Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/944/25260
Hundreds march to save the NHS in Carlisle
Brent Kennedy, Carlisle Socialist Party
The rally and demonstration in Carlisle called by Cumbria Health Campaigns Together on 8 April, against the Tory plan to privatise the NHS and particularly against the closure of hospitals and services locally, was a great success.
A turnout of 700-800 in a small town like this is significant, especially as this was organised from below by the Socialist Party, the Unison health branch, local hospital campaigners and others.
This show of strength clearly encouraged the majority of locals who support our campaign, with drivers hooting and shoppers cheering us on. One shopkeeper rushed out to call on anyone not at work at the time to join the march.
The regional TV news programmes carried footage of the rally and the two-page report in the local paper carried the headline: "The fight's not over to protect our NHS".
Our campaign stall at the rally was surrounded by shoppers queuing up to add their names to our petition, take leaflets and buy copies of the Socialist.
As our speaker at the rally said, we now need a winning strategy involving coordinated strike action, occupations and mass mobilisation of the public to save the NHS. A cheer went up when we called on the councillors who failed to veto ward and hospital closures on the Health Scrutiny Committee to resign or be removed by their parties.
How scandalous then, that these very same councillors who have betrayed us are being allowed to stand for re-election next month.
In The Socialist 12 April 2017:
Save our schools!
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Livingstone, Labour and anti-Semitism
Socialist Party reports and campaigns