People’s Assembly Demonstration Against Austerity and Racism. People’s Assembly Demonstration Against Austerity and Racism. Photo: Flickr - Tony Hall / cropped from original / licenced under Creative Commons 2.0 license below

Health workers are sick of the government’s betrayals and attacks, and this Saturday they’ll be demanding a new normal writes, Caitlin Southern

As a health worker, I feel that it is extremely important to join the People’s Assembly national demonstration this Saturday. The demand for a fully funded, publicly owned and operated NHS has never been more urgent. Years of funding cuts and privatisation have left the workforce severely understrength and demoralised to an astonishing extent.  

This government has shown at every stage of the pandemic that it does not care whether we live or die, as long as they can generate a profit for their cronies. From the disastrous waste of resources that provided a useless test and trace system to the disgraceful PPE shortages, the government has taken every opportunity to rip off the country and the people who give their all, and sometimes their lives, to provide world-class care. This Saturdays’ demonstration is our chance to send a very clear message that we, as health workers and citizens, deserve and demand better.  

It is vital that we defend our NHS and stand in solidarity with the staff who take justified pride in the jobs that we do otherwise skilled, valuable workers will continue to leave the service to protect their own wellbeing. We came into this particular crisis tens of thousands of staff short, with politically motivated cuts to funding for training only making the shortages worse. The numbers quitting because of the way we have been treated over the course of the pandemic is just exacerbating the damage that the government are inflicting on our NHS and by extension the health and lives of the population as a whole. 

We must keep up the pressure to create a different, kinder, better normal rather than allowing the Tories to drag us back to the way things were before. Protest, particularly mass protest, is an effective way to remind them that we do not consent to yet more austerity, increased privatisation and deliberate failures to invest in housing, education and social care, all of which are political choices inflicted on us by a government that is determined to inflict the worst of Victorian values on our society.  

I’ll be marching in London this Saturday and I urge you all to join us in demanding a new, better normal.

Join the Palestine, Peace and Anti-War bloc at the People’s Assembly demonstration this Saturday, assembling at 12pm outside the BBC on Portland Place.


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