Socialist Worker

Angry cavalcades reject Tory return to work

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2706

 
Protesting in Manchester

Taking to the streets in Manchester


The feeling of solidarity with NHS workers, and revulsion at an unsafe return to work and schools, was shown by cavalcades and other events across Britain on Thursday

They give a glimpse of what could be tapped if the trade union and Labour leaders systematically called for action.

Next Thursday, 28 May, is a chance to hold many such actions supporting a fightback against the return to schools the following Monday. 

Dozens of Royal Mail vans drove past Wigan Infirmary during the 8pm clapping on Thursday.

It followed another procession by farm and commercial vehicles last week.

One postal worker said, “Words cannot describe how this felt. I’m super proud of myself and other posties. We were able to show recognition to our NHS and key workers tonight.”

Wigan resident and Socialist Worker supporter Fred Fitton said, “There were 50 Royal Mail vehicles, as well as trucks and bikers.

“Outside the hospital were health workers including some of those who went on strike in 2018. They were holding signs saying ‘No return to school or work until it’s safe’. It was brilliant.”

There were also big cavalcades of Royal Mail vehicles from Bury delivery office to Fairfield hospital, in Lincoln by members of the Hull and East Riding CWU branch, and to Monklands hospital in North Lanarkshire.

In Norwich activists held a cavalcade and in Sheffield activists gathered at the town hall  and the Royal Hallamshire hospital.

Reopening

Manchester protesters took to the streets at Piccadilly Station to protest at the 1 June reopening of schools to more children.

Health workers joined parents and others. Keeping a safe social distance, wearing face masks and gloves, the group held up “No Back to School Until It’s Safe” posters, which have been attached to railings and trees, outside parks, hospitals and schools across Greater Manchester.

The Pennfields and Merridale Covid Action Group in Wolverhampton delivered its latest newsletter to 2,000 homes.

There was a Waltham Forest trades council cavalcade to Whipps Cross Hospital.

In Swansea the local action group held a cavalcade outside Morriston Hospital with the theme “No return to unsafe workplaces or schools”.

There needs to be a big acceleration of such actions. The People Before Profit: Health Worker Covid Activists group says, “On Thursday 28 May we are calling for everyone to stand with educators, parents and students and do something to show the government opening schools is unsafe.

“This could include socially-distanced protests at town halls, banner drops, workplace protests and online protests.”

On Friday chancellor Rishi Sunak told Tory MPs on a conference call that he wants to open up the economy as swiftly as possible. He reportedly took aim at the “very cautious” experts on the government’s scientific advisory body, Sage.

The Tories are relentlessly elevating profit above people’s lives.

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