CP members, supporters and all health campaigners are encouraged to attend the forthcoming People’s Convention for health on 11 April.
At its Congress in November 2014, the Communist Party discussed a Cambridge branch motion which called on the labour movement to give priority to defence of the NHS, in and beyond the May 2015 election.
Following the passing of this motion, comrades presented the idea of calling a People’s Convention for the NHS to the People’s Assembly. The convention would seek, for the first time, to bring together all major health campaign groups and activists, from across the party political and labour and community movements.
The People’s Assembly unanimously embraced the plan and the Convention is to take place on Saturday, 11 April 2015 from 10:00 to 16:00 at Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1P 3DW London.
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The Convention has the support of:
Keep Our NHS Public, People’s Assembly, People’s March for the NHS, various trade union and local NHS campaign groups and the Communist Party.
It is being organised around support for five key demands, as adopted by People’s Vote for the NHS. Physicist Stephen Hawking is to sign the five point programme.
The points are:
1 REPEAL THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE ACT. HALT AND ROLL BACK THE PRIVATISATION OF THE NHS. NO TO TTIP.
2 END THE NHS FUNDING FREEZE: INCREASE SPENDING TO MEET GROWING NEED FOR HEALTH CARE.
3 NO MORE UNSAFE CUTS AND CLOSURES TO SAVE MONEY.
4 DON’T LET PFI COSTS KILL OFF LOCAL SERVICES! RENEGOTIATE ON THE BASIS OF FAIR VALUE.
5 FAIR DEAL AND FAIR PAY FOR NHS STAFF.
There will be plenary sessions on:
• NHS Privatisation
• How to Fight it and Win
• NHS Reinstatement Bill
• Political Campaigning and
• Mental Health Cuts.
Speakers/workshop facilitators confirmed so far include:
• John Hilary, War on Want and Jean Lambert, Green MEP on TTIP
• John Lister, co-author of NHS 4 Sale on PFI
• Martin Booth, Stop the NHS Sell-Off in Cambs on NHS Privatisation, How to Fight it and Win
• Sam Fairbairn, People's Assembly National Secretary
• Jos Bell, Chair of London Socialist Health Association
• Sue Richards, co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public
• Owen Jones
• Rehana Azam, co-founder of People's March for the NHS/GMB National Officer for the NHS
Well known campaigner against the privatisation of Hinchingbrooke hospital, Steve Sweeney, is chair of the steering group.
Our comrades nationally have been and will be integral to making the convention a success. We need Party organisations to promote the Convention amongst networks of local labour movement and campaigning organisations to make this, the most extensive and unified movement to protect the NHS in generations.