UK Uncut protester, Samantha Taggart, responded:
"For all Cameron and Osborne’s tough talk on tax over the last year in the UK, there has been no tough action on tax. In fact it’s seemed more like the government is trying to turn the UK into a tax haven than close them down. So it’s hard to believe that today’s agreement will really live up to its huge hype because it is lacking in any substance as to how it will be implemented or when by. Style over substance rarely leads to meaningful change.
"If Cameron put half as much effort into tackling tax dodging as he has into cutting our public services, it would be a thing of the past. In the UK, the government must clamp down on tax avoidance and end the political choice to slash the Welfare State, privatise the NHS and cut legal aid. This is why we will vow to continue to resist the government’s cuts and hold the government to account with creative civil disobedience."
We are not all in this together. Look at Canary Wharf, home of some of the world’s biggest banks, located on a private estate in east London. Its shining glass towers are entirely within the borough of Tower Hamlets, where four out of ten children are growing up in poverty. Like so many councils under the coalition government, Tower Hamlets is pushing through deep cuts to local services.
But it’s not the people of east London who caused the crisis – it’s the financial institutions of Canary Wharf.
They are all here. The investment banks that gambled with our homes, our jobs and our future. The ratings agencies that made massive profits while branding toxic derivatives as safe. The accountancy firms that helped write government tax policy, then advised their clients on how to find the loopholes. The regulators that looked the other way while the financial sector brought our economy to its knees.
On 14 June, UK Uncut is teaming up with ‘They Owe Us’ to reclaim and transform the space of Canary Wharf. We will converge amid the skyscrapers to resist, to create – and to imagine alternatives. Our action coincides with the G8 summit, which will bring the world’s most powerful politicians to the UK. David Cameron will promise to fight hunger – while half a million people in the UK depend on food banks. He will promise to clamp down on tax avoidance – without making the real changes that could deal with the problem.
As presidents and prime ministers converge on Britain to push their agenda of brutal austerity, join us in Canary Wharf, the soulless heart of financial capitalism, to expose their lies and fight for the alternative.
Meet at 12.30pm on Friday 14th June at Jubilee Plaza outside the west exit of Canary Wharf tube.
'They Owe Us' is supported by: UK Uncut, Occupy London, Reclaim the Power, Fuel Poverty Action, Greater London Pensioner's Association.
Check out the ‘They Owe Us’ website closer to the time for more details.
They Owe Us:
Guest blog from Plane Stupid
A major threat to political protests of all kinds is currently being consulted on by the government and hardly anyone knows anything about it.
Under new proposals to cut legal aid further, criminal legal aid will become pretty much non-existent. What the proposals mean is that criminal suspects will lose their rights to choose or dismiss a solicitor, and the number of accredited legal aid firms will drop from 1,600 to less than 400 – raising the inevitable outcome of hundreds of small high street firms being replaced by huge contractors like G4S and Eddie Stobart.
The government have labelled this process by the memorable name of 'competitive tendering'. In other words, privatisation by offering contracts to whoever can offer the cheapest rate, ie G4S and co. You would be better off representing yourself then being represented by G4S!
Nearly every lawyer in the country, except those working for companies such as G4S, have come out strongly against the proposals including The Law Society and The Criminal Bar Association. However, most people aren't taking any notice. The lawyers need supporting otherwise by the end of the year the make up and possibility for protests in this country will be seriously undermined.
Alfie Meadows, beaten up by the Police at a student protest would not have been acquitted without criminal legal aid. For Plane Stupid - many of us would probably be in jail by now without proper legal representation.
On Wednesday a demonstration will take place outside Parliament at Old Palace Yard from 10.30am. We urge you to go down there and make your voice heard.
To keep up to date with all the developments and resistance to the plans please visit: http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/