Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lewisham protests update

With the government on the ropes in pasty-petrol-pensions-payforsupper-gate, Lewisham is doing it's bit to bring it on...

Teachers strike

Schools across Lewisham were closed on Wednesday during the national strike by teachers against Government attacks on their pensions. Lewisham National Union of Teachers said:

'From next month, the Government will be cutting teachers’ pay.  They want to make us pay MORE for our pensions - but they’ll be paying us LESS pension when we retire. They also want to raise the age retirement to 68 or even 70 ! How can anyone be expected to teach classes of thirty or more children at that age ? We know we’re not alone in facing cuts. Teachers will be marching down Whitehall with ex-Fords car workers who are also fighting for pensions justice. We hope our fight can help protect other workers from cuts too'. Here's a Lewisham banner on the demonstration in central London:

And here's a short film about the strike by local union activist Martin Powell-Davies:


Following the protests earlier this month against workfare - unemployed people having to work without pay - there's further action on Saturday 31st March in Lewisham town centre - 'meet outside the front of Sainsbury's inside Lewisham Shopping Centre at 1:00pm sharp for some direct action against companies involved in workfare' (details here).

NHS protest

We mentioned last month that Lewisham Keep our NHS Public were planning to protest in Bermondsey outside the office in the Blue of Con Dem MP Simon Hughes. Apparently 30+ people took part on 25th February (pictured above). They say: 'The protest comprised of health campaigners, including 3 GPs, who spoke to the people of Bermondsey using Lewisham KONP’s sound system about the dangers of NHS privatisation, chiefly that this bill will destroy our universal NHS and will eventually usher in a US style health system. Other speakers included a US citizen now resident in Britain who told the people of Bermondsey she grew up in the 1980s without an NHS in America and recalled having to cross the Mexican border to buy medicine they could not afford in the USA. In less than 2 hours over 160 people of Bermondsey signed the open letter to Hughes urging him to drop the bill'. Hughes voted for the bill nevertheless and it was passed - but campaigners say that the fight to save the NHS is just getting started.

No comments: