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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

KUWG: Give poor folk breaks, not summonses

Campaigning to give poor families breaks, not summonses

KUWG members joined members of Brent Fightback and Unite Community, Ealing Housing Co-op, and Zacchaeus 2000 — Justice for vulnerable debtors in demonstrating outside Willesden Magistrates Court this morning in the face of Brent Council's summonses of people for Council Tax debt. (Marc Francis of Zacchaeus 2000 was there to make initial contact with people needing help, rather than as a demonstrator. Z2K is an Information, Advice and Guidance charity, and due to the short notice had not time to position advocates on the scene for today.)

The demo was called at such short notice that the KUWG placard input, 'Give poor folk breaks, not summonses' had to be handwritten and digitally enhanced so that that message could stand out better in the photo. (KUWG placards are usually photocopy enlarged at Kingsgate Community Centre or the library, but there was not time for that today._

Sarah Cox of Brent Fightback established a rapport with one of the people summonsed, and was clearly knowledgeable about how the person summonsed could best help themselves. So Swheatie of the KUWG drew on the KUWG motto — NEVER ATTEND ANYWHERE OFFICIAL ALONE — in suggesting to the person summonsed that anti-Poll Tax veteran Sarah accompany her into the Court. Result: the person summonsed will be making an application for Housing Benefit that she was not aware she was entitled to as a person with an employment agency. The helped person also received advice about KUWG meetings and was very interested in the prospect of attending the 27 August KUWG meeting on housing.

The photo below was taken by Martin Francis of Brent Fightback and Brent Green Party. More detail about the demonstration can be found on the Wembley Matters blogpost: 

Solidarity as more Brent residents are summonsed by Brent Council for non-payment of Council Tax

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