Coventry Socialists support NHS demo
Last Saturday marked 70 years of the NHS, and Coventry Socialist Party members joined tens of thousands of protestors in London, campaigning against the cuts and privatisation that threaten it under this Tory government.
We see it being starved of vital funding, with devastating cuts leading to one of the worst crises 70 years since it was founded.
Hospitals are understaffed, and bed shortages plague more hospital corridors, as the working conditions and pay of frontline staff continues to be pushed down by the government’s austerity agenda.
The demonstration clearly showed that a large layer of people still care passionately for the core idea of a fully-funded, publicly-owned national health service. Chants of “Whose NHS? Our NHS!”, “Save our NHS!”, and of course “Tories out!” rang through the crowd. They were accompanied by placards and signs broadly demanding more money for the NHS and for its re-nationalisation, as well as getting theTories out.
The demo showed the widespread anger against the damage the Tories have done to healthcare as well as social care nationally, and a lot of energy went into marching and chanting alongside the music, despite the intense heat of the day. The unity of support for our health service was clear.
The 70th anniversary demo showed it is certainly possible that our NHS will see another 70 more years, and many more beyond.
But the fight will not be won with a march every couple of years for a few hours on the streets of London. The fight for the NHS will be won where there already have been victories; in local communities fighting together for their services.
In 2016, the heart centre at Glenfield Hospital was doomed to close, but a full-on campaign linking staff, local residents, and trade unionists forced NHS England to reconsider and keep the unit open. The same passion and drive to win, with an organised campaign bringing together the working class sectors of society, can force back Tory plans to steal £260 million from our NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire too.
If all those who went along to the demonstration in London took up an active role in their own local health campaigns like Keep Our NHS Public, we could ensure the continued existence of our NHS for years to come.
Saturday’s demo, and local campaigns like Glenfield, should remind local residents, staff, and unions that power ultimately lies with the workers, and when that collective power is harnessed properly, it wins!
Do you want to get involved in our NHS campaigns? Fill in the form below to get in touch!