April day of action
Board retreats from singing protesters
Scores of us wearing black cat masks turned up to voice opposition to cuts in hospital services during the day of action organised by the coalition on Wednesday 24 April.
The mid-week protest was timed to coincide with the hospital’s monthly board meeting, which was expected to include the latest response to management plans for building closures and job cuts.
The day of action began with leafleting of local schools, GPs’ surgeries and railway and tube stations before we took up position outside the main hospital entrance in Magdala Avenue, N19. We were joined by members of the local branch of the public and health service union, Unison.
Activists highlighted the threat to maternity services from planned cuts. Catherine West, Labour leader of Islington council, addressed the rally and described the hospital’s threat to cut maternity services as “absolute madness”.
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, also condemned moves to cut the number of hospital beds.
Many of us, singing specially composed songs including “Turn Again Whittington”, headed for the board meeting and demanded to speak.
But board members, confronted by calls to resign, abruptly walked out and adjourned the meeting to a private room, protected by security, and we were denied our say.
The next board meeting will be in a month’s time on 22 May.
Here is a video of the protest –
• If you would like one of the coalition’s “Stop the sell-off” cat masks, or want to know more about the campaign, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up a mask from the Whittington Community Centre,Yerbury Road, N19.