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No Poll Tax

October 6, 2012

The campaign against the Poll Tax twenty years ago was a massive nationwide campaign. “Can’t Pay – Won’t Pay” was the slogan of the thousands of Anti Poll Tax Unions. There was a big campaign of non payment in East London which organised meetings and supported people if they were summoned to court for non payment or threatened by Bailiffs. Militant was the principle organisation behind the mass non payment campaign. The Anti PollĀ  Tax Unions took to the courts where around 20 million people were summoned. They were supported in the courts by Militant supporters and entire courts grinded to a halt and lawyers volunteered to take up appeals. Local meetings were held on estates and a great feeling of solidarity was created in working class communities against Thatcher’s tax. Eventually the tax was defeated and substantial damage was inflicted on the Government. Rarely has a mass campaign permeated so deeply into society with such an impact. The Pay No Poll Tax campaign demonstrated the potential power of solidarity against a repressive government.

Tower Hamlets activists at a Glasgow demonstration against the tax, 1990

Tower Hamlets activists at a Glasgow demonstration against the tax, 1990

Public organising meeting against the Poll Tax. The Davenant Centre, East London

Public organising meeting against the Poll Tax. The Davenant Centre, East Lon

Voting for a mass campaign of non payment. The Davenant Centre, East London 1990

Voting for a mass campaign of non payment. The Davenant Centre, East London 1990

Children with a message. Chicksand estate, Tower Hamlets 1990

Children with a message. Chicksand estate, Tower Hamlets 1990

Children with a message. Chicksand estate, Tower Hamlets 1990

Children with a message. Chicksand estate, Tower Hamlets 1990

No Poll Tax meeting with a local councillor. East London 1990

No Poll Tax meeting with a local councillor. East London 1990

East London activists demonstrating in Glasgow, 1990

East London activists demonstrating in Glasgow, 1990

Campaigners outside the home of Horif Miah who was threatened with bailiffs. East London 1991

Campaigners outside the home of Horif Miah who was threatened with bailiffs. East London 1991

Campaigners outside the home of Horif Miah who was threatened with bailiffs. East London 1991

Campaigners outside the home of Horif Miah who was threatened with bailiffs. East London 1991

Anti Poll Tax messages. Glasgow 1990

Anti Poll Tax messages. Glasgow 1990

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Bev permalink
    October 6, 2012

    Wow – this brings back some memories. Wonderful collection Phil xx

  2. October 7, 2012

    Great photos Phil, and great memories, more to come soon hopefully!

  3. lii kamali permalink
    November 10, 2013

    wow! picture 4 and 5 are all the kids that used to live in Casson House and Chicksand House. They are all in their late 20′s and thirties and moved out of the estate. Most are married with kids of their own. The man with the moustache on the 5th picture is called Raja Miah and I think he was a councilor but not 100% sure. He used to live on the 2nd floor of Chicksand House. It brings back such great memories of my childhood :)

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