The fight against the Bedroom Tax stepped up this Saturday with campaign groups from across England and Wales linking up to co-ordinate national action at the second Benefit Justice Summit.
350 people from 37 area campaigns and another 37 organisations, trade unions and other groups, came to the Benefit Justice Summit 2, making it the most representative meeting so far of the anti-Bedroom tax and benefit cuts campaigns.
A steering group will now move to federate these and other local campaigns, to co-ordinate action and beat the Bedroom Tax.
A national wave of co-ordinated protests is planned for 1 June. Anti Bedroom Tax marches and protests across Britain will coincide with protests across Europe against austerity.
The Summit agreed a ten-point action plan, demanding that Councils and other landlords do not evict tenants due to benefit cuts, with plans for direct action, lobbying and mass protests to resist evictions and bailiffs.
Liz Kitching of Leeds anti Bedroom Tax campaign Hands Off our Homes, met former Conservative Minister Norman Fowler on the train as she travelled to the Benefit Justice Summit in London. She confronted him: “I told him I was evicted with my two small girls in 1980s, due to his social security cuts – and now IDS wants to evict me again. They will not steal our babies’ bedrooms.”
Maria Brabiner, Greater Manchester against the Bedroom Tax, told the Summit: “How dare they call us shirkers? Our parents survived the war by rationing food and heating. This government has declared war on its own people.”
Other speakers included John McDonnell MP, Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary, Steve Clarke of Welsh Tenants organisation, Sean McGovern chair of the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee and Disability representative to Unite Executive Council, and Ian Hodson of the Bakers Union.
Barrister Liz Davies, Ciara Doyle and Andy Green of Disabled People Against Cuts, and a Spanish anti-eviction campaigner led workshop sessions.
Angela McCormick brought solidarity greetings from the recently formed All Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation.
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