Anti-cuts campaigners in Islington Green on Saturday
Published: 29 May, 2015
by AMY SMITH
CAMPAIGNERS rallied against council cutbacks in Islington Green on Saturday ahead of a national “end austerity” protest on June 20 in the capital.
Islington Trades Union Council, the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition and Islington Hands Off Our Public Services (IHOOPS) joined the protest.
Islington National Union of Teachers NUT official Ken Muller warned the Town Hall is expecting at least £90million of cuts in services within the next few years.
He said: “The only work available will be for people on zero-hours contracts serving the needs and the whims of the rich. Unimportant people like teachers, nurses and firefighters won’t be able to live in the borough that many grew up in.”
He added that the borough is being “socially cleansed” and monopolised by the rich.
George Hollis-Coleman, who lives in Newington Green but grew up in Ferguson, Missouri, told the protest: “My childhood was spent in the US, where people are left to die for lack of medical insurance.
“In St Louis, a man was dumped in a park by the private ambulance service after being turned away from several emergency departments and was found dead the next day. This is what could happen if the NHS is allowed to fully privatise.”
Katherine Igidbashian, a London Met student, spoke about a strike at the university over plans to reduce the size and scope of the college in Holloway Road.
She said: “We’re facing 165 redundancies. They’re put through so many cuts in the last few years. It’s not working. The term ‘spiral of decline’ couldn’t be more apt. A staff survey showed that a high percentage of staff don’t have confidence in management. There’s a high level of stress-related illnesses in staff.
“The NUS have been great. Other students are sympathetic but it’s exam time. I have an exam on metabolic biochemistry this Wednesday but it was really important to me to make a stand here today. I’m going back to the library to revise now.”