Yorkshire NHS March: Build on the victories to save our NHS

Around 500 people attended the Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together demonstration in Leeds on Saturday 30th March.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Campaigners and trade unionists from across came together to match through the city centre and rays awareness that despite the government’s now chronic paralysis over Brexit, the Tory plans to destroy our health service are still ongoing.

The rally was enlivened when Socialist Party member and Chair of the Hands Off HRI campaign, Mike Forster spoke recalling the significant victories won across the region over the last year.

This includes the decision to go back to the drawing board over the plans to reconfigure health services in Kirklees and Calderdale, saving the Sheffield NHS walk-in centre and the successful strike ballot in the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust which led to the scrapping of plans for the establishment of a two-tier workforce via a ‘wholly-owned subsidiary’ not only in that trust but also later in Leeds and Bradford trusts as well. All of these campaigns have seen Socialist Party members in the leadership.

Socialist Party member and Mid Yorks Unison branch secretary Adrian O’Malley addresses the rally

It was therefore fitting that Mid Yorkshire Unison branch secretary and Wakefield Socialist Party member Adrian O’Malley was the first speaker to address the rally after the march.

Both Mike and Adrian put central the question of a general election to drive out the Tories and their austerity policies from government, a point taken up by all subsequent speakers. Corbyn and the trade unions should be mobilising the whole Labour movement to force them out and put forward a socialist alternative to austerity.

The busy Socialist Party stall at the rally

Socialist Party members had a welcome response on the demonstration raising these points through our leaflet and having one of the loudest blocks thanks to our enthusiastic Socialist Student members. We sold over 20 copies of the Socialist.

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