Whittington march: Join thousands of people marching to stop the hospital sell-off

Dust off your placards, pack your megaphone, wrap up warm and get ready to help save the Whittington Hospital on Saturday.

Thousands of people are expected to march through the streets in a bid to stop health bosses selling off almost a third of the hospital’s site.

And organiser Shirley Franklin, chairman of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, wants to make sure everyone knows where to go and what to bring so they can help make the march a success.

Everyone should meet outside Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, off Holloway Road, Islington, at 11.30am so the march can set off at noon.

Feel free to bring your own placards, megaphones and whistles, but do not worry if you do not have any, as the campaign coalition and the Ham&High’s Hands Off Our Whittington campaign will be bringing plenty of placards for people to borrow on the day.

The march will proceed up Holloway Road towards the Whittington Hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, stopping twice to allow any disabled protesters to board a campaign bus at the head of the procession.

The Ham&High and sister papers the Ham&High Broadway and Islington Gazette will also have our very own Routemaster bus.

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The march organisers will lead chants along the way, with campaign cries including “Our hospital is not for sale!”, “When they say cutbacks, we are fighting back!”, and “Whose hospital? Our hospital!”

The march will end with a rally outside the Whittington where, from about 1.15pm, speakers such as author and commentator Owen Jones and MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Emily Thornberry and Glenda Jackson, will explain why parts of the hospital must not be chipped away.

Ms Franklin said: “We had 5,000 protesters last time and we are hoping there will be substantially more this time. The campaign has had a tremendous resonance. Our leaflets are flying like hotcakes.”

Ms Franklin also issued a few tips on how protesters can stay comfortable.

She said: “Dress warmly, wear flat shoes and put on an extra pair of socks because it can get cold. Bring a bottle of water and snacks and bring waterproof clothing but not umbrellas, as it will be crowded.

“And go to the loo beforehand as there are no organised toilet points.”

Anybody who would like to volunteer as a steward should email their details to defendwhittington@gmail.com and then present themselves at the Highbury Corner end of Highbury Fields by 11am on Saturday for training.

People are reminded not to leave any litter behind on the day and to hand back their placards after the rally.

The front entrance of The Whittington Hospital will be closed between 1pm and 3pm on Saturday. Patients should use the accident and emergency entrance off Highgate Hill, Highgate.

* If you would like to join the Ham&High and Broadway teams onboard the Hands Off Our Whittington Routemaster bus, contact the newsdesk on 020 7433 6215. There’s plenty of space and we are hoping to have a choir singing.

* You can also follow live coverage of the march on the Ham&High’s twitter feed @HamandHigh. Don’t forgot to tweet us your news, views and pictures on the day using the #savethewhittington hashtag

* Breaking news stories and picture galleries will be posted on the Ham&High’s website at www.hamhigh.co.uk

* You can also catch up on our extensive coverage of the broader issues on our webpage at hamhigh.co.uk/whittington