Home | Friday 28th January 2011 | Issue 756
A CUT ABOVE
It is shaping up to be a major weekend in the anti-cuts movement, with two national demos against fees and cuts called for the Saturday (29th) and UK Uncut activists taking to high streets across the country to target tax dodgers on the Sunday (30th).
The student led, union backed and hopefully free-thinking autonomous radicals packed anti-fees and cuts protests will take place in London and Manchester. Organisers have agreed a route with the police for the London demo heading off from ULU on Malet Street at noon and finishing at Parliament Square. Given police tactics at the last demo involved squeezing protesters into super tight kettles on bridges in sub-zero temperatures and the practical militarisation of Parliament Square, SchNEWS advises protesters to think carefully about how closely they want to follow that route. In Manchester, students will be teaming up with the TUC youth to march through the city centre, starting off at Manchester Museum near Oxford Road. Both demos have Facebook pages with further details.
With the self-assessment tax return deadline on Monday (31st), UK Uncut are planning to remind the nation of the rich corporations and individuals who worm out of paying £25bn of tax every year. UK Uncut’s Big Society Revenue and Customs will be naming and shaming those tax-dodgers with a nationwide day of direct action. See ukuncut.org.uk for a list of actions spanning from Aberdeen to Wakefield.
* On Monday (24th) the second National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts targeted companies set to profit from the proposed dismantling of the welfare state. In London over 100 disabled protesters and claimants headed to the HQ of Atos – the company contracted to test medical claims. They were met by a line of police and promptly kettled. However their presence effectively blocked off the offices for the afternoon. After police let the protesters go, a small crowd headed to the Atos Testing Centre and Jobcentre Plus administrative offices at Marylebone and briefly occupied the Atos waiting room.
* The second National Troll a Tory Day on the 24th soon turned into Troll Atos Day, as hundreds of people flooded their call centres and web pages with bogus enquiries. One devious activist was passed round call centres up and down the country after his request for information on the Atos euthanasia option was met with confused silence. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49sMJQVuqPA for a recording of the call, or see www.benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com for more details.