For the benefit sanctions day of action, we held a stall near the Stonebow House Job Centre. Unite Community Section sent us lots of resources, including their advice leaflets. Within minutes we’d met people who had faced sanctions, and the bedroom tax was also a common theme. One woman’s sister had received a bedroom tax demand just 2 weeks after her 10 year old son died. The stall was busy throughout, with a lot of support.
As People’s Assemblies and welfare campaigners across Britain took to the streets, York got out its sleeping bags. Around 20 people took part, including a euro election candidate and two families with small children. Almost 250 passers-by stopped to sign our petition in just 90 minutes. Supporters of the bedroom tax were massively outnumbered by support for ending this injustice.
The protest started with a press photo (see York Press) on the steps of the city’s Mansion House, highlighting the gross inequality between those being evicted and those, like Tory housing minister Grant Shapps, who can afford vastly oversized homes.