Socialist Voice interviewed Daz Procter a member of Stand Up In Bootle, one of several groups in Merseyside fighting the bedroom tax. He is also a member of the national executive council of the RMT. The hated bedroom tax means a cut in benefits if a household is deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms.

Save Ancoats Dispensary campaign is demanding Manchester city council and Urban Splash restore the dispensary. They had intended to allow the building, with its heritage, to rot. Can you comment on your campaign?

Andy Brickner, a lifelong resident of Ancoats. I was in total shock when I was told it was falling down due to neglect. From that day I joined the campaign. My relatives used to live in the lock keepers cottage by the canal, my father had an allotment near. Many people stop and say things like “I was born in this area”,” I trained as a nurse here”, and“my father had his leg amputated there”. Support has been overwhelming.

Jacqueline Marsdon, a resident for 42 years until the Private Finance Initiative took my house off me. We hope the council will help save this building.

Chris Simpson, from the area. The hospital was built in 1865, in the birth place of the industrial revolution, for the workers of the industrial revolution. The area had industry after industry. This hospital was here before the NHS started, this is a Labour stronghold. The hospital withstood two world wars but Urban Splash come along and look at it now.

Paul Soanes, Ancoats resident and Manchester United supporter! It is such an important building historically, it is iconic around here or was. It is what this community needs. We want to embrace everyone around here, new and old residents of Ancoats, the people in the apartments, the people in the houses, those in the terraces and so on. This building could be put to great use for the community. That’s why so many people are keen to help.

A German photographer, who returned after five years, was here four weeks ago, and very shocked at happened. Urban Splash made a lot of promises about this building. But have done nothing, except level a lot of the area.

1) When was Stand up in Bootle formed and why?

Stand up in Bootle was formed about four weeks ago, I have been campaigning in Southampton and Portsmouth and was aware of my father’s frustration at the very little help in highlighting the attacks on the welfare reforms with a very small number of others. I knew there wasn’t much of a union structure within the Bootle area such as a trades council for help, so I offered to help in the initial set up as my father is not from a trade union background. I felt my input was vital, and as a Bootle lad I know quite a few people. So the Facebook group was set up….the rest is history.

2) How is the support developing in Bootle?

Locally and within the north west it’s developing at a rapid pace, it’s great to see trade unions becoming involved and people developing politically who never bothered before.

3) Do you think it is important for unions to support this campaign?

The unions are key to this group because at the moment we have no structure as such, everybody has an equal ownership within the group, and unions offer direction, resources and knowledge in a political sense. We need to build this movement within the community together and remind ourselves that this is an attack on the working class, with a strong community spirit. For unions to engage in a fight back will encourage workers caught up in a dispute that the public are in support of and will be there to offer much needed support.

4) Do you think it is important to link all areas in this fight and why?

I think it’s important to fight locally and be confident in the knowledge that others are mobilising in the very same way, for the very same reason, to send out a powerful message that communities in all of the UK have had enough. I think it also gives people hope when they know they are not alone because people in a town at the opposite end of the country are sending messages of hope and solidarity.

5) Why are you standing as Trade Union Socialist Coalition in a byelection for parliament?

Because no other political party offers opposition to the political dribble carried out by career politicians more interested in becoming an MP than representing the people of their constituency.

The attacks on the working class at the moment are hard and fast and as a working class lad I am not willing to stand by and watch as the three political parties represent the bosses whilst our employment rights are attacked. The thirst for privatisation of our services in the name of greed is disastrous, broken promises are a weekly occurrence and the welfare reforms seek to send our communities into a state of poverty. I believe in standing up for your own, always have and always will and would not let the opportunity to represent people pass me by, not because I want to be an MP, but because I want to represent people to make a difference for the better with a voice of opposition to greed. Also, by standing as a candidate it will highlight to others not only in Eastleigh but further afield that there is an alternative, to the Etonian elite,who actually believe in representing the working class and opposing the cuts.