The movement to save the NHS is beginning to look unstoppable. One of the key campaigns is in the Tory heartland of Lincolnshire – and the epicentre is Thatcher’s birthplace, Grantham. A few days before the election, 100 campaigners on motorbikes deliver mountains of biscuits to A&E staff across the county to thank them for their hard work – and in the process point out the nightmare situation developing in their hospitals, proving beyond doubt that the Tories are planning to privatise the entire NHS.
On their 59th consecutive week of protesting to reopen the A&E department at Chorley and South Ribble hospital, campaigners hold a minutes silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing and pay tribute to the emergency services, particularly the NHS workers.
More proof of a serious movement building to save the NHS, as Grimsby has its biggest demonstration of any sort for years. Campaigners call for mass direct action to renationalise the NHS and end the PFI contract that are draining billions of pounds of taxpayers money.
Huddersfield is one of the towns at the forefront of the growing social movement to stop the privatisation of the NHS. A vibrant campaign has grown to fight the demolition of their local hospital and cuts to local surgeries; now they are linking up with other campaigns to defend the NHS on a national basis.
Incredible scenes as Rivington Barn Bikers join the 54th consecutive week of protests to re-open Chorley’s A&E. The campaign is the only one in the country who have managed to reverse a closure; they’ve got the A&E re-opened for 12 hours a day, and now they’re fighting on to get it open 24/7. Later on, members of the “Sing It Big” choir rehearse campaigners in a version of “Fix You”. which Coldplay have agreed the use of as an NHS campaign song. Chorley are at the forefront of a growing national social movement to defend the NHS, with demos and protests spreading throughout the country.
A huge and incredibly unified campaign to save the NHS is building in Cumbria. Activists from all corners of the huge county come together in Carlisle to fight plans to downgrade maternity and children’s services and close community hospital beds in the largest demonstration ever seen in the area, emphasising the real battle – to stop full privatisation of the NHS. Now more militant action to defend their services is set to follow.
Video report from the strike at Forest Hill School in South London, where 15 teachers are threatened with redundancy from cuts to the wage bill of £1.3 million. This has already meant support staff, teaching assistants and admin workers losing their jobs – and with over £4 billion cuts to education planned, this could be coming to a school near you very soon.
1 year on from Carnegie and Minet libraries being closed (and Carnegie library being occupied for 10 days), campaigners gather to launch a year long campaign to save all of Lambeth libraries. Hundreds surround the library and vow to fight on – come to the campaigning public meeting on May 2 (details at end of video) to plan the next steps.
Is this the beginnings of a rank and file movement that can take on the Tories? Activists and workers in struggle from all over the country respond to the call from the Durham teaching assistants to march with them as they continue to fight against 23% pay cuts imposed on them by a Labour Council – and then pack out the Durham miners hall to hear inspiring speeches from the TAs, calling for a united fight against education cuts and to kick out the rotten Labour councillors who voted for this shambles once and for all.
Council workers who repair and maintain Gravesham’s social housing are up in arms over the council’s plans to switch them to seven day working and scrap their productivity bonus. The plans will mean paycuts of between 2k and 10k a year, and if they don’t accept the changes, they’ll be sacked and re-engaged on the new contracts. UNITE say protests will continue if these plans aren’t withdrawn.