March for the Alternative – this Saturday

“There is no alternative” is what we’ve been hearing time after time from the coalition Government, in fact reporters have become so bored of typing it out in full they’ve resorted to reporting it as ‘TINA’. TINA is used as an excuse to justify cuts in the NHS, education, social services and other vital areas.

The thing is, we don’t believe in TINA. We, and thousands of others believe that there is an alternative and that’s why we’re marching this Saturday 26th March. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) – which represents the majority of workers who are members of a trade union – has organised the March for the Alternative.

The website cites the aims of the march as:

  • “First we want to give a national voice to all those affected by the cuts.
    This will be a huge event that in its breadth and support shows just how much opposition there is to the government’s programme. It will bring together public service workers and those who depend on good public services. Those involved in national campaigns, and those defending what is special in their own community.
  • Second we want to show that people reject the argument that there is no alternative.
    Of course the recession did damage to our economy. But these deep rapid cuts are not the best way to solve our problems, and may well make them worse.

That is why it is the March for the Alternative – an alternative in which rich individuals and big companies have to pay all their tax, that the banks pay a Robin Hood tax and on in which we strain every sinew to create jobs and boost the sustainable economic growth that will generate the prosperity which is the only long term way to close the deficit and reduce the nation’s debt.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself (so I didn’t try). So we are marching!

We at Big Society NHS are coming to this march from a health perspective, as are other groups like Keep Our NHS Public. So if you are a health worker or a student or just an NHS lover who owns some scrubs, wear your uniform with pride and show that doctors, nurses, students, none of us want these reforms. Otherwise there is also a plan for people to wear green and purple, the colours of the suffragettes, to highlight the disproportionate impact the cuts will have on women.

All those marching for the NHS (lots of different groups including KONHSP, Big Society NHS, etc) are going to meet before the demo to march united. We’re meeting at 11am on the corner of Middle Temple Lane and Victoria Embankment, that’s here. Check with local trade union groups and students unions for transport – many run a coach such as Leeds University Union – return for £15!

A pretty cool feature of the protest is the March for the alternative app, download here. The app has handy maps of the route and will also send you updates on any changes or warnings on the day.

So make your banners, bring your megaphone and instruments, wear your uniform and get ready to show the politicians and the pubic: THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE.

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