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Tax Avoidance Protests 18th Dec Vodafone etc . . .

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letitdie's picture
letitdie
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Dec 17 2010 13:09
Tax Avoidance Protests 18th Dec Vodafone etc . . .

http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/
Does the fact that they're basically encouraging the paying of tax to the state overshadow potentially disrupting and causing a nusiance to big capitalist corporations? I'm in two minds as whether to go along or not.

T. H. Prawns
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Joined: 28-10-10
Dec 17 2010 19:45

I don't think so really. Under the austerity logic of bullshit book balancing the tax-sinking is squarely & intimately linked to the real decline in living conditions coming, and is worth raging against for that - acting on the side of protection of social gains. I do wonder about the choice of targets, and whether it's best not to get much involved in the detail, as in the tax-maths, and stick to the principle. Don't know.

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Incubus
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Dec 17 2010 20:03

@letitdie-

if you do decide to go for a bit of random fuckitup mayhem, be wary of Top Shops security- they now have more than your run-of-the-mill noddies in ill-fitting uniforms- Proper heavy door staff muscle.

PS-I expect TopShop has a fire alarm system. A biro/elbow in the right place could do a great deal of economic damage!

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 18 2010 16:54

on the one hand it's just direct action social democracy, but i think in a sense it runs beyond that, at least in potential. i mean on a conscious level it's saying 'pay your taxes and capitalism will be fine' but on a practical level it's trying to cause economic damage to capital and disrespecting private property in the process, and radicalising a lot of people. i think it's a mistake to judge things on their overt politics alone, as actions rarely correspond exactly (something as true of revolutionary posturing cloaking reformist practice as reformist articulations of something potentially more radical).

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Chilli Sauce
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Dec 18 2010 21:54

Yeah, but I think these sorts of actions need to be properly directed. The tabloids love to interview shop assistants who are "in fear for my life", but I do think many actions don't distinguish between the workers in the shop and the corporations who pay them.

Personally, i think targeting corporate headquarters for demos and occupations will probably do more get folks on our side (especially the non-politicized workers who may be employed on the local high street).

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 19 2010 11:21
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Yeah, but I think these sorts of actions need to be properly directed. The tabloids love to interview shop assistants who are "in fear for my life", but I do think many actions don't distinguish between the workers in the shop and the corporations who pay them.

Personally, i think targeting corporate headquarters for demos and occupations will probably do more get folks on our side (especially the non-politicized workers who may be employed on the local high street).

I think these are fair points but my understanding of UK Uncut is that it's so decentralised and fluid that a couple of concerted activists could probably instigate something along those lines.

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 19 2010 13:15
Chilli Sauce wrote:
I do think many actions don't distinguish between the workers in the shop and the corporations who pay them.

from limited first hand experience and twitter ukuncut people seem at pains to point out they're opposing the 'super rich' owners not the staff. i'm sure the tabloids have found some dickhead to say something hysterical for 5 minutes of fame but i think all the actions have been fluffy as fuck as well. there's been quite a few reports of members of the public joining in when finding out what it's about, and odd reports of shop workers expressing support. i mean it's certainly a possibility, but not something i'm aware of actually happening.

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Chilli Sauce
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Dec 19 2010 14:59
Joseph Kay wrote:
Chilli Sauce wrote:
I do think many actions don't distinguish between the workers in the shop and the corporations who pay them.

from limited first hand experience and twitter ukuncut people seem at pains to point out they're opposing the 'super rich' owners not the staff. i'm sure the tabloids have found some dickhead to say something hysterical for 5 minutes of fame but i think all the actions have been fluffy as fuck as well. there's been quite a few reports of members of the public joining in when finding out what it's about, and odd reports of shop workers expressing support. i mean it's certainly a possibility, but not something i'm aware of actually happening.

Fair enough, I don't actually know too much about UKUnCut, I just meant it more generally. If UKUnCut is making the effort to distinguish, good on'em.

Mike Harman
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Dec 20 2010 02:57
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
This is the kind of thing where SolFed should be getting involved to try and build up some support for retail workers organising.

That sounds like a plan. I only barely remember so might be mis-quoting, but I think there was a snippet from an Oxford Street Top-Shop staff member who said something like "please shut us down for the day, we only got a 90p annual bonus this year" or something along those lines.

There are definitely annoying aspects to this, like one of the 'dragons' pledging support because apparently they pay their taxes in full, but I agree that it has the potential to go beyond the on-paper politics. Also even the on-paper politics don't seem that developed - there was something about targeting M&S next, which isn't implicated in specific cases of tax avoidance, but just gets a low rate of tax - so it may, or possibly already is, end up as just one way of expressing anger against the cuts, which will need to go beyond the specific issue of tax in the same way the student protests need to not be just about fees too.

Spikymike
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Dec 21 2010 12:39

I would be interested to see what kind of involvement/intervention in this protest that groups like Solfed, AF or other Libcomers ended up engaging in if at all, because whilst taking on board JK's point about the, at least potential, difference between the content of actions and the stated political aims this strikes me as a wholly misdirected campaign around a straightforward diversion from class based struggle or as stated by JK 'direct action social democracy' that is capitalist politics. With only rare exceptions ( eg the polltax protests - which also had problems) campaigning around taxation issues is alomost certain to be a dead end.

Spikymike
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Dec 23 2010 15:10

I think my question and comment above usefully connects to the 'Organise' Thread entitled 'Plain English anti-cuts leaflet' where some good points are made about the problems of tying in anti-cuts propaganda with issues around tax.

Mike Harman
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Dec 30 2010 15:37

UK Uncut supporting mutualisation of Royal Mail now, have to say despite shitty liberal politics I didn't expect them to take that particular turn:

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2010/12/more-than-mutual-i-should-say.html

See http://twitter.com/#!/aaronjohnpeters, http://twitter.com/#!/leninology http://twitter.com/#!/pennyred and http://twitter.com/#!/pennyred for fallout.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 30 2010 15:43
Mike Harman wrote:
UK Uncut supporting mutualisation of the post office now, have to say despite shitty liberal politics I didn't expect them to take that particular turn:

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2010/12/more-than-mutual-i-should-say.html

Once again, like the first comment says in that post, allowing it to happen under their banner (ie some people - possibly involved in other protests - have decided to do this one) is not the same as 'supporting' it. I think that's a very crude reading of what's actually a far muddier and less coherent group:

Caiman del Barrio wrote:
I think these are fair points but my understanding of UK Uncut is that it's so decentralised and fluid that a couple of concerted activists could probably instigate something along those lines.
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Joseph Kay
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Dec 30 2010 17:21

As much as I'm critical of mutualisation as a strategy (and christ it's a well rehearsed argument on here), it's still an interesting development to see people talking about workers' control of industry, even if I think they're barking up the wrong tree with the touted version.