On 31st May 24 years ago people took to the streets of London and fought back against Margaret Thatchers' hated polltax, leading to running street battles with the police and total chaos in Trafalgar Square - the following has some good footage of this battle.
Thatcher Poll Tax Riots
Over 250,000 people sweeped into London on this day, for many people it was not a case of wanting to demonstrate, it was a case of having too. There was no choice, this cruel tax would have seriously impacted on peoples lives.
Most people on the day of this demonstration, arrived unaligned - ordinary people, families, pensioners, the unemployed, students, black and white, all united as one to fight against this immoral tax.I'd travelled up from West Wales.
The overiding opinion of the time,is that what started as a peaceful protest, with an almost carnival feel to it against an illegal tax was quickly turned into a bloody battle by uniformed thugs acting under Thatcher's orders, with aided and abetted by agent provocateurs.The use of charged mounted police also aggravated the situation, leading to many peaceful byestanders with heads streaming with blood. A very frightening experience.
To this day many people lay the responsibility of the violence that happened on this day, firmly on the shoulders of Thatcher and her government.
Despite the demonisation of the protestors in the mass media, people still refused to pay, the campaign flourished, culminating in millions of people's non payment, bailiffs resisted, courts unable to cope because of opposition and active resistance. It would see the Poll Tax eventually being destroyed, also helping bring down Thatchers hated tory government.
Today, it seems the tories have still not learnt from their past mistakes, with the introduction of the bedroom tax and other horrors.
Hopefully we can bring them down again.
London Poll Tax Riot Documentary 1990