By Eleanor Claxton-Mayer
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Over 1,000 march in Newcastle in solidarity with junior doctors – and to save the NHS

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Issue 2498
On the march in Newcastle
On the march in Newcastle (Pic: Eleanor Claxton-Mayer)

Over 1,000 people joined a North East march to save the NHS in Newcastle last Saturday.

There was a mass of public support as the demonstration went through the city centre. Several people joined it in along the route and bystanders shouted their support.

One protester said that it was her first protest in over 30 years. “I’m protesting because the NHS is so important and the government is trying to get rid of it,” she said.

A variety of people joined the protest in support of junior doctors, who were on strike last week.

Protesters understood that the government’s attack on junior doctors is an attack on the NHS and public sector workers in general.

Junior doctors led the march, followed by a delegation of NUT and Unison union members.

NUT member Dan Kebede called for joint action between teachers and doctors to massive cheers at a rally. He said, “The fights and strikes that we are going through are the same fights and strikes the doctors are going through.

“It is up to us to unite together, teachers and doctors, and stop this government.”

People were angry and frustrated at health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s unsafe and unfair plans. Many saw them as a step towards privatisation.

One speaker said, “Public service aren’t too costly. If we take the money being hid in offshore Panama accounts, there would be enough to fund welfare ten times over.”

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