Protesters in Central London targeted Virgin and Sainsbury’s stores this Saturday as part of Keep Our NHS Public’s National Day of Action against private companies profiteering from our NHS.
Dozens of protesters arrived at the Virgin media store on Oxford Street to find that the store had been pre-emptively closed. Having part of their task done for them, protesters stood outside and handed out leaflets and talked to passers by about Richard Branson’s plans to make himself more millions out of our health services.
Conveniently, there is also a Virgin gym just opposite the media store which protesters attempted to occupy but were prevented from doing so by security who closed the entrance to the plaza.
As one protester commented – ‘Virgin trains smell really bad’. There were strong sounds of agreement for this statement. Do we really want this company anywhere near our NHS?
Sainsbury’s is another high street store that is looking to take over our NHS services to further boost their profits. They are currently bidding to deliver pharmacy services at 3 south London hospitals – Guy’s, St Thomas’ and King’s. Sainsbury’s workers made the company profits of £712 million in 2011/2012 yet the company pays poverty wages. A company that shows such contempt for its own workers will look to repeat these inequalities and injustices in our health system.
The protesters occupied a Sainsbury’s and remained there for 20 minutes speaking with staff and customers about why they were there. On leaving they warned that they would return until Sainsbury’s withdrew its bid for our NHS services.
This is the beginning of a direct action campaign against companies who are trying to privatise our NHS.
Check the Keep Our NHS Public website for further actions or organise an action on your local high street.