This Saturday tens of thousands are expected to march in central London in defence of our NHS in what looks set to be the biggest public demonstration for the NHS in it's history. The demonstration has been organised by anti-austerity campaign the People's Assembly and Health Campaigns Together. Chart topping band Rudimental have pledged they'll be there and urged their fans to join them on the march in a video message.
Broadchurch actress Julie Hesmondhalgh will also address the rally alongside leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell. Trade Union leaders will speak including Unite the Union General Secretary Len McCluskey, Chair of the BMA's Junior Doctor Committee Jeeves Wijesuriya and head of the PCS Mark Serwotka who recently underwent and is currently recovering from a heart transplant.
Support has also been pledged by Paloma Faith, Jo Brand, Adrian Lester, Robert Lindsay, Eric Idle, Chris Addison and Irvine Welsh.
It comes following the deepest crisis the NHS has faced since it's foundation. The demonstration will demand:
- a fully funded, publicly owned, NHS & social care service,
- no cuts, no closures, no privatisation
- an end to the pay restraint for NHS staff
Amir Amor, Rudimental band member said:
"Please come and support one of our most important institutions. We really need to keep the NHS going. We forget how much of a privilege it is so please come and help. The NHS is being systematically being broken apart so come and support the NHS demo on 4 March, We will be there and we hope to see everyone there."
Julie Hesmondhalgh said:
"I was born in an NHS hospital, gave birth in one, sat in ICU while my husband was nursed back to full health and watched my children's broken bones being fixed. I have received birth control, more packs of antibiotics than I can count, and have watched friends fight & beat cancer & been comforted by staff as I said goodbye to my Dad in a side room of a busy ward. All free at the point of delivery. The NHS is the thing I'm proudest of in this country. That and our history of protest and struggle when fighting for the things that benefit the many, not the few. Save the NHS before it's too late."
Jo Brand said:
"The NHS is disappearing before our very eyes. And because most of us just assume it will always be there when we need it at some unspecified point in the future, it is an easy organisation to dismantle, as the vast majority of us do not use it all the time and don’t really know how it works.
People with money aren’t worried about it going, people working for big companies with private health schemes aren’t worried, because they are provided for. So who does that leave? It leaves those ordinary people who can’t afford health insurance, the elderly, children, hard up students and everyone that believes a civilised society provides healthcare for all regardless of their wealth. NHS stands for Not Here Soon…and if we are not vigilant, one of the greatest organisations in the world will not exist any more….and letting it go will be our fault."
Jeremy Corbyn MP said:
"The NHS is the Labour Party’s proudest creation. It was created because we know that health care free at the point of use is a human right. The Labour Party is committed to giving social care and our National Health Service the funding it needs to repair the damage done by the Tories and so no one goes without the care they need.
"So join me and everyone who cares for our NHS on Saturday 4 March national demonstration to demand healthcare system that we all deserve."
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