Why Trafalgar? #14

Posted: March 21, 2011 in Uncategorized
Corinne Dhondee is a film maker and a health activist

On March 26th Trafalgar Square is the closest we will get to our house. The house is how MPs refer to Parliament. That house is our house and Trafalgar Square is part of its back garden and yes it’s our back garden. When we re-claim our back garden we begin to reclaim our house and we give a very clear political message to the government, ‘you are servants of the people. What you are doing to the people is not ‘for the people’ in its true political sense but against them and we want you out’.
Privatization of the NHS has not yet been voted on. Yet A&Es, clinics, maternity wards are fighting closure. Mental health hospitals have closed. Whilst the government sells off the NHS to its private health care friends, midwives and district nurses are sacked. NHS staff have been warned not to speak out about cuts to services and jobs.
Government health officials have told student nurses that their future training will be in the community. When boroughs are making massive cuts that affect child services, health services and old people’s services what community are they talking about? Where will our future nurses get their specialist training when everything is closed?
The housing bill will see rent increase in social housing of eighty percent. This will affect fifteen million people. If this bill is passed, London will experience a mass exodus of working class people.
Working class children cannot afford to go to university. Speaking to a Lib Dem recently she seemed to think that education was now free. Debt of £26,000 + is not free education. One of the reasons we are in a crisis is because of bankers doing dodgy deals; debt is also a dodgy deal.
Fourty years after women went on strike for equal pay, the government did not legislate it. Today women do not have equal pay rights. On a different note many women’s organizations have closed.
At a meeting at Andover Estate, a pensioner said, ‘today is the day the Blitz started. Today we face a different enemy, our own government, who is trying to wipe us out be wiping out the welfare state’. The pensioner, one of many who helped to rebuild the country cannot afford a pint of milk at his local shop, neither can a lot of his friends. Yet the government is mugging their pensions. And of course there is more. How much more are we willing to take?
We can watch the government willfully push through the plan it had before being elected or we can continue to stand up to them. In the UK direct action has resulted in many rights such as the right to vote and the right to education. Nothing we have has been given to us. People’s rights have been fought hard for and many sacrifices have been made.
Trafalgar Square is where we tell the government, as many have successfully done before us, ‘our demands, and the future dreams of the people and young people are not up for negotiation’.

Corine Dhondee is a film student who has been documenting the SOAS occupation and other anti-cuts campaigns through film, photography and writing. She is an LSE alumni, a member of Save the NHS, and Islington hands off our public services.

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