Poplar Council 1921: Last Words Before Prison
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In 1921, thirty Labour Councillors in Poplar went to prison to protest at an unfair rating system that penalised poor boroughs. They eventually won their fight. Here are the parting messages from the Councillors (well, most of them, anyway) as printed in the Daily Herald on 1st September 1921, the date that arrests began.

Sam March - We are as determined as ever to see the matter through. The workers must stick to the fight. They must follow it up while the Council is away.

Mrs Cressall - We expect the working women who are left behind to back us up by refusing to pay if the rates are levied.

Miss Susan Lawrence - We go cheerfully determined to see this thing through. I hope our example will not be lost on all local authorities throughout the country.

Alderman Minnie Lansbury - I wish the Government joy in its effort to get this money from the people of Poplar. Poplar will pay its share of London's rates when Westminster, Kensington, and the City do the same!

Mrs Julia Scurr - We are happy about going to prison for a principle. We expect all working women to carry on the fight for rates equalisation while we are there.

Mrs Jennie Mackay - We want our sisters to stand by us, even it it comes to a "no rent" strike.

George Lansbury - We are going to stand together, and we expect the movement to do likewise.

H.W. Sloman - I am quite prepared for anything that comes along so long as we can do the peole some good; determined to win.

J.J. Rugless - All the prisons in the country will not alter our determination to win.

B. Fleming - Fighting to a finish. There can only be one end - a win for Poplar. But the people must back us up.

J.T. O'Callaghan - It is criminal to expect a casual labour borough to pay heavy rates. All are willing to remain in prison till our aim is achieved.

E.C. Williams - I should be a traitor to those left behind on the battlefields if I did not take my stand against the attempt to overburden soldiers' widows with heavy rates.

George Cressall - This stand is to bring about equalisation of rates which politicians have been talking about for 30 years.

T.G. Goodway - We don't want to leave you, but we think we ought to go!

T.E. Kelly - We are determined to stand by our principle no matter how long we may be in gaol.

R.J. Hopwood - It's a goal through gaol we want!

Edgar Lansbury - Personal liberty is an important thing. So is justice. We will sacrifice liberty till justice is done.

Alderman John Scurr - Glad to be in this fight. Poplar leads the way, and we are going to win. Our motto is "No surrender!"

J. Heales - When Mayfair does its bit the people of Poplar will be able to do theirs.

J.H. Banks - Our fight will be the forerunner of a complete change in the social conditions of the people.

J.H. Jones - I am proud to belong to a Council which is doing a real Christian action.

W.H. Green - We are determined to carry on.

Charlie Sumner - Government departments have not carried out their pledges. Therefore, ours is the only method of maintaining the poor.

A. Baker - As I started, so I will continue to fight for the right of the poor of Poplar.