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Our Sunday afternoon rally reached an audience of over 60,000 - and can be viewed on Youtube now
NHS 72 Anniversary events
Campaigners were active in many parts of the country on July 3 and 4 to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the NHS on Sunday July 5 - and press for a change of government policy to ensure it can live on for another 70 years.
The NHS was established on July 5 1948, in the aftermath of World War II, (a conflict that saw 67,100 British civilians killed) to create something better for us all.
During the coronavirus crisis in 2020, NHS and Social Care workers have been called upon to work on the frontline to keep us safe. They have often had to work without proper resources and PPE, within an already failing system. Many have been forced to sacrifice their lives. In the UK we have now reached the frightening number of excess deaths linked to coronavirus of 64,000 (up to 28 May 2020), the second-highest death toll in the world.
The Downing Street vigilOn the evening of Friday July 3, and covered by mainstream media including Sky News and the Evening Standard, protestors carried 65 lanterns from St Thomas' Hospital in South East London, over Westminster Bridge to Downing Street. Keep Our NHS Public joined up with campaigners from The People's Assembly Against Austerity, We Own It and Health Campaigns together for the evening protest, with each lantern representing 1,000 "excess deaths" in the UK during this pandemic due to the Government's botched response. Upon arrival at Downing Street NHS staff read out the names of colleagues who had died from Covid19, to date.
The NHS deserves better, we all deserve better.The continuing death toll is a damning indictment of recent Government policy and its mishandling of our NHS. When we emerge from this deadly crisis, this can no longer be tolerated. This is also a critical moment when the systemic inequalities in our society are starker than ever.
We, therefore, demand an immediate end to the hostile environment, all migrant charging to be stopped and an urgent investigation into the disproportionate death toll in Britain's BAME community during this pandemic.
Likewise, the many disadvantages placed on disabled people and others with additional needs have never been clearer. We believe this moment gives us a unique opportunity to demand we not only rebuild the NHS but go much further and call for radical reform of social care provision.
Covid-19 has exposed what's wrong with healthcare. Now, in the 'spirit of 2020', it's time to rebuild and go much further.
On July 5 we launched our draft Rescue Plan as a basis for discussion and united action. We need to convince politicians of all parties to support policies that will equip our NHS and social care system to meet the challenge of coping with ongoing Covid infection while also restoring routine and that have been cut back or suspended and emergency services for all who need them.
The Sunday rally was called by Health Campaigns Together, Keep Our NHS Public, We Own It and People's Assembly, and supported by 15 national trade unions and other campaign groups.
July 4 Events
Local Keep Our NHS Public groups ran socially distanced events in several areas to show support for our health service and its amazing staff and to demand it be fully restored as a well-funded, universal public service.
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