Approximately 500 nurses, healthcare workers and trade unionists gathered by the McLennan arch in Glasgow Green for the #NursesSayNo demonstration this Saturday (8th August).
The strict requests for social distancing had not put many off, as the crowd spread out onto the Green in a web of 2 metre blue ribbons. As well as ensuring a safe distance, the blue ribbon is seen by many as a potential symbol of their movement to protect the NHS and fight for fair pay.
All speakers denounced the Tories’ pay policy and the glaring hypocrisy of the “clap for the NHS” campaign, which was swiftly co-opted as a PR stunt for Boris Johnson’s failing Government. Many had warned their friends and neighbours that clapping would not suffice: an industrial and political struggle for better pay and funding is needed to keep NHS staff away from the breadline.
While the impetus for these protests may be the pay negotiations, many speakers and attendees vented years of pent-up anger at the devaluation of the nursing profession, and the demoralisation and decline of the NHS when it is in Tory hands. Chants of “enough is enough” was the watchword of the day.