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Protests must reflect people's anger
AT LONG last, the London NHS Together campaign has announced its event for the national day of action to defend the NHS on 3 March. Unfortunately, they are only planning an indoor afternoon rally at Friends Meeting House, Euston.
Regular readers of the socialist will know of the disappointment many activists felt when the health trade unions said they would not call a national demonstration on this day, but regional activity instead.
This was despite the PUSH campaign calling a 3 March national demonstration in London.
Health campaigners around the country felt hugely let down by the union leaders' decision.
The Socialist Party, along with others, has campaigned to get it reversed and a national demonstration called.
In some cities regional events have now been planned. We must ensure that they are a huge show of strength and fully reflect the anger at devastating NHS cuts, closures and job losses. The decision to hold just another indoor rally in London on 3 March is disappointing and reflects how the health trade union leaders are trying to prevent a demonstration on London's streets.
The Socialist Party will propose to the London Keep our NHS Public campaign that it organises, along with others, a march to the NHS Together rally in Euston.
Such a demonstration could act as another staging post in the struggle to get a national demonstration.
It would also be an event that campaigners and trade union branches outside of London can come to.
Another crucial next step to escalate the campaign should be a national meeting, possibly in March, of all those trade unionists and health campaigners who want a national demonstration.
If a meeting such as this was truly reflective of the feeling around the country and represented fighting trade union branches and campaigns, it would have the authority to call a national demonstration shortly after the local elections in May.
In The Socialist 1 February 2007:
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