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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2008

Thousands protest at threats to hospital

THE 'SAVE Queen Mary's' demonstration in Sidcup on 1 March had 5,000 people on it, according to the local press. Everyone was outraged at the plans to close the hospital's Accident and Emergency and maternity units and determined to fight.

Lois Austin

Campaigners from around south east London turned out with the message that passing the cuts on to another hospital in the area is not acceptable either. We want all our services and all our hospitals.

This, unfortunately, was not the message of the local Tory party. Bexley borough's Tories put themselves at the head of the demonstration. We were right when we warned locals to beware of Tory wolves in 'save our hospital' clothing. They used the demonstration as a publicity stunt for Boris Johnson's Mayor of London election campaign.

No-one else was allowed to speak. They even told the SE London Amicus branch organisers that they couldn't have their banners on the march! The union activists politely replied that their members were on the march and their jobs could be threatened.

The Tories refused to answer any questions on whether they supported cuts elsewhere in order to save Queen Mary's, but we all know that they do.

Socialist Party members cornered Boris Johnson at the end of the demonstration. He said he did support private finance initiative (PFI) in the NHS and did support the Darzi plan, the very causes of proposed cuts at Queen Mary's.

There were plenty of locals on the march, including health workers, who were suspicious of the Tories and who want to campaign in the best possible way to stop the cuts. The Socialist Party in south east London, along with trade unionists and other health campaigners, aims to help them do that.

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In The Socialist 4 March 2008:

Unite for a living wage

Greenwich workers score victory against single status

Angry civil servants strike over pay


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Thousands protest at threats to hospital

Rewarded for zeal at cuts

Derby health workers


International Women's Day

Fight for a woman's right to choose


Anti-War

DEMONSTRATE

$3 trillion Iraq war

Sheffield activists fight militarism


Environment and socialism

Walthamstow 'RAPpers' against toxic incinerators


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing association collapses

Meet Brown's new finance expert

Fans blow whistle on Game 39

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Swansea - no sign of Griffin!


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion destabilising region

Russian election

EU war with super-rich?


Workplace news and analysis

Pensions under attack

Unison witch-hunt: Members bite back

Teachers must reject real pay cuts

Greenwich workers fight attacks

Socialist Party member stands for Unite (T&G) general executive


 

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