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Posts Tagged ‘protest’

NHS Campaigners Return to Royal Cornwall Hospital

May 1st, 2015 by

Cornish NHS campaigners returned to Treliske on Thursday, this time taking to song to express their opposition to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust Board’s privatisation plans.

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
There’s no Health Service anymore
An it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
The N.H.S went out the door


The reworking of Dylan’s classic Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right was penned by members of the 38 Degrees Truro and Falmouth group, and warns of the consequences of NHS privatisation.

It ain’t no use in thinking it’s all right, babe
When investors take their slice
An it ain’t no use in thinking it’s all right, babe
When the patients pay the price

Over 9,300 names have now been collected on the ‘Campaigns by You’ petition, started by a 38 Degrees member from Truro, that calls on the RCH Trust Board to stop the privatisation of NHS departments at the hospital. A certificate with the current petition total was presented to Board members at a public meeting following the demonstration.

Attendees at the meeting were told that the Board has “agreed to look again at the Managed Equipment Service option alongside a full outsourcing model (for Pathology) and will now make a final decision on our preferred approach at the June 2015 Trust Board meeting. Discussions also continue on the market test of the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) and Cornwall Information Technology Service (CITS).”


The Managed Equipment Service option would see department staff remain as NHS employees while a private company takes on responsibility for all equipment used in the department. The Trust Board argue that Pathology equipment at the hospital is in desperate need of updating and say that in the absence of adequate government funding, private investment is the only viable option. NHS campaigners responded by highlighting the fact that Cornwall’s NHS is severely underfunded compared to other parts of the country. They argue that the solution rests not with private companies but in securing fairer government funding for the NHS in Cornwall.

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Stopping the Pension Age Rise

March 25th, 2015 by

After heading up a storm of a campaign on Campaigns by You, yesterday 38 Degrees member Anne descended on the Department of Work and Pensions to present her petition. She’s demanding that Iain Duncan Smith reverse the State Pension Law: and she was armed with 55,128 of your signatures!

She was met outside Downing Street by 38 Degrees members from Cumbria, Cornwall, Yorkshire and beyond -

Here’s the petition text they handed in:

‘Dear Secretary of State for Work and Pensions,

In your Coalition document “The Coalition: Our Programme for Government”: the Coalition Government stated:-

“We will phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women. We will end the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75″.

However, the Coalition Government have broken this promise by accelerating the rise in the State Pension Age. Therefore, please ensure that Mr. Cameron & Mr.Clegg honour their word and reverse the State Pension Law.’

With only a few more weeks of Government, the pressure’s now on for Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP to stick to their promise on State Pensions.

If there’s an issue close to your heart that you’d like to campaign on, you can set up your own petition here:


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Bees: Swarm on Downing Street

July 1st, 2014 by

This morning hundreds of 38 Degrees members joined a host of campaign organisations to swarm on Downing Street to protect our bees.

David Cameron was meeting his cabinet to decide whether to allow banned bee killing pesticides to be used on fields across the UK. Unbelievably, a mega pesticide company called Syngenta has just made an emergency appeal after their product was banned across Europe last year due to the risk it poses to our bees.

Yesterday we handed in our huge people-powered petition to No.10 Downing St so that it landed on David Cameron’s desk before the big meeting.

This morning, as MPs turned up at the cabinet meeting they were greeted by hundreds of people chanting at them to do the right thing, and protect our bees. We wanted to make sure that the ministers were in no doubt that not only scientists, but the public too were demanding that they stop the bee killer pesticides.

We all arrived at 8am, bright and early in the morning, ready to catch the ministers as they walked into the meeting.  Alongside 38 Degrees a huge range of campaign organisations came along, Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Natural Beekeeping Trust, Pesticide Action Network and the Soil Association all joined the campaign.  We even had Barry Gardiner MP (The Shadow Environment minister) join us and chant along.

Armed with spotter cards we kept our eyes peeled for the ministers as they walked into the cabinet meeting.  Each one was greeted with chants to save our bees and stop the Syngenta pesticides from being used on our fields.

“David Cameron, just say no – Tell Syngenta where to go!”

“What do we want? Bees! When do we want them? Forever!”

“All we are saying, is give bees a chance!”

We managed to spot lots of the politicians walking in through the front entrance of Downing Street.  David Cameron, Vince Cable, Grant Shapps, William Hague and many more.  Unfortunately we think Owen Paterson (the environment minister) snuck in through a back door.  As David Cameron walked up and waved, the crowd literally swarmed on Downing Street chanting “save our bees!” and chased him into the meeting with a rousing chorus of chants.

Watch this space to see what happens next.

David Cameron and his cabinet should be in no doubt as to what the world expects of them.

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Rally for freedom of speech

October 9th, 2013 by

Hundreds of people headed down to Parliament Square as part of a Rally for freedom of speech to protest the government’s controversial gagging law.

