Non violent civil disobedience is fully justified when laws breach a moral code that commands us to love our neighbours as ourselves.
A moral code which is upheld in the Holy Books of all the major faiths and by many people of no particular faith.
A moral code which requires us to challenge laws which favour the powerful and wealthy while making their poorest fellow citizens hungry, homeless, mentally and physically ill.
To be silent about such circumstances is to be complicit in profound and distressing injustice.
The case for civil disobedience in the UK – the reasons why I am refusing to pay my council tax.
- The abdication by government from the responsibility to ensure the whole population can pay the rent or mortgage and afford to buy a healthy diet, cook it keep warm, buy clothes, transport and other necessities.
- An abdication which creates debts, hunger, damages mental and physical health and shortens lives while reducing productivity, disrupting children’s education and creating extra costs in the NHS for the taxpayer. Low income impacts on health increasing risks of malnutrition obesity diabetes heart disease & mental illness.
- Benefit sanctions and the Universal Credit causing hunger.
- The taxation by local authorities of £73.10 adult unemployment benefit, which has been losing value since 1979, a downward trend accelerated since 2010, and the enforcement of that tax with court costs and bailiffs’ fees against the lowest incomes also causing hunger.
- The cuts in housing benefit due the bedroom tax, the benefit cap and the local housing allowance all of which increase the rents and create evictions also causing hunger.
- The unfair and disgraceful treatment of the disabled.
- The chaotic UK housing market for ever leaving renters behind while national and international speculators exploit British land making land owners ever richer.
- The absurd definition of affordable housing as 80% of local market rents “as rent control” when it increases as fast as the market and has no connection to income.
- The fixing of viability assessments to profit land owners by building the fewest possible truly affordable homes.
- The growth in food banks and their inevitably inadequate provision of a healthy sustainable diet; with poor maternal nutrition adding to the risks of low birthweight and permanent developmental brain disoder in the womb and after birth.
- Poorer children with families hit hardest by benefit/tax changes from 2010 to 2015.
- Deaths & infant deaths up in 2015 (see below) a year in which life expectancy reduced after decades in which life expectancy has increased UK(ONS)
- 7300 admitted hospital hungry up 50% in 2015 (NHS)
- Homeless up 54%(Crisis) since 2010.
- Upturn in suicides due to recession not reversed now unemployment levels have fallen.
- The forecast that the poorest will lose nearly 16% of their already inadequate incomes after housing costs by 2020 while the richest gain 4% (see below) .
- Legal aid has been decimated,and court fees inreased, thus shutting down on the poorest citizens claiming justice through the courts.
The case for civil disobedience in the London Borough of Haringey – the reasons why I am refusing to pay my council tax.
- Haringey Council has taxed shredded national benefits since April 2013, while overcharging for court costs and sending in the bailiffs against vulnerable households who add up to £400 fees. .
- On top of the damage done to the health of their poorest residents by national government Haringey Council is demolishing the homes of their most deprived renters, who have a high level of low birthweight in Tottenham and who live seven years shorter lives than in the wealthier residents in Highgate.
- Forcibly moving the poorest residents out of their homes before demolition does nothing to increase their very low incomes and can never improve their health or well being.
- We know about physical & emotional costs & vulnerability of children’s education to moving house – demolition hurts the tenants
- Haringey are giving £2bn worth of public land and assets to a joint development vehicle with Lend Lease a company which has had to pay £56 million in the USA to avoid prosecution for corruption and owns a company in a Channel Island tax haven,
- The council depends on fixing the viability assessment so Lend Lease and the Council can make a profit by building the smallest number of affordable homes possible where 100% of the homes, on the council estsates they plan to demolish, are now affordable.
- Under the circumstances I do not trust the council to use my money in the best interests of all my fellow residents. I have no way of knowing whether or not my tax will end up in tax free in the Channel Islands
THE DUTY OF CARE
There is a Universal Law of social behaviour which always applies, to any group of creatures, at any time; in the past, and in the present, and in the future; in any place, in any possible universe.