Updated: Jul 2
To celebrate the 72nd birthday of the NHS, and to protest against cuts, closures and privatisation, Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public are organising a weekend of action with socially distanced protests and an online rally (full list below). Find out more at: www.healthcampaignstogether.com
Despite joining the ‘clap for carers’ on Thursdays, Boris Johnson and his government are secretly planning to ramp up cuts, closures and privatisation in the NHS. Leaked letters show recommendations for mergers, ‘virtual’ appointments and increasing reliance on the private sector to deliver care. They are also discussing a two-year public sector pay freeze.
We can have no trust in the Tories to protect our NHS! One of the reasons that health workers have struggled to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak has been decades of attacks on the NHS, including hospital closures, mergers and staff shortages. Privatisation has been accelerated in the last 10 years, meaning that profit is put before health, and this has continued during the pandemic with contracts for PPE and testing being given to inefficient private companies like Deloitte (an accountancy firm!) at huge cost to the NHS.
The Tories - who preside over one of the highest Covid death counts in Europe - don’t care about the elderly, the poor and our essential workers. For them, it is more important to make sure businesses can profit from health and social care.
This is why Socialist Alternative is supporting the protests on the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS on 4th-5th July. Join us in fighting for a NHS that we need and deserve!
We need a movement of trade unions and NHS campaigns to demand:
Proper public funding for our NHS now
Kick out the profiteering private companies and end the scandal of Private Finance Initiative
Bring Social care back into the public sector
A decent and immediate pay rise for ALL NHS and social care staff
End the discriminatory and unfair migrant charges now
End all hospital cuts and closures
For a socialist health and social care system - run democratically by the workers, patients and trade unions. The Covid crisis has shown that it is the workers and not the bosses who keep the country running - it should be us who make the decisions!
Ealing: Ealing Save Our NHS is having a combined NHS birthday celebration & protest over the cuts & closures at Ealing Hospital, 12.30 -1.30 on 4th July. There will be banners and placards celebrating our NHS and highlighting the closures of emergency surgery, trauma, and orthopaedic services, as well as some speeches and songs. Wear a mask and observe social distancing; contact email@example.com if you’re interested in coming.
Hammersmith & Fulham: There will be a socially distanced rally opposite Charing Cross Hospital from 12.00 – 1.00 on Saturday 4th – with musicians and placards. Point of contact: website contact form.
Lambeth: a group of campaigners will display the group’s campaign banner, along with posters and a birthday card to the NHS, at 2pm on Saturday 4th July on the corner of Lambeth Palace Road and Westminster Bridge, outside St Thomas’s Hospital. Please get in touch in advance if you are interested in coming.
Lewisham: A small group of Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign members will carry out a socially distanced events with placards and banners outside Lewisham Hospital on 4th July. Local campaigners are also producing a video to release over the weekend on the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign’s website and social media pages.
Southwark: Activists will hold a vigil on Denmark Hill, outside King’s College and Maudsley Hospitals, from 12 –2pm. Point of contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tower Hamlets: midday on Saturday 4th July outside Whitechapel Ideas Store (near to Whitechapel Tube station): a static rally with banners and placards. Point of contact: email@example.com. Tower Hamlets KONP is also co-hosting a meeting on Friday 3rd July in support of striking UNISON key workers.
Manchester: Oxford Road, opposite Manchester Royal Infirmary
Prestwich: near the walk-in centre, Fairfax Road, Prestwich, M25 1BT
Salford: by Salford Royal Infirmary
Bristol: Activists with Protect Our NHS will display banners at a number of prominent locations around the time – follow our social media for more information. You can contact PONHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Romsey (Hampshire): There will be a static protest with banners and placards outside the Plaza theatre at 10:30am, which will then move to stand outside Romsey Hospital. Point of contact: email@example.com.
Southampton: Campaigners will display banners paying tribute to our health service and expressing solidarity with health workers against privatisation, cuts, under-funding and unsafe conditions, in a variety of public sites around the city. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be keen to help hold a banner in a socially distanced way. The local group is also taking orders of posters to promote the Anniversary weekend.
Coventry: Coventry KONP is organising a car cavalcade, meeting at West Midlands Ambulance Hub, Ibstock Road, Coventry CV6 6JR on Saturday, July 4th at 10:30 and then visiting George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, via local shopping areas. For further information contact email@example.com or ring/text 07970294237
Derbyshire: A motorcade with placards and slogans will leave Royal Derby Hospital at 11am on 4th July and will end up in Chesterfield. This will be broadcast onsocial media. Point of contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leicester: currently under a new lockdown so planned protest has been cancelled. Requested that people send pictures of themselves posing with a placard (or can be just writing on paper) thanking NHS and care staff or sending a message to the government about the NHS, which will be used online. Contact: email@example.com
Nottingham & Nottinghamshire: Activists will have an event during Friday evening rush hour from 4pm at the Bramcote roundabout on the A52 out of Nottingham towards the MI. There is a pedestrian bridge over the dual carriageway there where we hope to hang the banner for maximum visibility. There is parking in Bramcote village just off the roundabout. Point of contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Warwickshire: There will be a rally outside Leamington Town Hall, Saturday 4th July, 11am, with social distancing and masks. There will be ‘Happy Birthday NHS’ banners and posters. Point of contact: email@example.com.
Huddersfield - Sunday 5th July 12pm, outside Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Hands Off HRI will be celebrating the 72nd NHS Anniversary by organising a 30-minute event outside the hospital. This will be socially distanced and all participants will be asked to stand between banners. Facebook event page can be found here. Point of contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeds: Leeds KONP are organising small but striking pop up events with banners, some costumes and music at both main sites of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust early afternoon on Saturday 4th July as well as a motorcade through suburbs of Leeds on Sunday 5th from 11am. We are also offering some banners to Leeds supporters who would like to organise their own event in their locality. If you would like to be involved in any way, please e mail email@example.com.
Liverpool: A car cavalcade will meet at around 11.45am on meet Beaumont St (near the Kingsley Road/Crown St Junction); then progress to meet static, socially distanced campaigners at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. The cards will then process to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, again meeting with static campaigners there. There will be a short 12:30 rally and drive-past. The cavalcade will then go to the Aintree Hospital, meeting again with static campaigners there, and will finish with a brief rally from around 1pm – 1:15pm. ‘Our NHS’. For more details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newcastle: activists will be displaying banners celebrating and reclaiming our NHS, firstly at the Millennium Bridge (10.30am) then at the Monument, and finally at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. If you would like to take part in this socially distanced event, and have not already let us know, please make contact at email@example.com We have banners for about 20 people and are restricting numbers for this event. Gloves and hand sanitiser will be provided but please bring your own mask.
Sheffield - Friday 3rd July, 12.30pm, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road. Static protest. Please wear a face covering and ensure that everyone stays safe by maintaining 2m social distancing. Facebook event page can be found here.
Sunderland: Sunderland and District KONP are organising a motorcade of cars and bikes on Saturday at 1:30pm. The procession will start off at Ashbrooke Street (just off Thornhill Terrace, near to Thornhill School) and will follow a route that goes past Sunderland Royal Hospital, and along the coast road to South Shields General Hospital, then following the same route back in reverse. Please join us if you can. Point of contact for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
York - Sunday 5th July, 2pm, Bootham Park Hospital Field. There will be a socially distanced rally on Bootham Field. People attending the rally should wear face coverings. Organisers can be contacted here.