The chanting crowd waved placards and made impassioned speeches as MPs sat in Parliament debating the controversial law.  If it passes, it would have a chilling effect on British democracy and our right to speak up on issues that matter to us.  38 Degrees members came down to make sure that when MPs vote on the bill, they have our voices and chants ringing in their ears, and they are aware of the level of public outrage about the law.

There was a placard making stall, a soap box to give speeches from, a live tweet board (showing messages from around the country), face painting and much more.  We heard from a host of individual campaigners and organisations on why the gagging law must be stopped, and why they had travelled to Parliament to make their point.

We lined up along the length of the square facing Parliament to show the wide range of voices from across the world of politics who are against the gagging law.

From protecting the NHS to saving the bees to stopping the snoopers charter – people-power has shown it can achieve amazing things. And it’s worth fighting for.  From May 2014, draconian new rules would prevent non-politicians from speaking up on the big issues of the day. A huge range of campaign groups and charities — everyone from The Royal British Legion, to Oxfam, to the RSPB — are warning about the threat this poses.

Action Aid, Cafod, Stop HS2, Campaign for Better Transport, Peter Tatchell, Caroline Lucas MP and many more groups joined us on the square to make sure our voices were heard.

Thanks so much to everyone who came down and made the rally such a success.  We’ll be keeping our eyes on the MPs to see how they vote…


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Rally for freedom of speech

October 2nd, 2013 by

rally for freedom of speech

There is one week left until MPs vote on the ‘gagging law’ for the final time before it goes to the LordsThis is a chance for MPs to stop a law which will clamp down on ordinary people’s ability to campaign on important issues.  Can you help convince them to vote the right way?

On the day of the vote, Tuesday 8th October, can you come to a rally to celebrate freedom of speech and show the government we won’t be silenced?

At midday on Tuesday hundreds of people are coming together in Parliament Square in London to celebrate all that is great about democracy. This is our chance to show all MPs just how passionate ordinary people are about their right to speak out on important issues.

It will be fun, it will be loud and it will be inspiring - MPs won’t be able to miss us and neither will the press. It’s the perfect chance to make our voices heard – just before MPs head in to vote.

If you’re on facebook and want to come along, join the event by clicking here (and then invite your friends):

Not on facebook? Just fill in the form here to let us know you’re coming:

From protecting the NHS to saving the bees to stopping the snoopers charter - people-power has achieved amazing things. And it is worth fighting for.

Many organisations like the RSPB, the Salvation Army and the Royal British Legion have spoken out against the gagging law too.  So imagine how powerful it will be for hundreds of us to come together outside parliament on the day MPs debate on the proposed law.

38 Degrees members have done an amazing job of keeping up the pressure so far: writing tens of thousands of letters to MPs, attending nearly 100 meetings and donating over £100,000 to pay for adverts and billboards.

Can you help to add to that pressure and stand with us to protect ordinary people’s right to work together to change things we care about? Please join us on Tuesday 8th October at midday if you can to celebrate freedom of speech.

Join the event on facebook: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/rally-for-freedom-of-speech
RSVP here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/rally-for-freedom-of-speech-rsvp

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Save Chopwell Woods Rally: A guest blog post

February 16th, 2011 by

Local people show their opposition to the government's plans

Photograph by Friends of Chopwell Woods

Liz Searle of Friends of Chopwell Woods helped organise a rally on Sunday. She has written a blog post for 38 Degrees to let everyone know how it went:

The Friends of Chopwell Wood and the Chopwell Wood Horse Riding Association organised a rally in Chopwell Woods on Sunday. Over 200 posters were put up more than a week before, facebook was used to spread the word, and 4000 leaflets were delivered to local villages. “Save Chopwell Wood” yellow lapel ribbons, and “I love Chopwell Wood” key rings were produced, to be given away to supporters at the rally.

The day came, the banner and gazebos went up, and the band arrived to play whilst supporters gathered. BBC and TyneTees TV crews and newspaper journalists began arriving. It was amazing to see 1200 people turn up!

The opening speech came from Paul Fountain of Friends of Chopwell Wood. He said,

“Managing a forest is a full time job not something for part-time volunteers to take on. We are already part of the Big Society, but working together and with the support of the Forestry Commission. Without FC everything we have achieved may be lost.”

Girl on a horse at the rally

Photograph by Friends of Chopwell Woods

He was followed by representatives of the Green Party, Horse Riding Association, Forestry Commission Trade Union, local Labour Councillor, Ramblers Association, and local MP David Anderson. Then the public were invited to the microphone to have their say, and some did. Everyone was against the forestry proposals included in the Public Bodies Bill and the Consultation. People queued to sign a paper version of the 38 Degrees petition that had been prepared. Eventually five points around the table were created and 700 people signed on the day, with many copies being taken away to be completed later.

Overall though we felt it was a very successful day, and we got a lot of media coverage – on both local TV news on Sunday night, and both local morning papers on Monday. Some of this may be included in the national press as there was a national photographer/jounalist attending.

Liz Searle – Friends of Chopwell Wood

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