Forty activists demonstrated outside the "Winning Business in the New NHS" conference at the King's Fund in central London on 29 February.
This included health workers, student nurses, community campaigners, student activists and trade unionists from other sectors. We kept up a lively presence from 8am, chanting and adorning the outside of the King's Fund with banners.
Some demonstrators made a point of engaging people going into the conference; responses varied from "I agree with you, but I have to go in; it's my job" (this included conference participants, as well as the many health workers who went in for other reasons), to angry sniping from attendees who clearly supported Andrew Lansley's bill.
One demonstrator, a student at UCL, said "I came to the demo this morning because I am against the privatisation of the NHS and as the government is refusing to listen to the healthcare workers and the public who are against the bill, I see direct action as the most effective way of getting our voices heard."
Demonstrators also leafleted passers-by with leaflets advertising the TUC's 7 March "Save the NHS" rally and Unite's parliamentary lobby on the same day.
Health Alarm, the newly-formed activist collective that organised the protest, will be calling a mobilising meeting in the next few days for activists wanting to organise more direct action to save the NHS. For more info, see healthalarm1159.wordpress.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org