“No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of a lack of means” – Aneurin Bevan

Well the streets of London from Regent Street to Whitehall turned to a sea of activists, doctors, nurses, physios, paramedics and all NHS workers and supporters as tens of thousands joined in the march for the NHS yesterday, a massive show of strength that we love and appreciate our NHS ahead of it’s 70th birthday this Thursday, 5th July.

Whilst there was an estimated 60,000 on the march, led by striking workers from Wigan hospital, currently taking industrial action in opposition to being moved out of NHS employment into a “wholly owned subsidiary”, losing access to NHS pay, pensions and conditions, make no mistake that they represented millions more who share the same view that we love our NHS and it is not for sale. It is our most reassured institution embodying the socialist principles of its found Aneurin Bevan. It remains the worlds first universally publicly funded health care system delivering care on the basis of clinical need and not ability to pay; as well as employing over one million highly qualified and dedicated stall.

Hands Off HRI activists once more boarded the protest coach early in the morning to take part in the march and show our appreciation of the NHS in the capital, and whilst the last time we went down to London, we weren’t sure whether we’d get there when we went to Westminster to prompt Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to back the campaign due to the horrendous weather from the “Beast from the East”, this time the weather gods were much nicer to us and many activists are now sporting nice tans from the march!

A campaigner said of the day “What an eye opener the amount of hospitals that are under threat, it is incredibly shocking but at the same time heart warming as we all came together as once voice to celebrate and fight for our NHS. I’m proud to part of this protest celebration, Happy birthday NHS, let’s fight to keep you for the next 70 years.”

Whilst this celebration of the birthday of the NHS was a national event, Hands Off HRI will be holding an event at St George’s Square this coming Thursday from 4-6pm, with DJ’s, stalls, tombolas and cakes donated to the campaign from local bakers Hadfields. For more info on the event, click here.