Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/771/16994
Lessons for today from an anti-poll tax bailiff buster
Elaine Brunskill, Newcastle Socialist Party
During the mighty anti-poll tax campaign I was a Bailiff Buster. In Gateshead most of us were feisty woman who were determined not to let any bailiff get past us - and they never did!
At one house I vividly recall standing shoulder to shoulder with a group of Bailiff Busters to defend a woman's belongings. The burly looking bailiff had the tables turned on him, he was now the one being intimidated.
Some women were holding baseball bats, though I'm sure these were for playing on the field with their children later in the day! Children from the estate also upset the bailiff by shoving pebbles into the exhaust of his car.
The bailiff implored us to stop the children, but unfortunately we couldn't remember who the children were.
The following day the bailiff returned unannounced at the woman's door. He just wanted her to know that he had handed in his notice, he couldn't take the hassle of being confronted by Bailiff Busters.
He also pleaded with the householder if she would let everyone from the estate know he was no longer a bailiff!
Now, over 20 years later, people from working class communities are again facing a vicious government. Just like the poll tax, the bedroom tax is a blatant attempt to transfer wealth from the poorest to the richest in society, and just like the poll tax this iniquitous bedroom tax can be defeated.
As part of the campaign to beat the bedroom tax, we need to set up anti-eviction armies in every community where councils or housing associations are threatening to carry out evictions. Don't just get angry, get organised!
In The Socialist 26 June 2013:
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