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Two Demonstrations on Guildford High Street

Published on: 10 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 12 Mar, 2024

“Keep Our NHS Public” Demonstrators

Visitors to Guildford High Street last Saturday morning were met with two demonstrations.

March 9 was “Keep Our NHS Public” (KONP) Day and the first such event held in Guildford designed according to organiser John Redpath, a former R4GV borough councillor: “to make people aware of long waiting lists and continued insufficient action by successive governments is forcing those who can afford it, or have purchased medical insurance, to use privatised health services.”

One of the protestors on the demonstration held outside the Guildhall suggested this was creating a two-tier health system in the country, to the detriment of those less well off.

Other KONP events were also held around the country including London, Portsmouth, Birmingham and Brighton.

Mr Redpath and fellow organiser Sonya Hinton stressed their view of importance of keeping the NHS in the public eye and making sure the public is aware of the continual threat it’s under. Redpath said that they were already considering a bigger and more organised event next year.

Among those who attended were GBC councillors Howard Smith (Lab, Westborough) and Maddy Redpath (R4GV, Castle Ward) and former Guildford Labour party chair Brian Creese.

The Just Stop Oil Protest

On the same day, a little further up the High Street outside Holy Trinity Church, a protest was held by Just Stop Oil.  Protesters formed a circle in the High Street and were interviewed by students making a documentary about demonstrations for their course at the University for the Creative Arts Farnham (seen on the steps to the church in the photograph).

It’s unknown whether those taking part in the protest were also from UCA. Disruption to traffic, the cause of confrontations with angry motorists in the past, was negligible as the High Street is pedestrianised during the day and there was no sign of any super glue tactics previously employed by Extinction Rebellion Barclays Bank in North Street.

The mood of the protests was good with many shoppers stopping for a chat and to take leaflets from the demonstrators.

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