George Rolph on Hunger Strike

Yesterday I became aware of an article, a 2010 guest post by George Rolph — on False Rape Claims, that received an unusual amount of attention.  This morning, as of 9 a.m. local time (MDT – UTC-6), today’s number of visits to the article had already climbed to more than 250 and is still climbing.

I wanted to find out what caused all of that attention and learned that it stems from a campaign of character assassination aimed at George Rolph, a man who became the target of domestic violence by his girlfriend, violence from which he has not recovered, because he is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that left him disabled and a recipient of social assistance.

On May 21, 2013, Atos, a French corporation that administers British welfare services, informed George Rolph that they had deemed him fit for work and had cut off his social services benefits.  George Rolph decided to go on hunger strike, primarily in support of the disabled, but in essence directed at Atos.

Atos reacted by re-instating George Rolph’s social assistance benefits, but George Rolph did not relent with his hunger strike, as it was in support of the disabled.  Atos assert that it is unclear what the specific aim of his hunger strike is and what it takes to bring it to an end, but today the hunger strike is in its 29th day, and, also today, Atos posted an article that is an ad-hominem attack against George Rolph.

GEORGE ROLPH – THE REAL MAN: A Fake, a Fraud and a Very Disturbed and Disturbing Man

Posted on June 18, 2013 by Admin

That article contains the link to the 2010 guest post by George Rolph.

From what a June 12, 2013 article in the Daily Mirror states, the aims of George Rolph aims are not unclear at all but, instead, sharply focused:

George says he will continue his strike until two further demands are met.

Firstly, that people should keep their benefits while they appeal.

Secondly, he wants an independent inquiry into Atos – the French company that assesses people on benefits.

“I know that people will say I’m mad,” he says. “But these are both ­reasonable demands.”

The Government’s own statistics reveal that between 2010 and 2011, 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of losing their claim.

Meanwhile, 37% of its decisions are overturned by appeal.

The British Medical Association has gone as far as labelling the agency “unfit for purpose” – yet Atos holds an estimated £3billion in Government contracts.

Meanwhile, the Government is winning the PR war.

The cuts to welfare are ­actually among their most popular ­policies because they make people think the only ones losing benefits are lazy scroungers, and not the thousands like George.

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Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Let’s hope that George Rolph comes out of his ordeal intact and not permanently damaged or worse.

Wikipedia now has an article on George Rolph. You may wish to download that and keep it safe, in case it becomes re-written, which is what will likely happen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Rolph_%28activist%29

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