Friday, 18 January 2008

KONHSP Brighton demonstration

[First published on our website: 14 October 2006]

"People are going to die because of these reforms!" exclaimed one woman in the build up to Brighton's first organised demonstration against NHS cuts which took place on Saturday 14 October.

The local Keep Our NHS Public campaign attracted 200 working class people from across the city to the march with the Brighton branch of the Socialist Party playing a key role in the publicity and organisation of the event.

With the loss of up to 500 jobs (10% of the Royal Sussex hospital's workforce) and 109 beds, and with vital orthopaedic and cardiac services being cut to the bare minimum, this anti-cuts anti-privatisation demonstration was crucial in allowing local people to display their concern over New Labour's handling of public health services.

Following Tory-led non-politicised demonstrations in nearby Chichester, Worthing, Eastbourne and Haywards Heath which local Socialist Party members intervened in, the Brighton demonstration was the first to call for the unity of all local campaigns and the first to offer a political working class perspective to the local struggle with many names added to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party petition. This call for united action must be the next step in the campaign to build the national demonstration in London on 1 November and to save our NHS from the hands of the privateers.