Guest Post: Move Your Money UK - a new campaign launches!

Posted on Fri 3rd Feb 2012, 12:58pm
http://moveyourmoney.org.uk/

The banking sector we have isn’t working for ordinary people, small business or society at large. Despite plunging the economy into the worst recession in living memory and receiving the biggest tax-payer bailout in history, big banks continue to profit while public services and local economies starve.

As bonus season kicks into full swing, we’re reminded once again that banks aren’t going to change themselves.

This week sees the launch of a new campaign ‘Move Your Money UK’. Because where we keep our money matters.

Banks rely on the deposits of ordinary savers. When you choose where to keep your money, you are choosing between supporting business as usual, or taking a simple but powerful step towards a better banking system. By moving your money you can directly support an ethical and socially useful bank, and send a clear message about the sort of society and economy you want to see. And one you’d rather not.

The tide is turning. Politicians are starting to talk about ‘responsible capitalism’ and boosting the co-operative sector, but they are long on talk and short on action. From civil right activists creating local banking in the US, to Barclays pulling out of apartheid South Africa – change happens when we act.

In October last year, 650,000 Americans moved their money from the big banks to credit unions. 10 million have moved since 2010.

March 2012 is ‘Move Your Money Month’. The month when we act together, move our money, and begin to change British banking for good.

Pledge to Move Your Money now and join the movement for better banking.

“At an individual level, you can’t do everything to put an unfair economy right – but you can do something. Move your money is the new fair trade. It is THE campaign for our time.” – Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Coops UK

Follow us on twitter, ‘like’ us on Facebook and help to spread the word http://moveyourmoney.org.uk @MoveYourMoneyUK

Next week will see the bonus announcements of Barclays. Join us on Feb 10th to let Barclays know what you think about this.
http://moveyourmoney.org.uk/blog/barclays

Press release: Disabled protestors' blocking of Oxford Circus an "amazing success"

Posted on Sat 28th Jan 2012, 2:45pm
For Immediate Release
Tel: 07415063231
twitter.com/ukuncut
Email ukuncut@gmail.com

A group of over 200 people today blocked Oxford Circus and brought the surrounding area to a complete standstill, with traffic backlogs extending for several hundred yards. At 12 o'clock, a group of 20 wheelchair users from Disabled People Against the Cuts(1) chained themselves together in the middle of Regent Street using handcuffs and bicycle locks. They were joined by 200 others who had responded to a call by UK Uncut(2) to meet at Holborn station to 'shame the government into withdrawing the bill completely'(3).

At 2pm, the group of protestors decided to leave together, describing the action as an 'amazing success'. Alex Logan, who had joined the protest at Holborn said "The day has been an amazing success. Together we have shown that we are not going to take the cruel Welfare Reform Bill lying down. We will continue to work together to fight bullying behaviour of the government, which is choosing to make marginalised people's lives a misery while continuing to let rich companies rich companies dodge £25bn of tax each year"

Before midday, while the wheelchair users were locking themselves into place in the road, a crowd of about 200 people including a samba band and protestors from Occupy London and Black Triangle had gathered at Holborn station. They travelled from there to Oxford Circus, which had been a secret target until the wheelchairs were chained in place. Some people had travelled from as far as Manchester, Cornwall and Edinburgh to take part in the action, which was called by disabled activists and others directly affected by the bill.

The protesters say that the Welfare reform bill is 'unfair, unnecessary and unpopular' and are calling for it to be scrapped. Recent reports have shown that as a result of the bill 500,000 families stand to lose their homes while others will become ‘imprisoned in them’(4). Nearly half a million people would lose their Disability Living Allowance, including disabled children(5). People with terminal illnesses would be forced into work, and 3.2 million will be put through demanding tests that have already pushed some to take their own lives(6). The government's own research admits that this flagship reform will push 100,000 children into poverty(7).

The government has defended the bill on the grounds that it needs to cut the deficit. However, the protesters point out that much greater amounts of money are lost through tax dodging by the super-rich each year. In January, Private Eye revealed a further £2 billion tax dodge by Vodafone, in addition to the £6 billion scam revealed in 2010(8). The most recent dodge by Vodafone is greater than the cuts to Disability Living Allowance, which will affect half a million people.

