`Stop it Mr Cameron – You are ruining my future' Robyn age 1 year.
Even the babies had banners against the ConDem Government as hundreds of people marched through the Christmas decked streets of Manchester city centre yesterday, protesting against the sell off of the NHS, and cuts to the health service and beyond.
The PCS trade union had its own `drumming up support' band, young people covered in bandages, leg plasters and slings carried slogans like `Sick of cuts' and `These cuts really hurt', and, hovering over the march was a giant balloon reading NHS Not For Sale – Keep Our NHS Public.
As the march wound its way from All Saints to Urbis, via Oxford Road, Whitworth Street West and Deansgate, Christmas shoppers clapped and cheered showing their support. Meanwhile, protesters stopped off at Starbucks and the RBS, unfurling banners to embarrass the bankers and tax dodgers.
Before the start of the march, Vee Ball from the United Service Users Committee highlighted the plight of mental health service users in Salford, joining many other speakers condemning cuts to the health services (see here for further details).
The march came two days before ambulance crews and supporters head for the House of Commons and Department of Health to voice their anger over plans to privatise part of the ambulance service in the North West. They will be handing in a petition of more than 14,000 signatures to the Department of Health.
Bus company Arriva has been awarded preferred bidder status for running patient transport services in Greater Manchester, despite the in-house bid scoring higher on service quality. Staff and supporters are outraged that the cheaper bid has won the day when patient care should be the prime consideration (see Salford Star article here). Shadow Health Minister Andy Burnham and UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis will be adding their support at the lobby.
Meanwhile the fight on our own doorstep to protect the NHS continues…