British anti-bedroom tax demonstrations

Anti-bedroom tax demonstrators

By Peter Lazenby and Malcolm Burns in Britain:

Britain unites to axe bedroom tax

Sunday 31 March 2013

Protests swept Britain on Saturday as demonstrators took to the streets in more than 50 towns and cities to oppose the coalition government’s vicious bedroom tax.

From Bristol to Bradford, London to Liverpool, across Scotland and the north of Ireland, thousands demonstrated against the Con-Dems‘ latest attack on the poorest and most vulnerable.

The tax financially penalises social and council tenants deemed to have a “spare” room – or forces them to move to a smaller property.

If tenants refuse they face eviction. It will hit 650,000 people.

Resistance campaigns have sprung up across Britain, and on Saturday they made their voice heard.

Campaigners massed in Whitehall, London, and placed banners on the railings of Downing Street reading: “Axe the tax” and “David Cameron, blood on your hands.”

Thousands assembled outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, and in Glasgow 5,000 protesters marched from Glasgow Green to join a crowd assembled in historic George Square where the crowd heard passionate speeches.

“We know who the ratbags are – and we’re sending in the ratcatchers!” said anti-bedroom tax campaign leader Fiona Jordan.

“There will be no evictions, because there will be no bedroom tax!”

Scottish Co-operative Party chairwoman Mary Lockhart said 80 per cent of those affected will be people with disabilities, and women would be worst-hit.

Scottish TUC assistant secretary Helen Martin warned Scotland’s government: “We expect you to be the first line of defence for the Scottish people, to stand up and put our money where your mouth is – fund the benefits gap and ensure no evictions.”

MPs and MSPs took part in the march and rally. Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Anas Sarwar said the bedroom tax was “a piece of backward ideological thinking from a Tory government.”

John McFarlane of Dundee Campaign against the Bedroom Tax said: “We have already won our first victory – we forced Dundee City Council to say there will be no evictions as a result of the bedroom tax for a year,” said Mr McFarlane. “But that’s not good enough – it must be no evictions ever.”

The campaign against the tax has growing support from trade unions.

In Leeds, Communications Workers Union flags flew as protesters gathered on the steps of the town hall and protesters chanted: “Axe the tax!”

Unite leader Len McCluskey has called on the union’s branches to support the protests – and more demonstrations are planned.

In Liverpool hundreds of protesters from communities across the city marched against the tax.

Resistance is spreading to councils whose tenants will be hit.

Eleven councils have pledged not to evict tenants in arrears due to the tax. Nottingham council has redesignated all tower-block flats as one-bedroom dwellings to protect tenants.

See also here.

A section of Saturday’s Demonstration in Norwich against the ‘Bedroom Tax’

A letter to the editor of daily The Morning Star says:

There’s still time to defeat the bedroom tax

Sunday 31 March 2013

The fight to defeat the bedroom tax continues.

On Sunday April 7 tenants and trade unionists will meet in the Carman Centre in “red” Renton to discuss strategy and tactics with national speakers.

Dave Moxham from the STUC and the Govan Law Centre’s Mike Dailly, who took the petition against the tax to the Scottish Parliament, will speak along with local activists.

The growing alliance between community and trade union activists in West Dunbartonshire and beyond will fight tooth and nail against the welfare reforms imposed by this government of the capitalist class on workers and the unemployed.

Such alliances should be joined by any politician who claims to represent their working-class constituency as we seek to channel the rage felt at grassroots level into a national movement for real political change.

The meeting starts at 11am sharp and all are welcome.

George McFarlane, Vale of Tenants Association

Tom Morrison, Secretary, Clydebank TUC


15 thoughts on “British anti-bedroom tax demonstrations

  1. Another GREAT blog..
    This will kill many people in a fiscal way and send people to the streets.
    We must all stand up and say “No” and get this broken Con/Libdem pact gone!

    Etonite Snobs!!


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