Guest blog: why I support the occupation of Westminster Abbey

Posted on Sat 28th Jun 2014, 4:47pm
This is a guest blog from Lucy, an activist from the UK Uncut London group, about why she is taking action today.

In London protesters targetted a Boots store over their tax avoidance, before moving to join disabled activists in Parliament Square

Today people from UK Uncut are supporting DPAC and Occupy as they occupy the grounds of Westminster Abbey. In this action we are opposing the government’s planned end to the Independent Living Fund. The cuts to this fund will mean that those disabled people with the highest support needs will become prisoners in their own homes or forced into institutions.

The action undertaken today may seem slightly different to the usual UK Uncut action. However, for me this is about working together to demand rights for all – not just the wealthiest or most powerful in society. This is a moment of participatory democracy in which people come together to demand rights.

For me this is personal. I grew up with narratives handed down to me by my family of visceral poverty. My granddad, one of 12, described siblings dying from treatable illnesses; of the ever-present shame and fear of the workhouse; of fear of not having enough to eat, or of being warm enough or of knowing where they would sleep. When he died in 2009 he had paid for his own funeral, the avoidance of what was for him a final shame – the paupers grave.

In his lifetime those fears were replaced with rights – the right to housing, the right to support in old age, the right to support for those who were unwell, the right to support if there was no work, rights to equal access. However imperfect these were rights nonetheless.

Today I take action because I believe that those rights have been eroded and because I do not accept the government’s claim that there is no money to fund vital public services.

I act because I am angry that corporations like Boots are enabled by our government to avoid paying taxes, while disabled people are told that they do not have the right to make decisions about their own care.

I act because I am furious that citizenship has become tied to wealth and not to fundamental rights. I am angry that we are told that the cuts are about creating choice in a market: because what kind of choice is being a prisoner at home or in residential care.

As a UK Uncut protestor I take action to seek tax justice and to ask for alternatives to the cuts. But for me this is not just a movement that seeks tax justice, it’s a movement that demands rights and equality: equality of access to education; to housing; to warmth; to physical safety and to equality before the law.

Last week I spoke to one of the DPAC protestors who will be occupying the Abbey grounds. He told me that it is getting to the stage where all rights have been removed from those with support needs, where people are committing suicide, where people feel hopeless, lost and afraid.

So I take action today in solidarity with all those that seek to put human rights and equality above profits. I take action to demand an end to the degrading, cruel and brutal austerity agenda. Please lend your support to this action and those taking part – because we all deserve those rights for which they fight.

CALL OUT: Boot Out Boots

Posted on Tue 24th Jun 2014, 1:06pm

It’s football season and it’s time to BOOT OUT BOOTS!

Facebook event:

The Government won’t make Boots pay, so we will!

Boots have dodged £1.3bn in Tax since 2007.

That’s £1.3bn of our money that could be spent on safe homes, schools, hospitals, women’s services, legal aid and keeping our NHS public.The tax dodged by Boots alone could pay for 78,000 nurses or 5.2m ambulance calls.

Despite numerous calls for an investigation, HMRC are not interested in looking into Boots’ dodgy tax deals. The Government refuse to make them pay yet continue to slash our much needed health and welfare services saying there is no money left.

Don’t just get angry, get your football boots ready, get your kit on, pull your socks up and join UK Uncut for a football-themed action.

Saturday 28th June 3:00PM

107 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6RA

Follow #BootOutBoots on the day for a SURPRISE...

See you on the streets!

This is action is taking place in London, if you want to take part in one near you you can organise it through the UK Uncut website. Have a look at these tips for how to organise an action, and list it here.

Like at all UK Uncut actions, it's realy important that you know your rights. Have a look at this blog to stay safe on the day.

Know Your Rights

Posted on Mon 23rd Jun 2014, 1:17pm

#VodaHome and #TaxDodgersAlliance

On June 14th, UK Uncut activists closed down Vodafone shops around the country. It was a huge success, with hundreds of people taking to the streets to oppose Vodafone's outrageous tax dodging. You can read all about it here.

On Saturday 28th UK Uncut is going back to another tax dodger that we've protested at before: Boots. Boots are being investigated by the Government for avoiding £1.3bn in tax. In London, protesters will be at their store on Victoria Street, and other actions are already planned elsewhere too.

Momentum is building again. People are angry and are taking to the streets to show it. These protests are part of a wider movement against austerity, last weekend 50,000 people marched on Parliament to demand alternatives to austerity, UK Uncutters from all over the country were there as the #TaxDodgersAlliance.


If you’re coming along to a UK Uncut action on Saturday, as with any protest and act of civil disobedience, it’s important to know your legal rights.

At the London action on Saturday there will be legal observers from Green & Black Cross who are there to record what happens at the protest and to monitor police behaviour. If you notice anything significant, go over and tell one of them. GBC's legal support number is: 07946 541511

GBC has some great information about protesters' rights, as well as a model ‘bust card’ – providing simple info about what to do if you do get arrested - you can download these here and give them out on the day.

There were no arrests at any of the VodaHome actions, arrests at UK Uncut actions are rare, but the police response is unpredictable. It’s important to look out for each other and for everyone who comes on UK Uncut actions. If you're coming, try to buddy-up with someone and look out for them.

We will have fun, we will make our resistance known. And we will look out for each other’s safety. See you on the streets!
Displaying posts 7 - 9 of 281 in total

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