Sarah Ventham, the chair, set the scene explaining background to the formation of Stockland Green Against the Cuts and why they had called a meeting on the issue. Dave Nellist, the ex-Labour MP, gave an impressive overview of the Bedroom Tax and how it fitted into the Coalition’s Universal Credit policy which was a general attack on the poor. He gave details of assisting individuals around the Bedroom Tax and the hated Poll Tax in 1989-1991. He pointedly mentioned that Liam Byrne, Labour’s spokeperson on such issues, had refused to give a commitment to repeal the Bedroom Tax.
The chair then a number of questions and brief comments from the audience which raised such issues of the possible eviction of tenants by the Labour Council. One comment that said we should resist any evictions by surrounding the property with hundreds of people drew considerable applause.
Edd Bauer, from Communities Against the Cuts. spoke next, he gave a broad overview of the austerity measures being implemented by the Coalition government. He spoke about the activity of Communities against the Cuts in the Council estates in the Cotteridge/Kings Norton area and the response of people to their campaign. He advocated direct action to disturb the local elites at their meetings discussing Council policy and also meetings of the Local Enterprise Zones.
In the later contributions from the floor there was a clear commitment to continue the campaign, support the Bham demonstration on the 15th June and to build up local networks to support people threatened by evictions.
Virtually everyone left their email address so we can continue the resistance to the Bedroom Tax.
I anounced the next meeting of the Erdington Against the Cuts, with Joylon Jones East Birmingham against the Cuts on the Bham Labour Council’s cuts in Children and Community services 7.30 pm Wednesday 19th June Methodist Church Station Road (next to Erdington railway station).
The campaign against the Bedroom Tax continues on Saturday 1st June with a national day of action. In Birmingham we’ll be leafleting for the protest against the Bedroom Tax, in memory of Stephanie Bottrill on Saturday 15th June.
Join us for leafleting on Saturday 1st June, from 12noon by Waterstones High St/Bullring, and on Saturday 15th June in Chamberlain Square from 12noon.