East London Campaigners March ‘To Save NHS’

Lewisham anti-cuts banner

Lewisham anti-cuts alliance. Photo: James Masters

Around 1,500 protesters gathered in central London yesterday, voicing their anger over the proposed reform of the National Health Service.

The crowd met at University College Hospital in Euston and marched to the Department of Health in Whitehall, chanting lines such as “If you hate Andrew Lansley clap your hands!”.

Health professionals protested alongside trade union members, and children alongside pensioners.

March To Save The NHS Demo organiser Candy Udwin

March To Save The NHS organiser Candy Udwin. Photo: James Masters

Flora Coral, a GP and member of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign in Hackney, said: “There are a lot of GPs particularly in Hackney who are really worried about the bill.

“I think they see that in a place like this, people will be very disadvantaged by the bill. There will be a postcode lottery once it goes through.  And people without a voice, people who are disadvantaged because of ill health or social exclusion, will be much worse off.”

March Save The NHS demonstrators outside Whitehall

Protestors outside Whitehall. Photo: James Masters

Jane Wilson, from the Lewisham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, said: “The NHS provides excellent training ground for doctors, nurses, psychologists and therapists, so how are we going to train those people if the private sector comes in?”

Pedestrians and commuters looked bemused when around 100 protesters lay down in the street at the Cambridge Circus crossroad, chanting: “Whose NHS? Our NHS!”.

The demonstrators then walked down Tottenham Court Road and past Trafalgar Square, where tourists captured the march on cameras and videophones.

Demonstrators sit down outside Whitehall. Photo: James Masters

Demonstrators sit down outside Whitehall. Photo: James Masters

The crowd briefly stopped for some jeers in front of the gates to Downing Street before laying down in the street again.

The march then ended in front of the Department of Health, where protesters spilled fake blood.

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