A massive turnout for the hands-around-Lewisham-hospital march and protest today. Biggest protest I’ve seen for a while.
As followers of the Save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E campaign will know, a hand-picked (by Andrew Lansley) ‘special administrator’ (as ever) recently produced a report which recommended that Lewisham Hospital close its A&E Department, impose staff cuts and sell off 60% of hospital buildings to developers.
“Lewisham’s children’s wards, critical care unit and emergency surgery may close to pay massive debts at neighbouring hospitals. A&E would be replaced with an urgent care centre. Maternity services could be lost too.” There’s an excellent report on Andy Worthington’s blog which backgrounds the proposals and response in detail.
Thousands of people turned out to protest today at these developments – probably more than 10,000, I thought, and on a cold and rainy day, too. I’ve uploaded the videos below to give you an idea of the turnout. The fight for Lewisham hospital services goes on, with another meeting this week, so I’ll add some more links soon (Update 25 November: added now – see end of post). In the meantime, check out the videos for numbers.
As I like to say: you know a government is in serious shit when thousands of people show up to protest on a cold wet day. Interesting times.
I took the first video below from the top of the slide in Ladywell park at around 3pm. It shows very clearly that there was a huge number of people in the park right – and it’s worth remembering, too, that a lot of people were still in a very big queue outside the park to get in. The video is shaky in parts, but I wanted to leave it unbroken to show the numbers.
This one has some sequences from inside Ladywell park and a few from the walk there:
There will be another public meeting to continue the campaign in the Catford Broadway Theatre at 7pm this Wednesday, November 28.