ENDS

1 - Disabled People Against Cuts is a UK based organisation fighting for justice and human rights for all disabled people.
http://www.dpac.uk.net/ | http://twitter.com/Dis_PPL_Protest 2 - UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-austerity direct action network. The announcement of the action is available at http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/message-from-the-invisible
3 - http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/message-from-the-invisible
4 - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2011/dec/14/welfare-reform-families-lose-homes & http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/16050
5 - http://www.mencap.org.uk/news/article/half-million-disabled-people-may-lose-benefit
6 - http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/latest-news2/medical-test-for-dla & http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/31/consequences-benefit-changes-mental-health
7 - http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/22/housing-crisis-benefit-cuts?intcmp=239
8 - http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&

Press release: Protesters chain themselves together to shut down Oxford Circus in 'daring' protest against the Welfare Reform Bill

Posted on Sat 28th Jan 2012, 12:11pm
Oxford Circus was completely blocked today as a group of people from Disabled People Against Cuts(1), Disabled People’s Direct Action Network(2) and UK Uncut(3) came together to protest against the government's Welfare Reform Bill.

At 12 o'clock, a group of 15 wheelchair users chained themselves together in the middle of Regent Street using handcuffs, causing a backlog of traffic to build up and bringing Oxford Circus and the surrounding area to a complete standstill.

They were joined by over 100 more people who had responded to a call by UK Uncut to meet at Holborn station to 'shame the government into withdrawing the bill completely'(4). A crowd of people, including a samba band, gathered there and marched together towards the target, which had been a secret until the wheelchairs were chained in place. Some people said they had travelled from as far as Manchester, Cornwall and Edinburgh to take part in the action, which was called by disabled activists and others directly affected by the bill.

The protest comes after a week in which the bill stalled on its progress through Parliament, with many aspects rejected by the House of Lords. Opposition has been mounting following publication of the 'spartacus report' which was written, researched and funded by disabled campaigners, and which claims that the government misled the public and 'broke its own code of consultation'(5).

The protesters say that the Welfare reform bill is 'unfair, unnecessary and unpopular' and are calling for it to be scrapped. Recent reports have shown that as a result of the bill 500,000 families stand to lose their homes while others will become ‘imprisoned in them’(6). Nearly half a million people would lose their Disability Living Allowance, including disabled children(7). People with terminal illnesses would be forced into work, and 3.2 million will be put through demanding tests that have already pushed some to take their own lives(8). The government's own research admits that this flagship reform will push 100,000 children into poverty(9).

The government has defended the bill on the grounds that it needs to cut the deficit. However, the protesters point out that much greater amounts of money are lost through tax dodging by the super-rich each year. In January, Private Eye revealed a further £2 billion tax dodge by Vodafone, in addition to the £6 billion scam revealed in 2010(10). The most recent dodge by Vodafone is greater than the cuts to Disability Living Allowance, which will affect half a million people.

Rosemary Willis from DPAC said "Maria Miller, so-called Minister for disabled people, has repeatedly stated that we are 'financially unsustainable' and we want to ask this government exactly what they mean by that. We will not let this government push through these changes which have already led to disabled people taking their own lives."

UK Uncut supporter Josie McDermot, 32, said "The welfare reform bill is cruel and and unnecessary, and this protest is an essential way to persuade the government to scrap their plans. It is great to be part of such a broad and powerful campaign against the Welfare Reform Bill and to keep building the pressure that has already been piled on with the Spartacus report.

She added, "It is typical bully tactics by the government to force marginalised people in society to pay for the economic downturn, while letting bonuses run wild and rich companies continue tax dodging to the tune of £25bn"

ENDS

1 – Disabled People Against Cuts is a UK based organisation fighting for justice and human rights for all disabled people. http://www.dpac.uk.net/ | http://twitter.com/Dis_PPL_Protest

2 - http://www.facebook.com/groups/directactionnetwork/?ref=ts

3 – UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-austerity direct action network. The announcement of the action is available at http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/message-from-the-invisible

4 - http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/message-from-the-invisible

5 - https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx/Responsible%20Reform%20for%20screen%20readers.doc?cid=cba86408918caa9e

6 - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2011/dec/14/welfare-reform-families-lose-homes & http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/16050

7 - http://www.mencap.org.uk/news/article/half-million-disabled-people-may-lose-benefit

8 - http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/latest-news2/medical-test-for-dla & http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/31/consequences-benefit-changes-mental-health

9 - http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/22/housing-crisis-benefit-cuts?intcmp=239

10 - http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&

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