Socialist Worker

Brighton protest shows anger at NHS cuts

by Julie Sherry
Issue No. 2538

Protesters march from the hospital to the train station in Brighton

Protesters march from the hospital to the train station in Brighton (Pic: Julie Sherry)


Over 1,000 people joined a march for the NHS in Brighton last Saturday, organised by the Sussex Defend the NHS campaign.

NHS campaigners are coming on to the streets to oppose the latest threat facing an NHS already in crisis—the Tories’ £22 billion cuts.

These Sustainability Transformation Plans (STPs) are an attempt by the Tories to get councils to agree to their fresh package of NHS cuts.

The Brighton demonstration showed how to mobilise to stop these attacks.

It was backed by the trades council and led by shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The demonstration was threaded through with union banners and flags—Unison, GMB, Unite and a good showing from the RMT—as well as Labour Party, Momentum and Green Party banners.

Highlight

Starting from the hospital, marchers made their way to the train station to highlight the links between the attacks on the NHS and the current battle by Southern Rail strikers.

Speakers at the rally, from NHS workers to community campaigners, stressed the need for councils to refuse to implement the STP cuts. The march was cheered by people stopping to applaud as the march passed by.

Theresa May has tried to deny the crisis in the NHS and turn the blame onto migrant workers instead.

But the big turnout for the demonstration in Brighton shows the deep-seated rage working class people feel towards the Tories’ assault on the health service.

Active fighting campaigns that are mobilising action to defend the NHS can resist the cuts.

The NHS was built on migrant labour—as speakers pointed out—so strong campaigns can undermine the Tories’ attempts to whip up racism to divide us.


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