Fighting the Poll Tax in Glasgow

There are over 40 anti-Poll Tax groups in Glasgow in most of the working class areas, including Drumchapel, Castlemilk, Maryhill, Govan, Govanhill and Pollok. The Pollok group in particular is big. Hundreds at­tend the meetings and it has mass support in the community. All these groups are outside the Labour Party's 'Stop It' cam­paign which has done nothing apart from produce a leaflet, make a record and get publicity on TV.

The local groups are an alliance of left groups, the Labour left, tenants' groups, community groups and ordinary people who form the majority. A conference is being held on 10 July.

The conference will be a for­um for activists to get together and hammer out strategies for the future. It is open to everyone. There will be workshops on for­cing Labour councils not to im­plement the tax; civil liberties; building resistance in the trade unions; building community resistance; and the lessons of history.

In most areas the Poll Tax snoopers have been round with their forms. In some areas successful campaigns of non-­registration are under way. In Govan the local campaign is get­ting one person in every street not to register to provide a focus for community solidarity and strength.

Labour-controlled Strathclyde Regional Council has begun to send out letters inform­ing people that they are being fined. Along with this letter, they are sending another letter saying that they are 'opposed' to the Poll Tax and do not like what they are doing. Hypocrisy is hardly the word for this.

It is clear that the resistance to the Poll Tax will have to fight the Labour councils who put Kinnock's political career and their own necks before the needs of working class people in Scotland.

Graham Johnson

FRFI 79 July 1988


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