Save the NHS: Block the bridge, block the bill

UK Uncut are planning an unprecedented act of civil disobedience at 1pm on Sunday 9th October in protest against the government’s NHS reforms. Over one thousand people have already announced their intention to participate in the action, which aims to demonstrate the level of public opposition to the Bill and put pressure on sympathetic peers in the House of Lords by occupying Westminster Bridge.

The activist group are also encouraging people to contact peers and ask them to block the bill.

Full details of the demonstration can be found on the UK Uncut website.

There is also a Facebook event page.

Be the change that you want to see

I’ve written a lot about recently about Why The Government Is Bad. I’ve said less stuff about what we can actually do about it.

There’s not a lot specifically going on in the trans world right now that I’m aware of (although there is some useful information being added to, particularly that relating to the government’s Trans Action Plan). However, we can fight indirectly for trans rights by supporting the anti-cuts movement.

Trans people are disproportionately likely to be unemployed, underemployed or poorly paid. Many of us require specialist medical treatment, which we can usually only access on the NHS There are reasons to also believe that a disproportionate number of us are also disabled (the existing evidence on this is somewhat contradictory, however). As a result of this, trans people are particularly likely to suffer because of the government’s ideological obsession with cuts.

So, what can you do about it? Well, there’s plenty of local groups organising against the cuts. It’s worth looking for them on social media: if you use Facebook for instance, just try searching for the name of your area along with “cuts” and you’re likely to find something.

There are also local chapters of national groups. UK Uncut are particularly brilliant because it’s very easy to take part in their actions against tax-dodging shops and banks. They have a comprehensive, regularly updated list of actions, meaning that you can easily see what’s going along and join in if you’re free. Alternatively, you can organise your own event and add details to the site. The group also provide a fair amount of useful information on their blog and in press releases.

There will also be a massive march in London on Saturday 26th March. The March For the Alternative is being organised by the Trade Unions Congress and will also be backed by student groups and numerous anti-cuts organisations. The bigger the march is, the more we can worry the government. Don’t be fooled by the relatively low rate of attendance pledges on the official website: there are over 16,000 participants confirmed on Facebook and this number is constantly growing

Meanwhile, over 2000 people are planning to occupy Hyde Park following the march. Activists are planning to camp in the park, and use it as a base of operation from which to launch protests around central London. Again, there’s a Facebook event page here.

Obviously, radical protests aren’t for everyone, but there’s always something, bombard your elected representatives with letters, share information with others. There’s plenty we can do to resist government attacks on our public services.