A word from our founder
BTBATB was created in August 2013, after some friends and I attended the first attempted eviction of a family in Oldham. After about a 4 hour standoff the Bailiffs went to their next job in Hollingworth, 5 minutes drive away.
Later on that afternoon we made a call to the Bailiffs to see if they would be back but we were informed that the man at the next property they visited had hung himself in his porch when he saw the bailiffs coming up his path. This poor soul died 5 days later in intensive care.
This tragic event shocked us all and it gave me the wake up call needed to create BTBATB.
Facebook was chosen as the platform to launch Beat the Bailiffs and the Banks for a number of reasons.
1. Reach of social media.
2. Acts like a Liberty Bell.
3. Live 'Real Time' events, information & footage.
4. It's ease of use & navigation.
5. Variety of content.
6. Trusted friends on FB.
7. Files section.
I wanted to create a place where people could come together and learn from each other's experiences and not be judged. Just speaking about your problems can be the hardest step due to the shame and pride associated with debt. This is compounded when people have mental health issues which can isolate them further and have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing. I wanted people to feel empowered enough to act and get 'Boots on the Ground' to stave off evictions until a resolution could be found. I also wanted to expose the fraud and double standards within the financial industry and the evolution of slavery through economic hardship leading to modern day debt slavery.
The remit quickly widened to include all types of debt e.g. TVL, Council Tax, Parking tickets, Tax credit overpayments, rent arrears, HMRC, utilities etc. The group expanded quickly, 4500 members in less than 10 months but it was just the tip of the iceberg. We now have over 45,000 members in our fb group and should reach 100,000 before we are 4 years old. Beat the Bailiffs and the Banks wouldn't work without YOU, the community.
I had a vision of people creating local BTBATB groups but it had to happen organically. Eventually it did, there are now 11 regional groups, started by people who want to help and are sick of looking the other way. The idea was and still is to create communities, little pockets of resistance who help spread the word and raise awareness. A community based network of McKenzie Friends, Litigants in Person (LiPs) and Lay Advisors is in the process of being created, a suitable and sufficient training programme will take place to cover the areas required . Also Scribes are needed who can write down or type what happens in court. If you are interested please email; firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us who you are, a verifiable link to your profile and why you want to get involved. If this isn't for you then maybe you might be interested in becoming a member of BTBATB and signing up to the ORIGINAL 'Boots on the Ground'. There are also a number of splinter groups all over the country helping people defend themselves and others from the apparatus of the debt collection industry and consequences of ideological austerity.
Thank you to the Admin Team (past and present), Trusted Members, and Members alike for all your efforts in helping to make Beat the Bailiffs and the Banks the success it is today.
I know can be difficult and stressful at times but remember ALL storms pass, don't let the bastards grind you down.