Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: The fight to stop the Poll Tax

We are once again in very similar territory, with the tories unassailable at the polls, having the overwhelming support of the media and aspirational petty bourgeois. The labour party as ever is occupied with internal power (!) struggles, the left has its own agenda and it is not ours. Notwithstanding all this, the poll tax was beaten by pissed-off Working Class people with a combination of refusal, obstruction and civil disorder.

What is the wheel on which we can break the present regime? It could be resistance to deportations of our neighbours and colleagues, it could be the failure to deal with the environmental catastrophe, the failure of public transport, precarity or anything, really.

The lesson of the poll tax is that autonomous, grassroots, solidarity organising works!

Facebook event page:

Thursday, 26 March 2020 from 18:30-20:00
Freedom Bookshop
84B Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX London, United Kingdom

Thirty years ago, a social movement helped bring down one of the most powerful British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century. For the 30th anniversary of the Poll Tax rebellion, Simon Hannah looks back on those tumultuous days of resistance, telling the story of the people that beat the bailiffs, rioted for their rights and defied a government.

Starting in Scotland where the ‘Community Charge’ was first trialled, Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay immerses the reader in the gritty history of the rebellion. Amidst the drama of large scale protests and blockaded estates a number of key figures and groups emerge: Neil Kinnock and Tommy Sheridan; Militant, Class War and the Metropolitan Police.

Assessing this legacy today, Hannah demonstrates the centrality of the Poll Tax resistance as a key chapter…

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