UK Uncut have added a second strand to the anti-cuts campaign. This
Saturday will see the very first national day of action by the ‘Big
Society Bail-in’ team
Here is a video giving an example of what you can do and how
IN LONDON there are around 7 actions already planned. Join one, or start
OUTSIDE LONDON: actions are springing up from Scotland to Devon, join one
or list your own action in your town.
BE CREATIVE AND DARING!
Our website has leaflets and other resources.
GOOD LUCK! email, firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help.
>>>> The Call-Out <<<<<<
Look through the newspapers this month and two points will become
immediately clear. First, the government is cutting, privatising and
changing the very nature of social security and public goods that were won
through the 20th century. Every aspect of what was fought for by
generations seems under threat – from selling off the forests, privatising
health provision, closing the libraries and swimming pools, and scrapping
rural bus routes.
Second, the banks are doing just fine. February is bankers’ bonus month;
Barclays announces their gifts to themselves on the 15th, with its chief
executive, Bob Diamond, expecting £9m just for him. While RBS is due to
transfer its £900m bonus pool into the pockets of high-earning bankers on
the 25th. These bonuses should make the disgrace of the MPs’ expenses
scandal look like chicken feed and are another demonstration of just how
much we really are not all in this together.
The two, of course, are linked. Because it was our broken banking system,
with its greed and reckless gambling, that caused the crash. The National
Audit Office has reported that at its peak, the amount of support provided
to the banks reached nearly £1tn. In 2009 alone, £131bn of public money
was spent keeping the banking industry afloat – and taxpayers continue to
spend money supporting the banking system. But instead of asking the banks
to pay for their crisis, it is the public who were asked to support the
banks that are now being made to pay a further price.
The £2.5bn so-called “raid” on the banks is a levy of around 0.075% of
their balance sheets. That’s pathetic. Since 2007 and the Northern Rock
crash, it’s been abundantly obvious that the banking system is unjust to
the core: from exorbitant bankers’ bonuses to gambling on debt, from
massive tax loopholes to holding the country to ransom with their threats
of moving to Zurich. Before the crisis, after the crisis, it’s as if we’ve
learned nothing: the banks still serve themselves, not the public.
Over the past four months UK Uncut has grown from a meeting in a pub to
hundreds of high-street acts of protest against tax avoiders, highlighting
the £25bn dodged in taxes every single year by some of the most wealthy
individuals and profitable corporations. Combine this clamping down on tax
avoidance with truly tough action on the banks and you’ve got a genuine
alternative to the cuts agenda. It is simply a lie to say that the only
way to reduce the deficit is to sacrifice essential public services, which
support some of the poorest in our society. There is an alternative, but
the government doesn’t want to talk about it because they have got the
same agenda as the banks: making the poor pay the way for the rich.
This is an outrage and it has to be stopped. UK Uncut has launched the Big
Society Bail-In. On 19 February we will be targeting Barclays, and on 26
February we will turn to RBS. Civil disobedience is back in Britain, and
it is on your local high streets. Just like with Vodafone and Topshop,
anyone can get involved, because tax-avoiding corporations and banks have
put their outlets and branches everywhere. Every time a library is closed,
every time a hospital is privatised, there’s somewhere nearby where people
can protest – your friendly local high street.
Together, we’re going to change those high-street branches into schools,
libraries, gyms and forests. We’re going to show that it’s our society
that is too big to fail, not our broken banking system. It’s going to be
fun, but it’s also going to be hard work, because this isn’t just about
Twitter – it never was. It’s about on the street, grassroots,
getting-in-the-way politics, the same politics that won women suffrage,
defeated the poll tax and could stop the cuts.
It’s about telling your friends, your co-workers, your children, your mum.
It’s about knowing why our welfare state is being attacked and targeting
the right people in response. Everyone should do what they can do to make
this happen. Come on the UK Uncut protests this month, and also make sure
you’re taking to the streets on 26 March. Let’s make the banks pay for