Socialist Worker

Big marches say no to London NHS cuts

by Julie Sherry
Issue No. 2320

5,000 march in Ealing to defend the local A&E department (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

5,000 march in Ealing to defend the local A&E department (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

Three large demonstrations against health service cuts and closures took place across London today, Saturday.

In Ealing a brilliant 5,000 people joined a local protest to stop the closure of the A&E at Ealing hospital.

Most marched the long route from Southall to Ealing Common, with around 400 on a feeder march from Acton. Hundreds more joined the Ealing Common rally.

It was the largest protest in west London for some years, with the support of the whole local council.

The march was a real reflection of the local community. Marchers told Socialist Worker how announcements were made throughout the morning at Temples and Gurdwaras. From the hospital itself, Unison, RCN, Unite and GMB union members joined the protest.

The rally heard from speakers including doctors, representatives of health unions, and councillors and MPs.

The breadth of the mobilisation was celebrated and cheered at the rally. But local Tory MP Angie Bray was widely booed as she attempted to address the crowd, with cries of “we don't believe you” in response to her pledge of Tory support for the campaign.

In Brent, hundreds marched against the same threat to A&Es across north west London, with Central Middlesex hospital’s A&E also marked for closure.

And in Woolwich, south London, hundreds took to the streets to challenge the threatened closure and privatisation of departments, and potentially whole hospitals, as South London NHS goes into administration.

The mobilisation of communities across the London today shows the way to fight attacks that are being implemented across Britain. They raise the potential to escalate further and drive back the closure plans.

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Article information

Sat 15 Sep 2012, 21:01 BST
Issue No. 2320
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