Block the Bridge, Block the Bill – Sunday 9th October

UK Uncut have called for mass civil disobedience in protest at the Health and Social Care Bill, which goes to the Lords next week.

The government is just weeks away from destroying the NHS forever. This is an emergency. On Sunday October 9th at 1pm, join UK Uncut on Westminster Bridge and help block the bill.

A free coach is available from Birmingham – email, call Kerry on 07835 602 575 or attend this facebook event, and Kerry or Tom will be in contact this week to confirm and give final details.
Additional: a free coach will also be going from Telford. Email to book a space on that.

On one side of Westminster Bridge is Parliament. On 7th September, MPs in the Commons voted for the end of the NHS as we know it. Yet the coalition’s Health and Social Care bill was not in the Lib Dem manifesto. It was not in the Tory manifesto. None of us voted for this.

On the opposite side of the bridge is St Thomas’ Hospital, one of Britain’s oldest medical institutions. If the bill passes, hospitals like St Thomas’ will be sold to private corporations, the staff put on private payrolls and beds given over to private patients. Despite the government’s lies, this bill represents the wholesale privatization of the NHS and, with it, the destruction of the dream of comprehensive healthcare provided equally to all.

On October 11th, the bill moves to the Lords, and a huge Liberal Democrat rebellion is brewing. We have one last chance to save our NHS.
On Sunday 9th October, just days before the bill moves to the Lords, join UK Uncut in a spectacular act of mass civil disobedience to block the bill. By blocking Westminster Bridge we symbolically block the bill from getting from Parliament to our hospitals. Yes, it will be disruptive. Yes, it will stop the traffic. But this is an emergency and we have to shout as loud as we can.

Get to the middle of Westminster Bridge shortly before 1pm. When Big Ben strikes one, pick one of the tactics below and help block the bridge:

  • Bring some fake blood and play dead
  • Bring hospital radio to the bridge with some music and comedy
  • Bring a nurse for a resuscitation skill-share
  • Dress up in scrubs and perform an operation
  • Enjoy a picnic overlooking Parliament
  • Share stories about the the NHS
  • Invite a friend from across the pond to describe the reality of a privatised healthcare system
  • Invite older generations to describe a time before universal healthcare
  • (if you’ve got other good ideas, email them to

Invite everyone you know to the Facebook event, and make sure you click ‘attending’. UK Uncut will be in close contact with St. Thomas’ before and during the protest to ensure access for emergency vehicles.

It is really important that as many people as possible attend this protest, we cannot let the NHS get destroyed without a big demonstration. In Birmingham, we held a demo at QE hospital, and Save Our NHS West Midlands were busy lobbying local MPs in August in the run up to the commons vote, but the only national demo was a rather underwhelming candle lit vigil called by the TUC.
This is the last opportunity to stop or change the health care bill, and we have to take it.
A free coach is available from Birmingham – email, call Kerry on 07835 602 575 or attend this facebook event, and Kerry or Tom will be in contact this week to confirm and give final details.

Join the free coach from Birmingham, and take part in this action.

Please be prepared for a kettle. Hopefully the police will allow people to leave at 4pm, which is the time that UK Uncut have said the protest will finish, however everyone who goes should be ready to be stuck on the bridge well into the evening. As such, please make sure that you take warm and waterproof clothing, food and water, and be aware that toilet facilities may not be available. If there is a Kettle, Birmingham Uncut (who are running the coach) will be in contact with the driver to ensure that the coach will wait. Th return time is provisionally set for 6pm, but will leave as soon as everyone is back.
It is really important that we are not intimidated by this prospect and that we do not allow the police to prevent us from standing up and saying loudly and clearly that we did not vote for these reforms, that we do not want them, that we stand with the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, UNISON, UNITE and over 400 public health experts who today wrote an open letter calling for the bill to be withdrawn, as well as pretty much every other professional medical association, in calling for the bill to be scrapped in its entirety.

You should also write to Peers. Save Our NHS West Mids are gathering a list of local peers, but for now you can use the TUC Adopt A Peer website to get details of someone to write to – they also have a model letter for you to use, although it is always best to write your own if you can.


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