Over two thousand protestors turned out for the UK Uncut led protest against NHS reforms which blocked Westminster Bridge for two hours yesterday lunchtime.
Protestors dressed as medics, performed symbolic acts of resuscitation and shared picnics, stories, support and love for the NHS. Volunteers pedal-powered a sound system to enable a thronged comedy gig, featuring Mark Thomas, Josie Long and Chris Coltrane. This was a peaceful protest with a real carnival feel about the day.
Joining the many anti-cuts protesters were scores of NHS staff including doctors nurses and a Regional Public Health Director.
One medic, Dr. Grace Rollason, a GP in Hackney said: “The Health and Social Care Bill will fragment the health service and will make access unequal across society.
“The government is under the misapprehension that private healthcare will be more efficient and will increase patient choice – I think their fundamental, underlying beliefs are privatisation.”
A small splinter group of anarchists broke away at the end of the protest and tried to make their way over Lambeth Bridge, but were stopped and ‘kettled' by the police. They were released over an hour later.
Words and all photos by Andy Thornley.
See more pictures at his Flickrstream.