Glasgow Solidarity Network has demonstrated how direct action gets the goods with a successful conclusion to its first fight.
Two members of the Glasgow Anarchist Federation and their flatmate discovered that it is illegal in Scotland for letting agents to charge tenants fees apart from rent and deposits. Their letting agent, Martin & Co, had charged the three of them them a substantial £250 “check-in” fee before they had even paid their deposit. They first submitted an official complaint but received only the receipt listing the fees they had paid as a reply. Shelter advised them that they could go to the small claims court, but the court fee would have been £65 with no guarantee of a win! So instead, on 3rd February, they and 15 friends from the Glasgow Solidarity Network delivered a letter in person to the head of the Martin & Co West End office (to the amusement of other staff) giving the company two weeks to return the money. They left quickly, took a picture outside for posterity, and dispersed, some to the pub. The manager must have called the police, because two officers came by the flat on Saturday to have a friendly chat, but thanks to helpful information from the Scottish Activist Legal Project, Solidarity Network members know their rights, and the police left without even taking names.
On Tuesday 7th February, just four days later, the tenants received a cheque for the money in full.