Sunday, 12 June 2016

Water cannon, tear gas, used on disabled protestors - Bolivia (video)

Water cannon firing at wheelchair bound disabled
A distressed woman struggles to breath in the water cannon spray

Probably the most disturbing video I've seen for some time. 

The disabled of Bolivia have been protesting for a dignified amount of money to get by on, much to the disagreement of the ruling Morales gov there. In this video at the end of last month, police used a water cannon and tear gas on wheelchair bound disabled, throwing some to the ground. 

It seems this is now the hard line being taken in parts of the world. However I was struck with the similar rhetoric coming from the Morales gov. Reading through it I can imagine the hard right of the Canberra Lieberals agreeing whole heartedly with it.

People are nothing more than slaves to the economy, and if you don't produce something economic then you deserve a life of undignified abject poverty. People are no longer people, just units of production in a capitalist machine. Those worn out to be thrown on the scrap heap.

This isn't what humanity is all about.

Police throw crippled person to the ground

However last month, the situation reached breaking point when riot police fired pepper spray and water cannons at a march of disabled protesters who had travelled hundreds of kilometres through the Andes mountains to reach capital city La Paz to demand a response from President Evo Morales. 

A three-metre barricade was erected by police, blocking the path of the presidential palace, while shocking images showed disabled protesters being beaten and thrown to the ground. 

The Government has claimed that they lack resources for disabled people who cannot contribute to the economy, while others have suggested the protesters are trying to destabilise Bolivia and portray the government negatively. 

"We can't increase the benefits for people who are not productive for the country who don't work," parliament member Edgar Romero said. 

"We believe the disabled are acting with unreasonable and unjustifiable inflexibility, the state can't give a lot of money to people who don't work or do anything." 

Although some politicians have condemned the Government's unwillingness to address the protesters demands, the struggle for disability rights and benefits in Bolivia is not new, and activists say the opponents in the Government are simply marginalising those with disabilities because they are powerless. ABC