Reposted with permission from Andrew Fisher first posted on the LRC website.
Saturday’s protests against the bedroom tax were pretty impressive. Nearly 60 demonstrations held across the UK – with sizeable marches in some cities (like Manchester and Liverpool). In Croydon about 60 people turned up to a lively demo – with support from the Leader of the Labour group on the council, the local trades council, local DPAC group and other activists.
The government is on the back foot on this issue – surprised by the public backlash. This has enabled the Labour frontbench – less than confidently at times – to oppose it too. The public campaigning pressure has helped.
While some concessions have already been won, these affect only a few thousand of the 660,000 households hit.
So what can we do in the next two weeks before the Bedroom Tax comes in on 1 April?
1) Keep badgering MPs – especially if you have a Tory or Lib Dem MP. Write them a letter, email and tweet them and encourage others too. They need to feel bombarded – write to the local press too.
2) Badger your local council and councillors. Thanks to this question asked by Labour MP Chi Onwurah, we know that it’s up to councils to decide whether there’s a spare room or not. Councils and housing associations can simply reclassify the property. And don’t let them tell you it can’t be done, Knowsley Housing Trust has done it. If not then get them to make the same commitment that Brighton & Hove Council has made.
4) Support those facing the bedroom tax. In terms of direct action – the groups that came together on 16 March should stay in touch ane be prepared to block bailiffs, picket councillors and coalition MPs until this tax is withdrawn.
5) Break the system. Mass appeals will clog up the system, delay the bedroom tax and may make politicians realise that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. See this excellent site for how people affected can block, delay and generally irritate those imposing the bedroom tax.
5) Get other people angry about the bedroom tax. Share this image on Facebook and Twitter. Over 25,000 people have already shared it on Facebook alone. Tell your friends, and share this blog.