- Created: Tuesday, 02 March 2010 07:58
- Written by FRFI
On Saturday 27 February London FRFI joined the march to stop the closure of the A&E department at Whittington Hospital, North London.
FRFI supporters formed a lively contingent at the back of the march and chanted all the way from Highbury Corner, along the Holloway Road to the Hospital in Archway. Around 2,000 people marched, shoppers and pedestrians stopped and some joined in, drivers hooted in support and there was that uplifting feeling of strength of a campaign that involves everyone, from babies to pensioners, from doctors and nurses to patients and relatives, and all local residents.
At the front of the march was the Labour Party banner. Some Labour Party members carried placards which read 'we are on your side' and local MP Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the rally. The Labour government is driving forward the London NHS reconfiguration changes which will mean a half to two thirds of London District General Hospitals (DGHs) will be closed or downgraded. 6 acute commissioning sectors are instructing Primary Care Trusts how to reconfigure services. Less-complex non-emergency procedures are being taken out of DGHs into polyclinics, elective treatment centres and urgent care centres, all of which are being handed over to big business.
Again and again we have to ask, what will it take for people to leave the Labour Party? Wars abroad, repressive legislation at home, locking up adults and children in detention centres, privatisation of the NHS. The list goes on.
It is clear from the march however that people understand the urgency and importance of the fight to defend the NHS. The solution is not in the main political parties. Shutting the A&E at the local hospital is just not an option and the fight is on.
20 years ago people got together to say no to the Poll Tax and they won. Now again is the time for us all to be part of the fight to defend the NHS against Labour’s privatisation plans.