This blog cannot and does not speak for the myriad autonomous anti-bedroom tax groups across merseyside and the UK.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Merseyside Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation

Merseyside anti-bedroom tax groups on the march

It’s been a tense slog but after months of meetings and discussion: today, anti-bedroom tax groups across Merseyside met to conclusively set in place the Merseyside Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation.

The federation is run by the members of local groups through a meeting of local group-mandated, recallable delegates. Delegate meetings are open, but only group-mandated delegates can vote. A one group one vote system is in place. Organisations (trade unions, etc) are encouraged to affiliate and participate with/within their local anti-bedroom tax group.

Federation delegates elected recallable officers to the following roles:

Chair – Celia Ralph (Dingle Combat the Bedroom Tax)
Secretary – Juliet Edgar (ReClaim Anti-Bedroom Tax Group)
Treasurer – Andrea Wall (Stand Up In Halton)
Press Officer – (Paul Jones, Dingle Combat the Bedroom Tax; Paul Cooke: ReClaim Anti-Bedroom Tax Group)

On attempts to divide working class people:
"The Federation stands in solidarity with all those fighting the cuts to the welfare state, and against those who wish to divide us. We will brook no such attempts, on the grounds of race, religion, gender, status, or any other spurious grounds [to divide the working class]"
On this basis, the Merseyside Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation have adopted the following anti-oppression statement:
"The bedroom tax is an attack on the working class and affects people of all races, nationalities, genders and sexualities. In order to prevent people of colour (PoC), migrants, women, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) and people with disabilities (sensory, mental & physical) from being excluded, we cannot allow far right organisations like the EDL, BNP and the National Front, who act to threaten and discriminate against people on the basis of race, nationality, gender and sexuality, to gain a foothold in the movement.
  • As a federation, we will not associate with racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise oppressive organisations and/or their members 
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic organisations and/or their members are not welcome at meetings, demonstrations or other events that the federation or its member groups have organised. 
  • The federation will not support or promote events or local groups that involve racist, sexist and homophobic organisations."
On fighting the bedroom tax: 
"The federation will fight these iniquitous cuts, starting with the bedroom tax, by any means necessary. This may include a non-payment campaign and direct actions: it is better to break the law than to break the poor."
(The above is a composite of the Merseyside Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation founding motion & anti-oppression statement. Fully amended copies of the motion will be made available during the week.)
The fight against the bedroom tax reaches a crucial stage over the next few months, as a bedroom tax eviction battle looms on Merseyside. With a federation in place and with continuing efforts to strengthen the movement, we've just taken a level-up in a rapidly escalating class war.

Next federation delegate meeting is Sat 1st of June.

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