Photo by Alan Hughes.
As part of the Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) weekend of action against Virgin (which has already taken over community health services in Surrey, sexual health services in Milton Keynes, and tens of ‘GP provider companies’ across the country), there was an anti-privatization protest outside the Virgin Media store in Oxford on Saturday.
Activists from the Oxford branch of KONP, the Oxford Anti-Cuts Alliance, and other local campaign groups gathered outside Virgin Media in opposition to the activities of Virgin Care, a division of Branson’s company.
After the Health and Social Care Bill was passed (making it the ‘Act’), activists in Oxford vowed to keep up the fight against the fragmentation and privatization of the NHS by targeting the private companies that stand to gain from it. The protest was a marker that other companies attempting to profit from the Act could expect to face growing resistance.
Many NHS staff welcomed the action when they were leafleted with details of the protest earlier in the week. A public meeting will follow in mid-May when the organizations involved will invite all comers to discuss what tactics can be used to prevent the implementation of the Act at a local and national level.
It’s up to every one of us to get involved. Before it’s too late.