Tens of thousands of people marched through London yesterday to call for more funding for the NHS and an end to privatisation. Shabbir Lakha reports
60,000 people marched through the streets of London yesterday, shutting down Whitehall and calling for an end to Tory austerity that's destroying the NHS. Assembling near University College of London Hospital and marching to Downing Street in the pouring rain on a cold Saturday, the people had one message for Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt: we're not backing down.
Almost eight years of Tory cuts, attacks on NHS staff and privatisation have put the NHS into state of permanent crisis with helthcare workers overstretched and patients dying in hospital corridors. The Tories' strategy for dealing with this has been to pretend there is no crisis. But the thousands who marched to Downing Street and the thousands that protested locally around the country have made sure the Tories can't hide from reality.
The demonstration had the backing of the Mirror and was covered heavily in the mainstream media - except on the BBC who failed to mention it at all.
There were widepsread calls from speakers at the demonstration and on people's placards for an end and reversal of the privatisation of the NHS and to stop the likes of Virgin, Carillion and Capita from leeching of our public services. There was heartbreaking accounts from representatives of NHS workers and the parents of Becky Romero, that painted a vivid picture of how dire the situation is in the NHS.
But despite the rain, it was feelings of anger and determination that precipitated among the protestors. The People's Assembly announced a national demonstration to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS at the end of June and called for a ramping up of organisation in all localites, communities and workplaces as well as mobilising on the streets to defend the NHS and to push the Tories out.
Jeremy Corbyn sent a message of solidarity to the demonstration:
Some more photos of the demonstration:
Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.
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