THE BLOG
11/10/2011 11:16 BST | Updated 10/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Sunday was About More Than the NHS

More than 2,000 people staged a sit-down protest on Westminster Bridge from 1pm on Sunday to highlight the health and social care bill, which is due to go before the Lords this week.

More than 2,000 people staged a sit-down protest on Westminster Bridge from 1pm on Sunday to highlight the health and social care bill, which is due to go before the Lords this week.

As Big Ben struck 1pm protesters unfurled banners and sat down, blocking the bridge in both directions as hundreds of police looked on.

The popularity of the cause attracted people from the most diverse backgrounds. Seasoned activists, celebrities, college students, families ,trade unionists, unemployed and pensioners stood side by side to reclaim OUR NHS.

UK Uncut, the anti-cuts group which organised the Block the Bridge, Block the Bill demonstration showed a truly creative and innovative way to approach social mobilisation. The atmosphere on the day resembled that of a street party. The comedy bloc, featuring great acts such as Mark Thomas and Josie Long had a sound system powered by attendees biking.

The kids bloc had devised a giant monopoly board where, what was on sale were the different parts of the NHS. Some people were jamming to the captivating beats of the Samba band, or banner painting.

The second reading of the bill on Tuesday and Wednesday has more than 80 peers tabled to speak. As pressure, from all directions, is mounting on the Lord's vote, Sunday's demonstration was aimed at showing that beyond no mandate from the medical community this bill has next to none popular backing either. Whichever the outcome of Wednesday's vote may be, the legacy of the day will not exhaust itself then.

Later in the day protestors took part in an assembly under the banner 'occupy London' in which the occupation of London Stock Exchange due to take place on Saturday was discussed.

Inspired by the actions of the Wall Street protesters on the 15th of October people across the globe from Ireland to Sydney, to Chile, to Italy, Greece and London will peacefully demonstrate in the financial districts of their cities to initiate 'global change'. This day is aimed at linking together all the resistance movements opposing austerity and structural adjustment which are currently taking place at an international level.

The political world in the UK has been at an unrest for quite sometime now. Other than being genuinely uplifting,  the past months , pinpointed by demonstrations occupations and strikes are also symptomatic of something much bigger which is underway.

While the student movement has undoubtedly been one of the defining aspects of last year's anti cuts protests, the next weeks will see the development of a broad issue and further more decentralised form of resistance.

These new global uprisings, still in the pangs of birth, will have to confront several challenges. The key question facing them is : will they be able to construct an alternative to the system they criticise? While there is no short term answer to this; where these movements have already succeeded has been in changing the way society perceives politics.

Public assemblies, which have increasingly become the core of these protests, are opening up new means of doing politics. These are based on the idea that "politics" is not only nor principally a profession - the "business" of the so-called political class - but rather that politics is the only way we have to resolve problems collectively.