Hundreds turn out for protest march against NHS cuts
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of protestors have marched through the centre of Norwich in a demonstration against local service cuts.
Around 250 people took part in the event, which featured several speakers before and after the march.
Among those who addressed the crowd was Larry Sanders, the Green Party's health spokesman and brother of American politician Bernie Sanders.
He hit out at the NHS' efficiency drive to save £22bn by 2020, and urged people to 'stand up' to the decision-makers.
'I have been in this country for 48 years and the NHS has been under pressure many times, but this is a whole new stage,' he said.
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'This is about life and death. We have to stop the privatisation of the NHS.
'We must stand together and look after each other.'
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Another speaker was Dereham teacher Nick O'Brien, who talked about mental health in schools.
Mr O'Brien, who works at Dereham Neatherd High School, said: 'The situation in schools is in danger of spiralling out of control.
'Time2Change say there are three students in each class with a mental health problem, but I think it's more than that.'
He said the education system 'stresses children out' and called for a system 'that values pupils being outside in the open air doing sports and arts subjects'.
Emma Corlett, a Labour county councillor, told the crowd about the issues mental health patients in Norfolk have faced in the last few years, while other speakers included Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, and Richard Allday, of Unite.
Members of that trade union joined the march through the city, as did members of political movements Momentum and Socialist Workers Party.
The event was organised by the NHS Norfolk Action Group.
Jan McLachlan, of the group, said: 'The NHS crisis is due to massive under-funding and under-staffing by central government.
'With funding for social care also being slashed by central government and local councils making cuts to services, the NHS will bear the brunt of this and the impact will be huge on services.'