UK Health Feature Archive
Sheffield Welfare Action Network (SWAN) is one of the lead organisations in the campaign against the proposed welfare reforms. They are organising the forthcoming People's March and Rally Against the IB cuts, a national demonstration on the 17th June being held in Sheffield. SWAN has been steadily helping build the campaign and seen opposition grow to the draconian welfare reforms as their implications become clear. There is also a benefit concert in aid of SWAN on the 20th May.
Crisis can be an overused word, but in the case of the NHS it’s difficult to get across the scale of the problem without using it. Three quarters of the NHS trusts in the UK are reporting that financial deficits are forcing them to make some form of cut backs this financial year.
But, hold on. The government says it’s putting more money into the NHS than ever before. For once the government is telling the truth - they are spending far more on the NHS than ever, but the cuts are still taking place... how on earth can they both be true?
The answer is simple, it's not a question of how much money, but where it goes. Private companies have become more deeply entrenched in the health service than ever before, on a level that would have been unimaginable even under the Tories.
Proposals in Huddersfield to close a Hospital and several wards at another were condemed by protestors. The demonstration Called for the 10th December opposed the closures, and the wider privitisation of health care in the country.
The number of protestors who turned up outside the Royal Infirmary was larger than organisers had hoped, drawing support from passers-by. The protest is continuing to build a petition to make the council have a referendum on the issue.
Public meeting in Liverpool calls for local campaign to save NHS services.
“The vast majority of people in the NHS are appalled at what’s going on. There’s £1 billion+ going into PFI (Private Finance Initiative) schemes on Merseyside, but there are always going to be cuts in services under this type of scheme. The drive to privatise the NHS is all about Blair’s flirtation with Bush, and the market economy.”
So said Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, speaking at the ‘Keep Our NHS Public’, a meeting of between 60-70 people held at the Friends Meeting House, Liverpool, on Thursday 24th November.
The last few months, both Nottingham and Mansfield have been the scene of protests against incinerators. Local residents in Nottingham took to the streets back in May after they learned Waste Recycling Group Ltd [WRG] are planning to expand the existing incinerator. The latest is that the recycle company have now submitted their planning application. Also Mansfield has a new campaign group: Mansfield Against Incineration (MAIN). Recently, at a public meeting, attended by over 300 people, Mansfield MP Alan Meale gave his support to the group, saying he 'shared many of the worries'. Various public meetings have been held, after residents found out the proposal to build a mixed waste burning unit at the Crown Farm Industrial Estate, Forest Town, Mansfield. The campaign groups are supported by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Green Party and CABS (Clean Air for Bakersfield and Sneinton).
Links: Website Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill, (NAIL) | Website Mansfield Against Incineration, (MAIN) | Download MAIN Petition | Download MAIN Campaign Update | Local Friends of the Earth Group | Previous action against incinerator in Nottingham
On Sunday (12th June), eight protesters stripped naked to expose the continued sale of products derived from animals fed on genetically modified crops. The naked demo preceded a separate week long series of events outside Sainsbury head office in London. The Milk Monitor website describes the campaign as "a week long extravaganza of street theatre & protests against GM animal feed".
Read full article for daily updates and details of each days events.
A climate change activist gained access to the high security event and as the first speaker welcomed all the suits to their exclusive little back slapping event, she sprang up and planted the carrot and cream cake firmly in the face of the Minister. As she did so, she said "Future Heathrow stinks, your bogus economics stink, Alistair Darling being here stinks, and your vision for this planet stinks". She ejected by security guards but not arrested.
Meanwhile over 100 local residents took time off work to demonstrate outside the CBI HQ launch event, with a huge banner reading 'Future Heathrow Stinks', and a new report that concludes that Heathrow contributes little to the national or local economy, but simply lines the pockets of the aviation industry.
For full details see - newswire report
Proposals are being put before the council for a massive enlargement of the Parkwood Landfill site, allowing a substantial increase in capacity from just 266,000 tonnes a year to a staggering 1 million tonnes. The Parkwood Landfill site is on the edge of Shirecliffe and overlooks many areas including Hillsborough, Upperthorpe and Walkley. Local residents are fighting these proposals and demanding a public consultation. However, their on going investigation into the proposals is raising more questions than answers. Residents are beginning to see a possible link emerging between the new massive incinerator in Sheffield, which is nearing completion, and the proposals for the enlargement of the Parkwood Landfill Site. If under these proposals the Parkwood landfill site was to have its suspended special waste licence reinstated, the expansion of the landfill site would enable the ash from the new Bernard Roads incinerator to be dumped there.
Planning application info: September 2005
Update 28/04/05: BP tree sit enters third day. Support requested throughout the day, and a noise demo has been called for today at 4pm
According to the UN, climate change kills 150,000 people every year. Tony Blair has described the threat as the gravest we face, but does nothing to address the issue. In an attempt to put climate change and energy policy on the public agenda, tuesday saw not one but two actions.
Four women and four men scaled the Deputy Prime Minsiter house in Hull at dawn, erecting solar panels. A banner read, 'Hi, 2 Jags! Hit targets not voters'. Their statement said that John Prescott's is putting Britain's climate change targets at risk by failing to make UK homes more energy efficient.
"The Deputy PM's got a reputation for straight-talking, but since the election kicked off we've heard barely a squeak about climate change from big hitters like him... Whoever wins on May 5th needs to get serious about energy efficiency.", said one of the protesters from the roof.
