesdiener - AlterNet
The case of a young man with Down's Syndrome who was asphyxiated while in police custody last week has spiraled into a shocking national news story...The tragedy began when 26-year-old Minnesota resident Robert Saylor was reluctant to leave a movie theater, prompting employees to call the police. Without stopping to learn from Saylor’s aide that he had Down's Syndrome, the police handcuffed him and restrained him on the ground until he died of asphyxiation...“A few times each week, across the United States, police shoot and kill mentally ill people in complicated, often incredible circumstances.”
SchNEWS - November 1
South Wales Police made a surprise midnight visit to the home of a disability activist who suffers health problems and mental health issues last Friday. Why? They claimed she had committed criminal activity on Facebook by posting comments critical of Atos assessments, the [Department of Work and Pensions] and the Jobcentre. They also queried her political affiliations and asked her whether she had been planning an anti-deportation protest the next day.
October 31, 2012 - CBC News
CBC News has obtained video of another violent take-down by private undercover security guards, this time at Vancouver’s Pacific Centre Mall...The shaky cellphone video shows a man who appears to have one leg, in an electric wheelchair, surrounded by three undercover security guards...One of the officers starts swearing, before knocking the man out of his wheelchair with a blow to the head.
SchNEWS - 31st August 2012
Who could possibly take a pop at the Paralympics...Well there's one group of people who don't have to tread the PC tightrope: the disabled. And thousands did just that when they turned out all over the country this week to take part in a week of actions again Atos, one of the main sponsors of the games...The French-owned company are busy profiting from £100m-a-year government contracts to assess benefit claimants and find huge numbers of them 'fit for work'.
By Dennis Moore - 28 August 2012
The programme was an exposé of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) medical tests that are carried out by the private company Atos Healthcare. Since the introduction of the assessment process, up to a third of claimants have been found fit for work...Atos have been contracted to carry out assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)...Some 2.5 million people in the UK have already or will be forced to take a WCA test.
CBC News - August 8, 2012
A disciplinary hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday for a Vancouver police officer who pushed a disabled woman to the ground two years ago...[Sandy] Davidsen suffers from multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy..."I’ve never even received an apology from the officer for being pushed down...I’d like to see him receive more than just a slap on the wrist for what he’s done."
By Kate Randall - 8 August 2012
The barbarity of the US death penalty system was on display last night when the state of Texas executed the second mentally disabled death row prisoner in less than three weeks. Marvin Wilson, 54, was sent to his death after the US Supreme Court failed to grant him a stay of execution...Wilson showed clear signs of intellectual disability. Tests measured his IQ at 61, placing him below the first percentile of functioning, and with the mental capacity of a six-year old.
By Dave Zirin - August 6, 2012
In a 2012 games so ruthlessly defined by an out of control security and surveillance culture outside the arena, we should take the inspiration of Oscar Pistorious to heart. The world does not have to be what it currently is and the future is not written. We would all do well to take the lead of Oscar Pistorius and welcome into our lives “the dignity of risk.”
By Julie Hyland - 25 June 2012
Last week the government announced plans to change the way child poverty figures are calculated [saying]...child poverty was “not about income alone”...[The government] added that this had to be part of people taking control of their own lives. “It’s about taking responsibility for yourself and your family, playing a productive part in your community, creating an environment where success through hard work is celebrated.”
By Muriel Kane - AlterNet
According to a new report from the Associated Press, a record 45% of the 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are [receiving] compensation for service-related injuries...This is more than double the rate for Gulf War veterans. For all the publicity given to “Gulf War syndrome,” only an estimated 21% of the veterans of that conflict have filed disability claims.
Behind the Black Mask and Shattered Glass: Pre-Sentencing Interview with G20 Arrestee Kelly Pflug-Back by Comrade Black
On May 28, Kelly Pflug-Back will stand in front of a Toronto courtroom to be sentenced...I first met Kelly when she was a 16 yr old traveler kid who had just arrived in Victoria...Over the years Kelly became quite the well known community organizer and activist. So it was a surprise when her picture went out across the internet, TV news, and newspapers last year following the G20 as police released pictures of their most wanted suspects in their sweep of 1100 activists who were arrested, most of which would be released with no charges.
Sunday 5 February - The Guardian
The government's focus on alleged fraud and over-claiming to justify cuts in disability benefits has caused an increase in resentment and abuse directed at disabled people, as they find themselves being labeled as scroungers, six of the country's biggest disability groups have warned...Some of the charities say they are now regularly contacted by people who have been taunted on the street about supposedly faking their disability and are concerned the climate of suspicion could spill over into violence or other hate crimes.
January 21, 2012 - AlterNet
Officer Middendorf of the Melbourne, Florida Police Department decided Albert Flowers, a 66 year old African American Man suffering from dementia deserved to get his ass kicked...The video clearly shows Flowers calmly walking towards the police cruiser before Middendorf suddenly delivers a kick to his midsection. Before Flowers is able to get up, the white cop drops to his knees and pounds his fists into the African-American man’s face.
By David Webb - Wednesday, 21 December 2011
The dehumanizing medicalisation of suffering...diminishes us all. It also contributes to the suicide toll. The most serious consequence of the assumption that suicide is caused by Depression...is that we then stop looking for the deeper causes of why some people choose to die. Instead, superficial, ineffective and often harmful medical interventions have become the first line of "treatment". The massive anti-depressant experiment of the last 20-30 years has been a demonstrable failure...and it's long overdue that we call an end to it.