Dancing on the picket lines – Junior Doctors’ strike continues to a second day

The 48-hour junior doctors’ strike, in defence of their working conditions, patient safety and NHS is continuing for the second day. Our reports from the picket lines yesterday can be found here.

At King’s College Hospital in south London junior doctors were dancing on the picket lines outside of the hospital:

(Video: Fraser A)

From Carlisle, Joe S reports:

Carlisle had a picket outside the Cumbria Infirmary. There were 8 picketers plus a rep from the RMT, and plenty of hooting from passing traffic.

We had a lively discussion about the prospects for winning, the need to stick it out because the patients cannot migrate for better care, and the strikers were keen to understand about past long running disputes like the Miners’ Strike. I found it easier this time around to engage them in a broader political discussion about privatisation, the impacts of the American style of healthcare on working class communities, and the relationship between private provision and household debt.

We also discussed how to engage the wider community, and we offered to give them a hand in putting on a public meeting. So we will see we things go…

Meanwhile at Whipps Cross Hospital in London, James B reports:

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About 40 people gathered for a lunchtime rally outside the main entrance of Whipps Cross Hospital. The doctors and their supporters were addressed by representatives of Unite the Union, the RMT, a paramedic from London Ambulance Service and Waltham Forest Save Our NHS campaign. The doctors then moved off towards Homerton Hospital in Hackney to join up with strikers there.

At Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, SE London, Colin R reports:

Ten or more Junior Doctors on the picket line at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich this morning. Supporters from Keep Our NHS Public and Greenwich and Bexley Trades Council actively offering solidarity. Spontaneous singing of We Shall Not Be Moved “Doctors and Patients united, we shall not be moved,” and We Shall Overcome (everyone was rusty on the words but they slowly came back to us).

Plenty of patients stopping to take leaflets, stickers and have chats. Cakes were shared to bolster energy and fight the cold. Almost all the cars and buses that passed responded loudly to the signs of “Hoot for the Junior Doctors”. Yet a Junior Doctors’ baby slept throughout in her buggy.
Talking to various pickets the conversations were about media coverage (BBC bias etc), high level of public support and how to win by escalating the action. I surprised myself by being reminded of the miners strike. Let’s hope we beat the Tory government this time.

 

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