Poll Tax Protests

Charlotte johnson
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

Mind Map on Poll Tax Protests, created by Charlotte johnson on 04/11/2014.

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Charlotte johnson
Created by Charlotte johnson over 5 years ago
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Poll Tax Protests
1 The early reaction
1.1 The Poll Tax was controversial because everyone would pay the same rich or poor.
1.2 Opposition quickly began and was widespread.
1.3 Surveys showed that more than 70% of the population would be worse off
1.4 People in rented accommodation lost out.
2 Protest or Resistance
2.1 The Poll Tax was first introduced in Scotland- people had different ideas on how to protest. The trade unions organised posters, speeches and protest marches.
2.2 Other groups in Scotland decided to refuse to pay tax.
2.3 Some protested legally (protest marches etc.) but some protested illegally (refuse to pay)
2.4 It was estimated that £2.5 billion of the tax was still unpaid. Around 18 million people refused to pay the fine- some even went to prison in protest.
2.5 The protest were more spontaneously organised than in other protests by APTU's (anti-poll tax unions). The first of the APTUs was set up in Maryhill, Glasgow in April 1987- by !989 it had over 2,000 members.
3 What did the APTUs do ? (Anti-Poll Tax Union)
3.1 The ATPUs helped people who did not pay the poll tax and produced leaflets giving information about non-payment and how to avoid bailiffs seizing goods.
3.2 They produced handmade posters and spray painted walls to publicise resistance.
3.3 They made t-shirts, badges and mugs with anti-poll tax slogans.
3.4 APTUs also provided legal advice which often led to cases being suspended.
3.5 Only 120 people were put in prison for not paying Poll Tax
4 The Battle of Trafalgar Square. 31 March 1990.
4.1 APTUs linked up to form regional federations across Britain called the All-Britain Anti Poll Tax Federation. This is one example of national organisation-but most of the protests were spontaneous.
4.2 The All British Federation decided to hold a national demonstration in London on 31st March 1990.
4.3 There were no major national leaders of the Poll Tax Protest- the protests grew out of a small local organisations representing lots of different ideas.
4.4 The demonstration in London was called for the 31st March 1990- the organisation had no idea that 200,000 people would turn up (they were expecting 20,000)
4.5 The protest was peaceful with young families, pensioners and young people.
4.6 20 pensioners began a sit-down outside downing street- when they were refused permission to hand in a petition- a small group tried to get over the barricades at the end of downing street.
4.7 As the day continued clashes between police and protestors became more violent.
4.8 Mounted police with riot batons charged at the crowd and bottles, rocks and sticks were thrown at them.
4.9 About 3,000 demonstrators remained and a major riot broke out which spread to the West End. Cars were damaged, shop windows smashed and shops looted
4.10 By the end of the day, 341 people were arrested and 542 police officers were injured. There were no records of demonstrators being injured- but many were.
5 The end of the Poll Tax
5.1 Police were criticised for their methods during the riots on 31st March 1990. After the riots the campaign grew I strength and protests against the poll tax continued across the country.
5.2 Conservative MPs were concerned about their unpopularity and did badly in local elections in May 1990. Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990, She was replaced by John Major.
5.3 In April 1991, John Major ended the poll tax and said it would be replaced by a new council tax.
5.4 The media in the poll tax protest tended to report the refusal of people to pay the tax and the various local campaigns. Some newspapers criticised the Trafalgar Square riots but were generally sympathetic towards the Poll Tax protestors.
5.5 After 31st March 1990, man newspapers took a strong line against those involved- they printed photographs of demonstrators the police wanted to question.
5.6 TV footage was broadcasted which showed demonstrators being deliberately hit by police vans or trampled by horses.

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