Guardian CiF piece about the #UKuncut campaign and the implications for the anti-cuts movement

Our very own Sam Baker has written a piece for Comment is Free describing how the Vodafone protests emerged and arguing that the week’s actions provide a useful model for the wider anti-cuts movement.

Have a read and leave a comment!

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8 Responses to Guardian CiF piece about the #UKuncut campaign and the implications for the anti-cuts movement

  1. Ha Jung Choo says:

    Good article.

    Let’s hope there are more of these sorts of protests and civil disobedience. Apathy is as big an enemy as the government or tax dodging corporations.

  2. Stephen says:

    Thanks for organising this (or getting the ball rolling at least). Regarding where we go from here I have a few thoughts

    1. I thought the public were remarkably sympathetic. If there was one thing that I found a bit uncomfortable though it was marching along shouting derogatory slogans about Tories. We were on Oxford Street where I guess about 50% of people might be Tories. Now I’m a socialist myself — but I reckon even the most dyed in the wool Tory could still be persuaded that Vodafone tax dodging £6B (OK 6-1.25= 4.75B) was hmmm…..a bit iffy. We should really try and garner support from everyone about REAL fairness. Even a lot of the business press thinks this stinks.

    2. I don’t think we should move on from Vodafone just yet. A campaign to dent their image is surely the least they deserve. Forget tactics for a moment as I’m pissed off.

    3. We need more inside info. on this deal. This could come from Private Eye and their source (I’m guessing they may take umbrage at their story being described as an urban myth) pursuing this further, or it could come from ex Labour ministers who surely must have been party to HMRC original demands???

    4. There should be other targets to follow and they should be high street (e.g. Merril Lynch are the worst tax dodgers offsetting $29B of US subprime losses against their UK division so they wont pay any tax for years to come– but we cant get at them) and their offence should be clear and blatant.

    5. The response we want should also be crystal clear. We need to be clear with our next example what we want done.

    6. So… my suggestion is for our next target we go after high street banks..Everyones favourite people. Specifically we should question the fact that they can offset billions in losses during the crunch against future tax bills (like Merril Lynch did) . See here for the full story…
    and see here for the first example of this in action

    Crucially we can campaign to make sure this does not happen in the future!!! After all the taxpayer bailed them out and tided them over these losses—not the banks themselves. We can campaign to change this regulation and I’m sure it would be popular.

  3. Resist says:

    An extremelly useful model yes, and one which has the potential to be a key part of the coming resistence and fight-back- but lets be clear that the wider aim has to be to bring down this shaky coalition and to force another election- Anything less than this is not going to reverse Tory cuts and the destruction of our public services. This is the Tory party, this is what they stand for and what they do- but remember that the majority of the UK electorate did not vote for these policies and this is there achillies heel!

  4. Louis says:

    Got here from a blog post from Johann Hari, which is a beautifully written endorsement of what you’re doing.

  5. alibi2010 says:

    liked the message of the article. lets not wait for the TUC or COR.

    networks have been established, alliance groups etc already. not in the big cities so much. but the Vodafone protests at the weekend were in the big cities.

    one thing of use right now would be a pool of people with skills such as graphic design, etc to knock up promo material for groups organising around the UK already (those who joined in on Saturday and others. helps speed.

    another would be a guide / tips for using social networking etc for those of us who maybe have a facebook but don’t know how to maximise its potential.

  6. Ant says:

    Where next after Vodaphone? Spread the campaign to where? Might be worth thinking where it can go to stop it becoming a one-trick pony against just one of the hundreds of worthwhile targets. Certainly has been popular and upped the ante it terms of rethinking how anti-cuts actions could be, instead of the usual marches and rallies.

  7. keithpp says:

    Yes, it was a good article in the Graniad, well thought through. Old style Luddite trade union marches are a thing of the past. Though I disagree Tony Benn is uninspiring. I always enjoy hearing him speak.

    The future is direct action, cf Climate Camp and Climate Rush, hitting them where it hurts.

    The Vodafone action has shown we are not going to quietly accept the cuts. That it took place in the High Street in full public gaze meant more people were made aware.

  8. noel says:

    Sorry Sam, I think your article is quite elitist, and saying nothing new. Let’s not write off the UK’s largest mass movement (stop the war) so quickly, it did after all organise the biggest day of direct action there’s been for years in 2003, the only way it could have escalated is if their had been industrial action, and that wasn’t going to happen under a Labour government. It’s not a question of either ‘big marches’ or ‘direct action’ it’s both, and lots more things, strikes, protests, sit-ins, occupations…let’s stop sniping at others who are also resisting, and build unity across the movements…and let’s not dismiss the trade unions, you only have to look at France to see the power of uniting young activists with workers.

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