Block the Bridge / Block the Bill

Tagged as: cuts solidarity ukuncut
Neighbourhoods: westminster

The government is just weeks away from destroying the NHS forever. This is an emergency. On Sunday October 9th at 1pm, join UK Uncut on Westminster Bridge and help block the bill. On one side of Westminster Bridge is Parliament. On 7th September, MPs in the Commons voted for the end of the NHS as we know it. Yet this was not in any manifesto. On the opposite side of the bridge is St Thomas’ Hospital, one of Britain’s oldest medical institutions. If the bill passes, hospitals like St Thomas’ will be sold to private corporations, the staff put on private payrolls and beds given over to private patients. Despite the government’s lies, this bill represents the wholesale privatization of the NHS and, with it, the destruction of the dream of comprehensive healthcare provided equally to all.

Stthomasmed-medium
St Thomas's

On October 12th, the Lords have a chance to vote down the bill, and a huge Liberal Democrat rebellion is brewing. We have one last chance to save our NHS.

On Sunday 9th October, just three days before the Lords vote, join UK Uncut in a spectacular act of mass civil disobedience to block the bill. By blocking Westminster Bridge we symbolically block the bill from getting from Parliament to our hospitals. Yes, it will be disruptive. Yes, it will stop the traffic. But this is an emergency and we have to shout as loud as we can.

Get to the middle of Westminster Bridge shortly before 1pm. When Big Ben strikes one, pick one of the tactics below and help block the bridge:

  • Bring some fake blood and play dead
  • Bring hospital radio to the bridge with some music and comedy
  • Bring a nurse for a resuscitation skill-share
  • Dress up in scrubs and perform an operation
  • Enjoy a picnic overlooking Parliament
  • Share stories about the the NHS
  • Invite a friend from across the pond to describe the reality of a privatised healthcare system
  • Invite older generations to describe a time before universal healthcare
  • (if you’ve got other good ideas, email them to ukuncut@gmail.com)

Invite everyone you know to the Facebook event, and make sure you click ‘attending’ – the action will only go ahead if 1000 or more people plan to attend. We'll be in close contact with St. Thomas’ before and during the protest to ensure access for emergency vehicles.

We will not let a coalition of millionaire politicians and private health lobbyists destroy our NHS. Be on Westminster Bridge for 1pm on October 9th and together let’s block this bill from getting to our hospitals.

See you on the bridge.
Free coaches available! See here for more information
Posters/flyers available here
Call a Lib Dem/Crossbench Lord and explain how you're willing to Block the Bridge to save the NHS!

Press release: UK Uncut to shut down Westminster Bridge in protest over NHS bill

Links:

Link_go UK Uncut website

Additions

Unite trade union backs bridge block

Unite backs UK Uncut - Time is running out for the NHS

Join Unite and UK Uncut on Sunday 9 October from 1pm on Westminster Bridge, SW1 and help block the bill.

http://www.unitetheunion.org/news__events/events/block_the_bridge_%E2%80%93_block_the_b.aspx

Poster: http://www.unitetheunion.org/pdf/032a-JOB%204091%20BLOCK%20THE%20BILL%20A5v2.pdf

Previous NHS related features

Jan 30th: UKuncut Shut Ox St Boots in NHS cuts action
Boots on Oxford street was shut down by protesters campaigning against cuts on Sunday 30th January. The Ukuncut protest was part of a nationwide series of around 30 actions. Hundreds of leaflets were handed out to passers by with many engaging in discussions about the cuts: "The Tories and Lib Dems are lying to us when they say these brutal cuts are based on necessity. The truth is that they are a political choice. They choose to cut vital public services and they choose to protect the interests of super-rich individuals and corporations, allowing them to dodge £25bn tax every year. The governments cuts are not 'fair', we're 'not all in this together', and there are alternatives."
http://london.indymedia.org/articles/7170

Feb 27th: Save Whittington Hospital's A&E
Thousands of protesters have gathered to march against proposals to close the accident and emergency (A&E) department at north London's Whittington Hospital. The protest was organised by the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition. The hospital may have to merge its A&E with London's Royal Free Hospital due to NHS cutback plans.
http://london.indymedia.org/articles/4378

March 10th: 'Day X for the NHS' Demonstration
More than 500 people followed the call to demonstrate in defense of the NHS on Wednesday 9th. They included many medical staff concerned at NHS cuts which will close hospitals and privatise the NHS by stealth. The march started at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, and ended at the St Bartholomew's Hospital in Spitafields.
http://london.indymedia.org/articles/7795

May 17th: March to save the NHS
Following a call to "march for the NHS" around 1500 demonstrated on Tuesday 17th from Euston to Whitehall to protest the planned cuts for the NHS. The NHS bill currently pushed through by the Government will ultimatelly allow neoliberal capitalist thinking and its belief in the markets to dictate the type of services the NHS will provide, causing irreparable damage to it.
http://london.indymedia.org/articles/9082

May 30th: UKUncut Emergency Operation
On Saturday 28th local high street branches of different banks were transformed into hospitals in a 'UK Uncut's Emergency Operation'. Anti-cuts activists from several parts of London followed the call to "tell the government to leave our NHS alone; it's the banks that are sick"
http://london.indymedia.org/articles/9172

Support from GMB, Compass and War on Want

"This Sunday's direct action demonstrates the depth of anger about the dismantling of our Health Service across the country. Campaign action like this organised by GMB and other unions, communities and groups like UK Uncut – will be the shape of things to come across the country unless the Coalition drops its plans."
— Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer

“When political parties go into an election promising not to cut the NHS, win and do the opposite then democracy has to take to the streets. Sometimes you have to out your body on the line to defend those too ill to defend themselves. UK Uncut are doing just that.”
— Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass

“The NHS is a key part of the social fabric of Britain, and people across the country are rightly alarmed at government proposals to break it up. War on Want supports UK Uncut in its vital action to defend the NHS. We need an integrated public health system, fully funded from the public purse, if we are to secure the right to health for future generations.”
— John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want