A CAMPAIGN team was out on Southall Broadway yesterday fighting for this Wednesday’s march and occupation to stop the closure of Ealing Hospital Maternity Unit.
At the same time, campaigners were visiting shops to get them to close for two hours on Wednesday as well as visiting Gurdwaras, temples, churches and mosques in Southall to win more support. At the occupation of the maternity department entrance, community care worker and local mum Sati Ghataura said: ‘I have joined the occupation because I so firmly believe in saving our hospital.
‘It is the heart of the community. I’m going to be on the march myself and I’m going to encourage everyone I know as well. My whole family relies on Ealing Hospital and I am thinking of applying to work here myself.’
JIB-qualified electrician and Southall resident Mohammed Mustaque Hossein said: ‘I am the head of the family but I have to go away for my work, sometimes very far from home. This hospital is nearby my home, meaning that my wife and children can come here at any time and give me peace of mind that they will be OK when I’m away. I am fully supporting this programme of marching and occupying to maintain this hospital.’
On Southall Broadway, GMB member Zahida Abbas Noori said: ‘This is a very serious community issue. They are removing a frontline service from the community of Southall, making them very vulnerable. I am speaking to the Southall Chamber of Commerce and requesting them that they urge all the shopkeepers to show solidarity and close their doors for two hours on Wednesday. I am also contacting Asian media to help us to highlight what is happening and to join the march on Wednesday 1st July.’
Ahmed Waseen said: ‘If we remove these local facilities, the community suffers too much. I’m actively participating to support the campaign. We have to have a mass march on Wednesday.’
Uxbridge garage bus driver Mohammed Butt said: ‘I’ll speak to other drivers and fight for them to support the march. Closure is a disaster, it is unbelievable. We should definitely stop work on the day. The government are going to demolish our hospital, we’ve never heard of such things, even in developing countries. We have to stop them.’