A Thousand March Against Bedroom Tax In Leeds

Over 1,000 people marched against the Bedroom Tax in Leeds on Saturday. The march was organised by Hands Off Our Homes who have been holding meetings in heavily affected areas throughout Leeds and is building mass Bedroom Tax resistance.

Bedroom Tax Demo 1The protest attracted a diverse range of participants from the elderly to young children, many who had not been on a protest before.

Debbie Locke, a campaigner with Hands Off Our Homes, said:

“We are delighted with the turnout, over 1000 people marching against Bedroom Tax evictions is something Leeds City Council cannot ignore. They know it does not make financial sense to evict Bedroom Tax victims, they can save these people huge anxiety by making this commitment now.”

At a rally after the demonstration the crowd heard from those hit by the Bedroom Tax.

Jenny, who has a degenerative neurological condition, and is affected by the tax told the crowd:

“It’s Leeds City Council who are forcing us to move out on to the streets – because there is nowhere for us to go. We haven’t got the money, we’re not going to be able to pay this.”

Annette a tenant in work who is affected because she receives housing benefit to top up low wages said:

“My wages leave me with bugger all, I can’t pay it and I won’t pay it.”

Carole O’Keefe, herself affected after being homeless until last year and housed in a two bed highrise flat is involved in Hands Off Our Homes’ Armley group, addressing the crowds outside Leeds City Art Gallery said:

“We’ve been leafleting outside schools in Armley and I can’t believe what people are going through. We’ve been hearing some dreadful stories about young families that are going to be forced onto the streets. These are people with young kids who are already facing fuel and food poverty and that to me is unacceptable. There is such a strength of feeling about this.”