BBC Two has ordered Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won, a one-off factual drama about the people behind the campaign that eventually led to the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act twenty-five years ago.
The one-off tells the story through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, two disabled cabaret performers who met at a gig in 1989. They fell in love, had a baby and would go on to become the driving force behind D.A.N. the Direct Action Network.
Their incendiary “Piss on Pity” protest slogan brought an end to disenfranchising charity events and re-framed the debate around disability rights. Their post-punk sense of humour and spontaneous pickets shut down cinemas, restaurants, stations and even the London underground. And their fearless and coordinated attempts to handcuff their wheelchairs to buses brought Westminster to a standstill until their rights were enshrined into law.
Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr are penning the script for Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won, which is being produced by Dragonfly Film and TV (part of EndelmolShine UK) and One Shoe Films. It was commissioned by BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle. The executive producers are Richard Bond, Tom Pullen and Jack Thorne.
“The story of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth’s Direct Action Network is a vital piece of modern history and I am so delighted to announce this factual drama about their campaign”, Patrick Holland said. “To have writers of the calibre of Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr is brilliant. This film builds on the recent successes in the genre like Doing Money, Responsible Child and The Windermere Children, making BBC Two a home to these most essential factual stories explored through drama.”