:: Friday, October 30, 2009 ::

We're No' Payin'

20 Years Since the Poll Tax

This weekend if you are in Edinburgh and have a spare couple of hours you should get down to the wonderful Out of the Blue in Leith. For this weekend is the annual Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair. There are some great speakers, tons of books, posters, papers and zines to buy and a fantastic exhibition to view.

I went down on Wednesday night to check out the opening of the exhibition which celebrates twenty years since the movement against the poll tax. The exhibition looks at how street level community organising harnessed mass rage against the tax. Banners, leaflets and badges only tell some of the story. Check out the pictures of the mass blockades of streets in working class communities to block sheriff officers trying to carry out poindings (the valuation of goods prior to a warrant sale.) There was also a meeting with speakers recalling how the Anti Poll-Tax Unions got organised. Had a chuckle when an old comrade slapped a Militant - Pay No Poll Tax sticker on me that he found in his house.

Mass non-payment and mobilisation of communities ensured the end of the tax and the end of Mrs Thatcher. Twenty years on with mass unemployment, the prospect of huge cuts in public spending and fascism on the rise, we could do with some inspiration.

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