Operating Theatre

We love a good medical drama and on the 28th May, we’ll be making our own. UK Uncut’s Emergency Operation will see people transforming our broken banks into ‘centres of excellence’ and demanding that the government cut off the life support of the banks and instead, put patients first.

We’ll be turning the inside of bank branches into field hospitals, operating theatres, walk in clinics, GP surgeries… we know from the Big Society Bail-In back in February, that the bank branch is a pretty sterile environment, so what we can do to make it an action to remember?

Here are some of the brilliant suggestions we’ve heard about on the grapevine so far:

Perform a transplant – extract tax-payers money from the banker and replace it with a healthy heart: our precious principle of Universal Health Care. Have someone be a banker – bring some kitchen utensils (nothing sharp – spatulas and whisks will do!) and perform a montypython style operation.

Contact staff in your local GP surgeries, hospitals and paramedics or even St Johns Ambulance – invite them to come along and share basic first aid skills. Listen to their stories.

Up and down the UK there are groups of wonderful volunteers known as ‘Friends’ supporting the work of their local hospitals, staff, patients and their families. ‘Friends’ organise fundraising events and offer a tea trolley, maybe run a little shop. They are always on hand for a chat and are basically awesome. Why not take inspiration from these ‘Society of Friends’ / community volunteers and ‘befriend your local hospital’ – hold a social by bringing in board games and run a NHS quiz, host a bric&brac sale, bring flasks of tea, goodies and good cheer.

UK Uncut occupations have always enjoyed a LOT of creativity – from people bringing their music , poetry, costumes and plays to the actions! On March26 UK Uncut and Art Uncut hosted a BHS arts occupation. So Musicians and Sound artists – why not create a set to be performed live or create a downloadable podcast under the banner ‘Hospital Radio’?

Stage a Protest Sing Song – create a group singing activity – host a cuts karaoke! Change the lyrics to well known hits and give it your best Julie Andrews. Remember your songsheets and if you have them – portable speakers!

Stage a read-in of scenes from your favourite hospital drama – or anti-cuts plays. Create a mini Emergency Operation Theatre inside your local bank – and re-create memorable NHS related comedy sketches. (Don’t forget to Drinka Pinta Milka day and the machine that goes PIIING!)
Write your own NHS protest drama – don’t forget the essential medical jargon: an ER favourite: “Acute MI”*

Get your local anti-cuts groups, direct activists, trade union branches and bank customers/passers to get together to listen to the personal testimonies of NHS staff, hospital workers, patients and their families. Hold a meeting to plan your next action, and air YOUR views on why need to save the NHS from the Governments ‘efficiency savings’ (cuts) and ‘reform’ (privatisation through the back door) – record this meeting, stick it on the web and send it to Andrew Lansley (tosser).

The principles of the NHS were to provide a comprehensive service funded by taxation, available to all and free at the time of need. Stage a teach-in and learn more about the creation of the NHS, about tax avoidance, about how £1.2 trillion of taxpayers’ money was used to bail out the banking sector and their role in the crisis. Learn more about the principle we are fighting for: Universal Health Care – and brainstorm what we can do to stop it being destroyed by the Coalition.

Keep the suggestions coming in, create flyers in PDF format, write plays and sketches and record podcasts and we can post them up on the website for uncutters to use around the country.

Buy/make costumes and bandages, paint banners and print leaflets for passers by, customers, and workers in the bank branches. Talk to your friends, family and local groups/unions/workers. Bring your kids. Think BIG, get creative, speak to staff in your local hospital, ask for meetings you’d never normally ask for; lets get together for the NHS. This IS an emergency.

See you on the high streets.

*Acute MI: Acute Monetary Insufficiency, ie, not enough to pay gargantuan medical expenses (from US medical drama: ER)