This afternoon, disabled people staged their own version of the Paralympics Games outside the PIP Consultation Centre in Salford, as part of a Rights Not Games national week of protest by Disabled People Against Cuts, or DPAC.
The PIP Centre, in the Diva City Office Park off Trinity Way, assesses disabled people and, as police and security men looked on, there was a beanbag race, an egg and spoon race and a tug-of-war, with prizes of mouldy bread crumbs...
"We thought it was a nice metaphor for what's going on for disabled people at the moment" explained Dennis Queen of Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts (MDPAC) "We are basically fighting each other for what's left of care, welfare support and everything else...
"Everyone will be watching the Paralympics and saying `Look how we support disabled people', when tens of thousands of disabled people have died since the beginning of these benefit cuts" he added "We don't want to compete for crumbs anymore so we're hoping to embarrass them, crawling around fighting over mouldy bread crumbs.
"Inside the PIP Assessment Centre people are competing for what small amount of money there is, benefits that all of them need" he said "We don't feel that disabled people should be competing for crumbs, we think that this is a country that is perfectly able to look after all of its citizens if it decides to. Instead what is going on in here is that they are taking money away from people who live in the area and giving it to big business which profit from our misery..."
It was a point echoed by Daira Hopwood, who won the egg and spoon race... "We're competing over the scraps that the DWP leaves disabled people" she said "Meanwhile companies like ATOs and Maximus, which do assessments, are cashing in and helping to demonise disabled people."
Earlier in the day, the MDPAC people had visited The Talking Shop on Chapel Street, which has a contract with the Department of Work and Pensions to be used as a venue for market research on the development of a benefits website.
"They allowed us to talk with them about what our issues are with the DWP and around the ethics of research done on disabled participants" said Dennis "After speaking with managers at The Talking Shop we can reassure participants that they are sourced in independent environments.
"However we still feel that their contract with the DWP is unethical" he added "We need them to understand that this Government is being investigated by the United Nations for gross human rights breaches against disabled people. They have agreed to discuss the issues we have with the DWP and get back to us. If we are not satisfied with the response we get, we are likely to pay them another visit and show them that this sort of client is not going to do their public image any good."
As the Paralympic Games begin in Rio tomorrow, Disabled People Against Cuts are making sure that those at home are still fighting for basic human needs.
For details of all DPAC's Rights Not Games protests see the website – click here or follow #rightsnotgames on Twitter
For further information see also the Salford Star preview of today's action – click here