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CSP members join thousands of marchers demanding 'a future that works'

22 October 2012 - 11:57am

CSP flags were held high in the streets of London, Belfast and Glasgow on Saturday as trade unionists protested against government public spending cuts.

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CSP demonstrators march to the rally in Hyde Park in London. photo © Brian Duckett/Mustard

Students and working physiotherapy staff from all over England and Wales joined a 150,000-strong demonstration in London with members and friends marching behind CSP banners in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 
The CSP’s Lesley Mercer, as newly-elected TUC president, opened a rally in the capital’s Hyde Park, billed A Future That Works.
 
‘Don’t let anyone tell you that the principle of the NHS is a broken one,’ she said to cheers. ‘That we cannot afford as a country to keep a cohesive, comprehensive NHS – there for us when we need it, and free at the point of need.
 

'NHS belongs to the people'

‘Keep faith with the NHS and support it in any way you can back home in your colleges and in your communities. And when you do, remember one phrase from the NHS Constitution. It’s a very important phrase and it says: “The NHS belongs to the people”.
 
‘And that’s where it needs to stay. Not broken up into a thousand pieces in the name of competition.’
 
In London, the CSP marched in a block with the Society of Radiographers, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives and the Society of Chiropodists.
 
CSP assistant director Claire Sullivan said afterwards: ‘The huge numbers of people from across the UK attending the rallies on Saturday sends a strong message to the government that they need to rethink their economic policy and in particular its disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society.’
 

Belfast

CSP Northern Ireland policy officer Tom Sullivan said: 'As well as protesting about the austerity measures imposed by the coalition government in Westminster the purpose of the protest in Belfast was to send a strong message to politicians at Stormont that they need to do all that they can to ensure that health and social care services in Northern Ireland do not continue to suffer as a result of these austerity measures. 
 
'No service is more important than the health service and local politicians need to ensure that the health budget in particular is protected from these cuts.' Photo from Belfast demo
 

In Glasgow

Retired members and friends joined stewards in a march from George Square to a rally on Glasgow Green. CSP Scotland senior negotiating officer Patricia McNally told Frontline: ‘Like all public sector workers CSP members understand the effects austerity measures have on the most vulnerable. Members in Scotland felt it was important to march to demonstrate their commitment to a fair and just society.’ Scotland demo report 

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