Tuesday 11 December 2012

Hospital Closure Lewisham. Latest Update

Dear Members and Supporters of Lewisham People Before Profit,

There are several aspects to the campaign against the destruction of the 
NHS coming up in the coming week.

1. Tonight there is a meeting of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign at 
7pm at the Waldron Health Centre. All welcome. The meeting will look at 
different options for working on a London wide action in the new year - 
do we want something here in Lewisham or something in central London? It 
will also discuss our Barclays action which got off to a good start last 
Saturday in Downham and Sydenham. This puts the emphasis on the PFI 
debts, which the administrator and the Labour party don't want to talk 
about! (see also email from Helen Mercer attached below). Please go to 
this meeting if you can to ensure that the campaign is developed into a 
mass campaign involving the people of Lewisham and beyond and not 
restricted to a small clique.

2. Wednesday there is a 1pm rally by hospital workers outside Lewisham 
Hospital. Do come along if you are free.

3. Thursday: the last day for consultation responses to the special 
various actions from such as wearing something white to work and sending 
a photo of yourself to mandy.little@slp.co.uk for The Mercury and The 
South London Press.
 From 4-7pm a vigil with various activities including candles in jars 
from 4pm and mass singing after 6pm. Please come along when you can. 
Strawberry Thieves will be leading the singing from 6pm (or 6.30).

4. Saturday: Continuation of our targetting Barclays - meet at Barclays 
Crofton Park, New Cross or Blackheath at 11am to give out cards to 
passers by and explain Barclays involvement in the PFI scam. We'll move 
on to Lewisham Barclays some time around 1pm/1.30pm. Please pass on 
details of our Downing Street petition to all your friends and 
colleagues: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42460

5. If you have not renewed your membership yet for the coming year 
please consider paying by standing order - minimum £5 per year, but £5, 
£10 or £20 per month would really help us pay the printing bills for the 
campaigning we are doing. See membership/standing order form attached.

Best wishes,

John Hamilton,
Campaign Officer

Helen's proposal for tonight's Save Lewisham Hospital meeting:

"Proposal for a major demo in Lewisham / South East London on 26th 
January, the last Saturday before Hunt makes his decision. The route and 
format can be agreed through another meeting this week to be endorsed by 
the full organising committee next week.

1. Save Lewisham Hospital has mobilised a huge mass campaign; there 
remains a very high level of popular anger and willingness, eg the 
number of houses down many roads displaying the ‘Don’t keep calm’ 
poster; people WANT to be involved and active. We have a responsibility 
to the people we mobilised in November to provide leadership in response 
to this feeling.

2. The closure of Lewisham A&E / maternity together with the effects on 
hospitals in the SLHT, is the most visible and palpable instance of the 
effect of PFIs on local services and as such is a test case for a host 
of problems waiting in the wings; what happens in Lewisham and the South 
East is crucial for many other hospitals across the country.

3. We should play to our strengths as noted above and organise for 
another show of popular feeling in the area. This should be in liaison 
with people from Bexley, Greenwich etc (meeting also tonight).

4. The mobilisation on the 24^th November created an infrastructure of 
stewards, leafletters, placard makers, organisers which is easily 
reactivated and is willing and eager to be reactivated. Banners and 
tabards are all in place; there are good relations with the police and 
the hospital administration.

5. The feeling at the Westminster meeting favoured a coming together of 
groups through a London/national demo. Many local demos, as proposed by 
Matt, is unlikely to win favour at the London level.

6. This proposal for a demo in our area on 26th January should be in 
addition to the London demo OR we could try to persuade the London 
organisation to hold the demo proposed for the 16th Feb in Lewisham, for 
the reasons stated in 1-3 above."

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