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There is more information about regarding the risk of arrest at the Activist legal Project (covering England and Wales) http://www.activistslegalproject.org.uk/ and the Scottish version, http://scalp.noflag.org.uk/. Its a good idea to read up on your rights before you attend a protest.
I totally support what you are doing and will be joining in the campaign. Just one thing about terminology from a legal stance. “Tax evasion” is illegal, and is done in “bad faith”, however “tax avoidance” is considered as done in “good faith” and is not an illegal act. These nasty companies have gone to great lengths to ensure that what they are doing is “tax avoidance” and not “tax evasion”. They employ top finance lawyers and consultants to exploit legal loopholes and create schemes so they remain within the law. The disgusting thing about Vodafone, Boots, Barclays and Cadbury Schweppes is that the government is allowing them to operate such schemes: i.e., they are in on it together.
I would, from a legal point of view, amend your posters to something like “guilty of immoral tax avoidance” or you could find yourself sued for libel, which is what happened to the anti-MacDonald’s campaigners: Please seek advice before distributing these posters as they stand. All the best, Heather
Good advice Heather, don’t think anyone from UK Uncut has noticed though, as the flyers still read ‘Tax Evasion’. Maybe better sending an email via the ‘Contact’ link?
RE: Legal stance
From the leaflet…
“The government has allowed Vodafone to
dodge £6 billion in tax. That’s money they owe
the British public.
The government is not acting to stop corporate
tax evasion. As well as wiping Vodafone’s debt,
they are cutting funding to HM Revenue and
Custom by a quarter, making them toothless in
the face of the corporate tax evaders.
Through legal loopholes and tax evasion the
wealthiest British companies dodge at least £12
billion in tax a year.”
In my opinion…
It’s not directly saying that Vodafone is committing tax evasion, but it is implying it. The fact that Vodafone placed the cash in Luxembourg, and HMRC had to pursue them for it, makes them tax evaders.
oh! i have found some of what i was looking for
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I was part of the London protests and I’m fully in support of this growing movement aimed at stopping tax avoidance. I’d like to make a suggestion – can we now take the campaign further than protesting? Protesting of course still has its place and I agree that we should continue this as often as possible however after a while the media and public will get bored and it will start to lose its impact. Hence I think it would be helpful to continue the protests in tandem with a broader approach that combines a letter writing chain to MPs and boycotting the corporations who are doing this. The public needs to be educated on which ones they are so that people can make informed choices when shopping. It needs to become as widespread a boycott as the anti-apartheid movement boycotts were in the 80s in order to be as effective. What do others think?
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