View Full Version : Wanted Public Demonstrators (preferably with placards)

lynne duncan
24-Feb-04, 22:40
The "North Action Group" are organising a demonstration ( at the Labour Party Conference), to support No Downgrading at Caithness General Hospital Maternity Unit



Bus leaving Co-op Car Park, Thurso at 8.45am, and Safeway, Wick at 9.15am, leaving Inverness at 4pm.
The bus is free (although a collection will be taken) and demonstrators will also have a couple of hours free in the centre of Inverness. If you are interested, call Bill Fernie on 604648 or e-mail him at: bill@caithness.org

Bill Fernie
27-Feb-04, 23:16
North Action Group decided to cancel the Bus trip to Inverness due to the severe weather conditions in the north of Scotland and no guarantee of getting to Inverness or return by road. This helps to emphasis one major point of having consultants at Caithness General Hospital. We have said over and over again that weather is a significant factor at times in the north. Precisely when the roads are blocked is exactly when planes and helicopters may not be able to fly. The journey time is long and even longer in the back of an ambulance. The weather might stop buses or ambulances it will not stop North Action Group representing the growing voice of people in the north about their health services.
What's Happening Now?
A delegation will still go to Inverness by train consisting of George Bruce - chairman of the North Action Group, Bill Fernie - Highland councillor and member of North Action Group, Aelex Bain and Kerry Mackenzie mothers and members of the North Action Group. They will meet health minister Malcolm Chisholm at the Palace Hotel, Inverness at 12.00pm for a short meeting. Press interest has been growing all day today and the group expect to give several interviews before and after the meeting.
Extra Protest
Martin Duffy has prepared a huge placard about ten feet high by ten feet wide and will accompany the group to Inverness on the train at 6.33am. This huge placard has a cross and links the threat to maternity services with Herod and his slaughter of infants under two years old. Some or the entire group will help Martin carry the placard along to Eden Court theatre where the Labour Party conference is in progress.
Impact Study
With Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise about to commit £40,000 each - a total of £80,000 to a major impact study the stakes are being ratcheted up fast. This will be put before the Highland council meeting on Thursday 4 March and if ratified will provide a huge focus on remote rural communities in Highland and the problems likely to be caused by the withdrawal or down grading of maternity and other health services. The review will cover many aspects of possible changes to NHS services. If approved the council will move rapidly to engage the researchers and produce the impact study which is likely to be a significant document to present as evidence to health minister Malcolm Chisholm and Health Boards.
North Action Group Activites
North Action Group has only had two meetings but has already set up office services, opened a bank account and began to hear of funds being offered by other groups and individuals to help fight the case. Major letter writing campaigns are also in the process of being prepared by the new group.
A new forum type web site is to be set up shortly by Caithness.org to draw more focus and be a place that the whole community can contribute views and allow the North Action Group to issue press releases quickly and efficiently to a wide audience across the UK. This will allow everyone to contribute ideas and suggestions and make their views known in the run up to Professor Calder’s report on Maternity services.
A major protest day will also take place on Mothers Day with a rally starting at Caithness General Hospital and walking to Market Square, Wick.
Other actions will be notified both on Caithness.org and the new web site when it is up and running.
The North Action Group has been named without reference in the title to either Caithness or maternity as it was reasoned that the threats might be too much more than just maternity and the issue affects Sutherland and other counties. It is likely that a joining of forces across several other groups around Scotland may be necessary before the campaign is completed.
This is one of the fastest growing campaigns the Caithness has seen and we intend to keep the momentum going. Chairman George Bruce is issuing statements twice a week to the press and if any one from the press does not begin to receive the press releases then they should contact Bill Fernie bill@caithness.org to be added to the press release listing being added to now. All future activities and decisions will be notified via the press releases and the new web site once it is up and running. Meantime Caithness.org will continue to carry news as it is announced by the North Action Group, the Health Authorities and Highland Council.
For more information see http://www.caithness.org/eyeon/healthservicesincaithness/index.htm

What Can You Do To Help?

Send letters and emails to MSP's at the Scottish Parliament

Send donations to George Bruce - chairman of the North Action Group
Bryn Tirian, Castlegreen Road, Thurso KW14 7DN
or Tom Jackson Highland councillor and Treasurer of the North Action Group
A bank account has been opened in the name of the North Action Group and accounts will be published. Once tha campaign is over the balance of any funds unused will be handed over to the League of Friends of Caithness General Hopsital the fuind rasing group of ladies who started the campagin off before handing over to the newly created North Action Group.

Attend rallies meetings called by North Action Group in Caithness espeically the Mothers Day protests in Wick unless the Scottish Executive make announcments to keep consultant led services in Caithness. Watch for further announcements.