Introduction: Protesting “The Hardest Hit”: Disability Activism and the Limits of Human Rights and Humanitarianism

Michael Gill, Cathy J. Schlund-Vials

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


On 11 May 2011, an estimated 8,000 demonstrators took to London's streets to protest proposed cuts to the nation's Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Inaugurating the United Kingdom's 'Hardest Hit Movement', marchers and activists warned that such austerity measures would put disabled people's lives, along with their ability to live independently, at risk. Undeniably, the United Kingdom was not the only site for disability activism, which, in the aftermath of financial crises, banking fraud, and exorbitant debt, was increasingly fixed to threats inherent in proposed governmental austerity measures. In particular, the Coalition government's fiscal amendments to the DLA would incontrovertibly affect the lives of 3.6 million individuals. People are incredibly proud of the various chapters collected, as they are certain the perspectives enrich and complicate the largely western cannon of disability studies theories and literature. Initially, people wanted to host a brief conference on the challenges that disability presents to human rights and humanitarianism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDisability, Human Rights and the Limits of Humanitarianism
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317150138
ISBN (Print)9781472420916
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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