Despite the battering of rain and hail around 50 local people attended a demonstration in Hanley town centre on 3 February to fight back against the brutal cuts and privatisation of the National Health Service.
Wielding banners and waving placards, the people of Stoke took to the streets and protested the grotesque privatisation of the public service. The activists saw broad support from the public, of which hundreds signed petitions and took leaflets to support the NHS.
Extra support came from the swathes of NHS workers who came up to the demonstrators, showing their appreciation and support for the protest. One impassioned speech came from Matt Wright, a mental health worker in the NHS. He argued the solution to the crisis the NHS is in isn’t rocket science – we need more staff, more staff and more money! Privatisation has skyrocketed in the last 30 years, bit by bit, the NHS has been sold off on the cheap to companies such as Virgin, Carrilion and Sodexo. The privitisation of the NHS is not about efficiency, it’s about transferring our taxes into profit for shareholders and the 1%!
We cannot wait until 2022 for a possible Labour government to help fix our NHS, we need to put as much pressure on any government in order to defend our human right to healthcare now!
Another speech came from April, from the United States. She warned against the increasing threat of a healthcare system similar to the US being installed in the UK and spoke of the dangers that come along with it. Where they spend the top dollar on sub par healthcare and 16% of people who can afford medical insurance are satisfied with the system. Other heartfelt speeches came from both users of the NHS sharing their journeys with the health service and other public service members feeling the frosty bite of cuts to the public sector. The day was filled with speeches, chants of “Who’s NHS? Our NHS!”, music and most importantly, interaction with the general public.
The demonstration was called by Health Campaigns Together (HCT) and was part of a nation-wide day of action to fix the NHS.
Report written by Tom