The NHS Jarrow marchers, a group of mums from Darlington and their supporters, will begin the final push to parliament on Saturday 6 September from Edmonton, north London, ending an epic 300 mile crusade against NHS privatisation.
The final leg of what has been a three week march through 23 towns and cities will set off from Edmonton Green (N9) at 10:00 and end later with a rally in London’s Trafalgar Square. The marchers will be stopping for lunch in Clissold Park (N16) at around 12:00.
Unite, the country’s biggest union, is calling on Londoners to join the marchers’ call for an end to the government’s assault on the NHS, as they undertake the final 10 mile stretch through the streets of the capital.
A report into London’s NHS published by Unite in May 2014 highlighted a health service in crisis, struggling to cope with rising demand, large-scale funding cuts, A&E closures and fewer hospital beds.
The group will be welcomed into London on Friday 5 September with a rally at Broad House, 205 Four Street N18 2TZ, at 17.30. Speakers to include, Andy Love MP for Edmonton, Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh, and NHS campaigners from Save our Surgeries and Save Chase Farm Hospital.
Sarah Cook, Unite lead officer for health in London and march coordinator, said: “The NHS Jarrow marchers are coming to London, nearing the end of an epic 300 mile journey through 23 towns and cities. For three weeks these men and women have been marching to highlight the government’s systematic attack on our country’s greatest social achievement – the NHS.
“Nowhere has this attack been more keenly felt then in London, where entire A&E departments have been shut in Ealing, Charing Cross and Hammersmith and mental health trusts have been hit by large-scale funding cuts. There are fewer hospital beds, not enough health visitors and NHS staff are under increasing pressure to do more for less.
“The government’s pro-privatisation Health and Social Care Act 2012 must be repealed and a commitment given to invest in an NHS that is free of charges and competition.
“We’re calling on Londoners to show their support to this group of mums from Darlington and their supporters. They care about the NHS and are worried about what the future holds, if privatisation is entrenched any further. We should be too.”
Following in the footsteps of the Jarrow Crusade, the 1936 march against poverty and unemployment, the group left Jarrow on 16 August to make people aware of the government’s NHS sell-off.
For further information please contact Unite regional officer Sarah Cook on 07768 69 39 49 or Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.
WHEN: Saturday 6 September
START: 10:00, Edmonton Green, N9 9DX
END: 15.30 approx, rally in Trafalgar Square, London.
Stops on route:
Lunch: Around 12pm Clissold Park, Stoke Newington, N16 9HJ
14:00: Rally at Red Lion Square, London WC1R
• A video explaining the risks to the NHS and the campaign can be viewed here.
• You can find out out more information at the 999CallforNHS website.