Stop the Bedroom Tax – Newcastle Rally


The delegation from Scotland consisted of Susan Archibald, Citizen Smart and myself – all travelling down in Susan’s van.  Arriving at Newcastle Civic Centre dead on 1.30pm we were delighted to find such a huge crowd milling , waiting, banners at the ready. Wheelchairs, buggies of all shapes and sizes. White canes, a Guide Dog, police, children and people with all their faculties in tact.

pic courtesy of Gail Ward

pic courtesy of Gail Ward

A buzz of excited anticipation greeted us. It was a little unfortunate that the police directed us along a road which was blocked by a locked electric barrier which was not for moving. Bit of clever limbo manoeuvres got everyone through. Spreading ourselves out along the pavement we made our way chanting towards the pedestrian crossing. Being at the front we had no idea that the back of the march got caught as the lights changed to red. Thinking about it afterwards it would have been in the spirit of the day if the police had just stopped the traffic for a few minutes.

Making our way up through town, weaving around bollards in the precinct, expertly guided by officers in their high vis jackets we arrived at Grays Monument. it was hot. Very hot. Gail Ward, our MC, brought the speakers on. Some disabled, some not, but all had a message to share and they were all passionate in their words. Some only spoke a few words, while others could have gone all day such was their message.

Citizen Smart entertained us with his music especially written for the day. People sang, clapped and stomped their feet where they could. The whole atmosphere was quite amazing. Peaceful yet powerful. Anger, outrage even, with a few tears from a lady standing next to me. People came and listened because they care. They took part because they will be affected and they joined in one voice.

Pat x

Videos’ of the Newcastle event can be found here

Evening chronicle report here  –  ‘Bedroom tax’ demonstrators protest in Newcastle

Many thanks to all those that helped organise this event



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3 Responses to “Stop the Bedroom Tax – Newcastle Rally”

  1. Annie Bishop says:

    I took part because I care not because I am affected

  2. Hazel Quinn says:

    I forgot about the limbo-ing under the barrier! Yes, it was a great day and fantastic that there was the Scottish contingent joining up. Susan A. flying the Saltire from her scooter! SO good to have you, Pat, there too. Like Annie in the previous comment I’m not personally affected but it IS affecting disabled people and the poorest and some of the most vulnerable citzens disproportionately and the suffering is TOO much. We can but keep at them…. x

  3. Joy Chalton says:

    I would like to join the fight against the government’s unfair ruling on the bedroom tax. The local council is using my husband’s DLA to pay for the second bedroom in our home where we keep his medical equipment and I have to sleep due to sleep apnea. I am his full time carer. Three days ago I had to have an operation on my hand so am one handed for at least six weeks. We are not coping because have no income to pay for help. Either for my husband’s or my care, or home/garden maintenance, laundry or meal preparation. Relatively new to the area, we have no friends or family close by with the exception of my husband’s 80 year old mum who isn’t well either. The stress and depression from this situation has been overwhelming.

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