Join the idea behind Cuddle Day


I have been discussing issues with three engaged women (not by a ring on the finger incidentally – engaged in the political sense) on the Mental Health and Wider Disability Movement facebook group – which is a private group.

Apparently there has been a rift within the Spartacus group which resulted in a mental health service user who had actively contributed to the Spartacus Report feeling marginalised, excluded and discriminated against on the basis that his impairment wasn’t real enough or on the basis that some physically disabled people felt that their impairments were more important and needed more attention than his.

Oh dear!!! The politics of division.

We were all upset about this and the mudslinging that has followed on the net since this took place.

However, we all agreed that there are issues of exclusion based on an hierarchy of impairment that needs to be addressed if we are to work together, increase our strength, move forward in unity and uphold the virtues of the social model.

I found our discussion useful and inspiring to the extent that, as someone who often tries not to think (because of the pain it causes), I woke up thinking about ways in which we could start to address this festering sore within the movement that I love.

I came up with this idea and posted it to the facebook group:

Inclusion on our own terms remains important. That we are not remains devastating. And also a personal opinion. It really bugs me that as disabled people all we can seem to do is block the road. We are all more imaginative than that and if we were to share our imaginings then perhaps we might get more attention. Welfare reform means more and more of our people are in need of support. Couldn’t we have a demo to meet each other, talk to each, find out about each other such as a Cuddle day in Trafalgar square: where we take the place over, meet, greet, shake hands with strangers, find out about their lives, concerns, what we share, the differences that bug us when we should be coming together. As a Danner (supporter of the Disabled People’s Direct Action Group) I feel the media stopped covering us for a long, long time and I guess one of the reasons for that is our style became boring.

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10 Comments »

  1. I’m in Rich 😉

  2. This is a really good idea.

    • detrich said

      thnaks for the support Gen. Please spread the message and direct your contacts to thislink. Lets build it.

  3. me too! Hugs not Drugs! Cuddle us we’re crazy! Mad as wasps about welfare reform!

    • detrich said

      Hugs not drugs is such a great slogan. get your banner ready Lynn

  4. Nancy said

    Sounds like a great idea Rich, had another suggestion when I shared this on facebook that we could organise these all over the country and give out leaflets saying something like ‘The ConDems don’t want you to know this, but disabled people are dying because we are facing all the same cuts as you…AND having our benefits removed. If you don’t approve, please sign this petition or write a letter to your MP.’. And am also aware that UKuncut are organizing UKuncut jubilee street parties, we could perhaps try and tie it in with that?

    • detrich said

      Thanks for the support and idea Nancy. I think those pushing for a regionalised event might be on to something. I also think we should keep Cuddle Day unique and focus primarily on building strength through unity but within that structure we should promote political involvement by letting anyone speak about the issues that concern them. Winvisible often lead open mic days. I think the uniqueness and the openess aims to increase understanding and support

  5. Jacky Bafoot said

    im all for this, Ive left spartacus for the same reasons that people felt my illness’s ( menieres disease and reflex sympathetic dystrophy and endometriosis, with anxiety and depression) didnt meet dla criteria etc, when i was argueing the need for recognition with in pip for fluctuating conditions that are currently not supported by dla nor the dda. But that do impact upon daily life and cause hardship and long term unemployment with very little support and help. The amount of grief I have had back on spartacus, as well as other disability sites has resulted in my pulling away from supporting them and cutting back on my campaigning and only supporting certain groups now. It was a case I am all for us supporting and working with each other and sharing how our illness and disabilities affect us all differently, but others in the heirachy didnt want to know about fluctuating conditions that even ambulance crews call severely disabling, and this is why we are not getting support or adequatly fighting atos, the dwp and the welare reforms – due to disability divisions. Ive even started coining it the wheelchair mafia, as there is such a gap between wheelchair users and sensory disabilitiies, mental health service users, and fluctuating conditions that are invisable.. so come one guys, we all need unity on this one, im all for a cuddle day, but we need them across the country not just in london all the time.

  6. I think you nailed it when you said “inclusion on our own terms remains important”. No one can place themselves 100% in your shoes, and no two people deal the same. The important thing is to acknowledge and respect that we each have our own challenges. I’m in for hugs not drugs!!

    • detrich said

      many thanks for your support here My Mobility Care. Hugs not drugs would be a good slogan.

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