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NHS anti-privatisation marchers to get heroes' welcome at Trafalgar Square

Health service activists and trade unionists will turn out in their thousands to honour those who trekked 300 miles from Jarrow

Thousands of trade unionists and health service activists will unite in central London today to welcome heroic campaigners on the People’s March for the NHS when they arrive in Trafalgar Square.

Horrified by the Tories and their Liberal Democrat collaborators’ destruction of the NHS, the marchers decided to fight for its future.

For three weeks the doughty marchers have trekked 300 miles from Jarrow in the north-east to London.

In more than 20 towns and cities they were welcomed by supporters with food, accommodation and rallies for the NHS.

They visited hospitals and accident and emergency units facing closure.

On sections of the march they were joined by supporters numbering thousands in total.

The modern-day march was organised by a group of mothers from Darlington in County Durham, nicknamed the Darlomums.

And speakers at a rally in Trafalgar Square will expose the Tories’ big lie — that the NHS is safe in their hands.

Darlomum and GMB national officer Rehana Azam, who will speak at today’s rally, said: “The Tories consistently say they are not selling the NHS off yet £12.5 billion in services has been handed to the private sector. We have a public duty to expose their lies. It is lies, deceit and greed.”

Speakers at today’s rally include Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, journalist Owen Jones and musician and campaigner Billy Bragg.

Joanna Adams, another Darlomum who will speak, said: “We started the march three weeks ago. Our aim is to bring the public’s attention to the cuts and privatisation of the NHS.

“The collective voice of thousands across the country cannot be ignored.”

Darlomum Catherine McCordle said: “I am a mother of two. The NHS has been there for my family and I felt compelled to be part of the march because I want to ensure the NHS is there for future generations.”

London Health Emergency campaign group director John Lister told the Morning Star: “The Tories promised no top-down reorganisation, to increase health spending and an end to cuts and closures.

“Across the country the closures are happening. We face a 10-year freeze on health spending and the transfer of £100bn of NHS money to the private sector. Not one promise they made has held good. It was all lies.”

Ms Azam added: “The People’s March has demonstrated that there are many who have the will to fight for the NHS. 

“Our message to politicians who have voted to destroy our NHS is simple: you are on notice and we are on our way to London.”

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