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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2016

Hundreds march and rally to defend South Tyneside hospital

Socialist Party member Norman Hall speaking at the rally in defence of South Tyneside Hospital, October 2016, photo by Nick Fray

Socialist Party member Norman Hall speaking at the rally in defence of South Tyneside Hospital, October 2016, photo by Nick Fray   (Click to enlarge)

Elaine Brunskill, Northern Socialist Party regional secretary

Up to 500 people marched and rallied to stop the threatened downgrading of South Tyneside hospital. As we marched through South Shields, bystanders clapped to show their appreciation of the campaign.

Our chant "we are ready to fight - the NHS is a human right" and others were taken up enthusiastically. At the end of the march one person commented "you lot are bloody good chanters!"

Trade unionists, community activists and political parties were joined by many who said they'd never been on a protest in their life - but understood the necessity of fighting for the NHS.

One grandmother told us she'd brought her two grandsons along to ensure they understood the importance of fighting to save the NHS. Another elderly woman said she remembered the birth of the NHS and was afraid that the Tories were intent on taking it away. Even school children were eager to sign our petition. It's clear that across the generations there's a growing mood to defend this vital service.

Socialist Party speaker Norman Hall got rousing applause when he called for the nationalisation of the pharmaceutical companies who leech millions out of the NHS.

Applause

But the biggest applause of the day was when he called for a 24-hour general strike to bring down this Tory government as the first step to save the NHS. One person in the crowd stood with a clenched fist salute during Norman's speech.

Unfortunately, none of the trade union speakers made a clear call for industrial action to defend their members' jobs and to fight this rotten Tory government's plans to decimate our NHS.

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In The Socialist 26 October 2016:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Protest and strike to save our NHS

Health campaigners announce national NHS demo

Hundreds march and rally to defend Tyneside hospital


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Related links:

Tyneside:

triangleArt exhibition: 'Unobtania' by Peter Robson

triangleEnergy retail firm collapse hits Tyneside

triangleImminent eviction sparks urgent defence campaign

triangleNorth Tyneside: march to save our footbridge

Hospital:

triangleNHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

trianglePPE, Tests, Full pay - for all now

triangleGoing viral: Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

NHS:

triangleGoing viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

triangleNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

triangleAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

Government:

triangleAll in this together? The 'Blitz spirit' myth

triangleNew laws: Unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests

Socialist Party:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The role of the Socialist paper and social media

South Shields:

triangleMood for unity but not with right-wing Labour infiltrators

Pharmaceutical:

triangleToo little too late

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