London: Meet 11am Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park, this Saturday 30th October to shut down as many Vodafone stores in Central London as possible! There’s a Facebook event you can invite people to.
Elsewhere: check the action map. If there’s not an action where you live, we can help you publicise a time and place!
On Wednesday 27/10/2010, 65 members of the general public managed to mobilise in just a few days on the vague promise of civil disobedience against the cuts. The target turned out to be Vodafone, who have recently been let off paying £6bn in taxes to the public purse by HMRC. This is money that could have been spent on social housing, keeping public sector workers in their jobs, pensions, social care, and welfare for the poorest. Indeed the debt to the public purse by corporate tax avoidance is estimate at over £12bn every year – something which George Osborne did not mention in his savage CSR speech.
The action went well, it was fun and empowering. It received huge publicity and hundreds of shoppers on oxford street agreed with our action. It was the most talked about thing in London over Twitter and received praise and acknowledgement from many highly regarded people such as Naomi Klein. People across the internet have been discussing shutting their local Vodafone store as a result, and this Saturday is the time to do it.
What’s more, at some point during Wednesday’s action, after the store had been occupied for a while, two middle aged men in suits and ties appeared and stood by the police line, staring at us. They were Vodafone executives who had come to see their flagship Oxford street store closed for business. They looked spooked.
Here’s some news that will perhaps give them more cause for concern. This Saturday, the busiest shopping day of the week, we’re going to shut loads more. We need to continue this pressure on them and all other corporate tax dodgers and expose the lie of that savage cuts on public services that support the poorest and most vunerable in our society is the only way to fix the mess created by the recklessness of the banking industry.
If you’re in London, meet at Speaker’s Corner at 11:00 prompt. Speaker’s Corner is synonymous with speeches, rallys and marches, but this time we will be meeting for a day of mass civil disobedience against the cuts! We cannot spend the next five years marching on Whitehall and listening to Tony Benn speak – to force the Government to change its plans we will need to confront them head on.
We will gather, meet each other, see the growing movement, and divide into groups. Each group is given a store to close for the day by blocking the entrance, in the best tradition of non-violent civil disobedience. As well as people to sit down, we need others who want to talk to and flyer thousands of shoppers.
This day of action is aimed at being inclusive and open to absolutely anyone who is angry at the cuts! They are not fair, we are not all in this together and we will not pay for their crisis! There are alternatives – start by collecting instead of wiping off corporate tax bills. Let’s show them what the Big Society can really do.
WE ONLY HAVE TWO DAYS TO MOBILISE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE!
Things you can do before Saturday:
- Call your friends!
- Start a pass-it-on text
- Invite your friends on Facebook
- Follow and retweet us on Twitter @ukuncut
- Send emails to any lists you might be on
Things you could bring:
- Maps of London store locations?
- Stuff to make sitting down more comfortable?
- Stuff that makes it harder for others to move you?
- A bike? (Perhaps we could have a bike blockade?)
If you’re not in London, there are Vodafone stores up and down the country, just waiting to be closed or picketed. A successful action doesn’t need tons of planning or expensive kit, it just needs a bunch of people. If you want to organise an occupation or other action, let us know and we’ll help you publicise it through this blog and Twitter.
See you on the high streets!