Meanwhile in London, protesters from London Rising Tide climbed two huge trees opposite the head office of British Petroleum in St James Square. They unfurled a huge banner reading 'BP fuels climate chaos' while others leafleted passers-by, BP workers and member of the press. Earlier this month, the BP AGM was targetted by the 'Greenwash Guerrillas'.
Tuesdays actions coincided with BP announcing record profits (£1.3m per hour this quarter) as they reap the rewards of surging oil prices since the invasion of Iraq. Some of the protesters stayed up the trees overnight and greeted workers as they arrived in the morning.
The Bhopal Disaster of 1984 killed thousands of people in the Indian city of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. It was caused by the accidental release of forty tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) from a Union Carbide pesticide plant located in the heart of the city. This event remains the worst industrial disaster in history with significant injuries to at least 50,000 people.
The MIC leak began shortly after midnight on December 3, 1984. The vapors killed more than 2,000 people outright and injured anywhere from 150,000 to 600,000 others, some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries.
To commemorate the lives lost in the disaster Sheffield Indymedia has arranged for a screening of the film Bhopal Express to be shown at 6:30pm Sunday 5th December at The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield with all proceeds from the film to be donated to the Bhopal Medical Appeal.
Indymedia India has a number of articles about the disaster: Fast for clean up of Bhopal Factory Site | Cloud over Bhopal | Students at 60 Colleges on Five Continents Demand Justice
Sainsbury's chilled food distribution centres were blockaded across the country on Thursday in protest against GM feed being fed to dairy cows. Sainsbury’s five biggest UK distribution centres were shut down as evironmentalists and consumers simultaneously blockaded the supermarket chain's chilled-goods depots in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Sheffield. They were chained together through steel tubes, or sat up scaffold tripods, blocking the depot gates. The co-ordinated action was intended to halt distribution of Sainsbury's dairy products that come from cows fed GM animal feed.
The protest follows Sainsbury’s failure to provide non-GM fed milk as standard, despite rivals like Marks and Spencer and the Co-op doing so. The action was taken in solidarity with farmers, demanding they get a fair deal of 2p on the pound for non-GM milk. The coalition of groups campaigning on this issue includes Farmers for Action, the Small and Family Farmers Alliance, The Small Farms Association, the Wholesome Food Association, the Institute of Science in Society, Genetic Food Alert and the Genetic Engineering Network (see GM animal feed campaign PDF). Also see National press release
Local reports: Birmingham report, photos and video | London
Yorkshire | Liverpool [ 1 , 2 ] and photos [1 | 2]
Bristol report and photos
Sainsbury's Essex Waltham Point Depot Blockade Report
See also Genetic Engineering Network
Cows leaflet shareholders are Sainsbury AGM - Monday 12th July
Store demo in Plymouth - Saturday 10th July
Farmers vist Welsh store - Saturday 10th July
The local PCT (Primary Care Trust) wants to close the units - which are said to offer sensitive, one-to-one care and support - to save money, in spite of local opposition (a petition against the closures attracted 10000 signatures).
"I received the most wonderful care and support postnatally at Malmesbury. I cannot emphasise enough what a difference this made to my recovery from a difficult birth and the bond that I made with my new baby. I went there as a frightened, exhausted wreck and came out 3 days later a happy, confident new mother."
(quote from a survey)
Campaigners are now hoping this latest development is a sign that the PCT may be on the defensive.
[ Full Report ] | Previous Campaign Reports: [ 1 | 2 ] | [ Save Malmesbury Maternity Unit website ]
Co-ops are important as they empower workers to take control of their daily lives and provide services for there larger communities.
Radical Routes - help co-ops
More than 6000 people commit suicide in this country every year. Now the goverment is proposing to introduce community treatment orders with enforced medication. As a result, those in need of help will be too afraid to seek it.
Mad Pride is comprised of ex-psychiatric patients and others who campaign on mental health issues, pleading with the government to stop ignoring thousands of deaths and to start treating mentally ill people h umanely.
At the Hutton enquiry, which has been investigating the suicide of David Kelly, Mad Pride was present as part of their ongoing 'stop the suicides' campaign.
Mad Pride: 07958 907357
e-mail: madpridelondon [at] hotmail.com or attend the next meeting – look on the website for details.
There will be showing of the Pete Shaughnessy film "With endless love", introduced by Simon Holder, at the Rio Cinema in Hackney, on Saturday night.
During the last six weeks, unknown to most people, there have been a series of public debates up and down the country about whether the government should allow the commericalisation of GM crops in the UK. The deadline for public input is now over - did you have your say?
In an exclusive film made for Indymedia, people from all over the country reveal that the public consultation was a poorly advertised, ill concieved and miss-managed farce that failed to engage ordinary people. The film also demonstrates that much of the public believe that the decision has already been made to push ahead with GM (regardless of the will of the people) and that the government is an undemocratic tool of U.S. interests and big business.
In a press conference, new video material was presented, which demonstrated the neglicence of the police at the scene.
Syngenta had government consent to plant upto 35 by 20 metres of genetical modified wheat. In a press release, protesters claimed that if allowed to pollenate, it would have spread GM material into the surrounding countryside...
For Photos [updated]Click Here
For Video [latest edit]Click Here
At the same time abortion enemies attacked the ship with eggs, bottles and stones. The authorities have searched the ship and sealed all drugs.