NHS workers are planning to join Saturday’s Palestine march in London as a contingent to express their fury at Israel’s bombing of al Ahli hospital in Gaza.
A Whatsapp group for health workers in support of Palestine was launched on Wednesday morning. And by the evening it had more than 300 supporters at hospitals all over Britain.
Jordan Rivera, secretary of the Homerton Unison union branch in east London, told Socialist Worker that health workers feel a mixture of rage and sorrow. “The hospital attack has really galvanised people,” she said.
“Our union branch had already decided to make a £500 donation to the charity Medical Aid for Palestine. And we’d decided to send our banner and a delegation to the march.
“But things have moved really quickly since then. The attack, and the way it has been denied, are outrageous.”
A few health workers together set up the Whatsapp group and it is now helping to organise health workers to march as a block.
Jordan says that the mood for action hasn’t come out of nowhere. “The NHS Workers Say No group, which was formed during the fight over health service pay and staffing, has played a really important role,” she said.
“It issued a strong statement in support of Palestine last week, and not long before it had issued one on trans rights. I think many health workers have been radicalised by the way they were treated during and after the height of the Covid pandemic.
“The hypocrisy of those at the top while we put ourselves in harm’s way has really changed people. That’s why there was such strong support for the pay strikes this year, and why so many NHS staff think we should still be walking out.
“The support for Palestine has come out of that politicisation.” Jordan says she hopes that union branches at many other hospitals will send delegations and their banners to the march – and encourage more resistance.
If you are a health worker and want to join the block, meet on Saturday at 11.30am at the Marble Arch Fountains, in central London. See maps.app.goo.gl/DER8J24BRy2abvCL9 for precise location. Please bring banners, and wear medical or health attire if you can or want to.
Also please spread the word and join this group (chat.whatsapp.com/EBp6H78OSAw7yInTQvUt46) for updates and info. It’s only for people who are intending to come to the London protest on Saturday.Original post