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Posted on 7 June 2017 at 18:50 GMT

Carlisle NHS demo, 4 June 2017, photo Brent Kennedy

Carlisle NHS demo, 4 June 2017, photo Brent Kennedy   (Click to enlarge)

Carlisle HCT demo warns against cuts and closures

Although shocked by the news of the London terror attack, Cumbria Health Campaigns Together decided to still go ahead with a planned rally for the NHS in Carlisle city centre on Sunday. We had managed to by-pass the Blairites 'running' - or ruining - the local Labour campaign and got Jeremy Corbyn as the main speaker, so were expecting over 1,000 to fill the square. But the terror attack forced him to stay in London and rumours said the rally was off.

In the end 300 took part and were eventually uplifted by the speakers. There followed good coverage of our warnings against cuts, closures and privatisation in the local press and on ITV, which featured the Sociaiist Party speaker calling for recognition of the vital work of NHS and other emergency public sector workers in the London attack:
"May has thanked them with warm words but rewarded them with a cut in living standards. If Corbyn wins, the 1% wage cap will be scrapped - if not, it has to be scrapped through coordinated strike action by public sector unions backed up by all of us service users."

The crowd cheered our call for "a socialist NHS in a socialist Britain".

"A sea of Socialist Party placards", Carlisle NHS demo, 4.6.17   (Click to enlarge)

Without the Socialist Party this rally, also backed by Greens and Labour Corbyn supporters, would not have taken place. The Blairite Labour Party officers had for weeks opposed it and then secretly tried to sabotage it by arranging a small, private meeting with Corbyn elsewhere in Carlisle at the same time. But in the end the Labour candidate addressed a crowd who were holding a sea of Socialist Party placards, buying the Socialist and signing our petition to defend the NHS.

Brent Kennedy, Carlisle Socialist Party

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