Last Saturday’s day of action was a storming success. Days after they announced a £3.4bn bonus pot and just hours after it was announced that Barclays paid only a 1% tax rate, the Big Society Bailed-In to branches up and down the country, transforming them into libraries, comedy venues, children’s breakfast clubs, a crèche and even a bus route. Thousands of us told the banks that we will not pay for their crisis.
Ordinary people are standing up to government and big business to say that we will not let these ideological cuts happen without a fight. We spoke to hundreds of thousands of people on high streets up and down the country and our creative, subversive actions were all over the news. Very strangely, The Daily Star on Sunday even compared us to a mystery have-a-go hero from Peterborough.
But we’re not finished with the banks yet. This Friday RBS/Natwest will be announcing their profits and bonuses. After receiving £20bn of public money in 2008, RBS is now 84% owned by the taxpayer. And yet, instead of being made to pay for the crisis it caused, RBS continues to gamble recklessly with our money and continues to reward its executives with massive bonuses.
This Saturday, UK Uncut will be Bailing-In to RBS and Natwest branches across the country, reoccupying our bank branches and transforming them into one of the services under threat.
And, even more excitingly, this Saturday the Uncut movement is going global for the first time. The recently formed US Uncut will be holding their first day of action across the pond. So as we hit RBS and Natwest in towns and cities across the UK, they will be targetting the Bank of America in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and many, many more cities across the states. Just like the most heinous of corporate tax dodgers, we’re moving offshore! Check out their inspirational website and, if you know anyone in the States, urge them to go along.
This Saturday, please join us and our American friends. As you know by now, our website has everything you will need to make your Bail-In a success. Think creatively. What’s being cut in your area? What cut makes you most angry? Could you set up a classroom inside RBS to protest the cutting of the school building programme? How about occupying it in sleeping bags to protest cuts to housing benefit? Or what about holding a fitness class to protest cuts to leisure facilities?
There are already actions popping up. So start plotting. List the action on the website. Tell everyone. Get your props. Bail-In.
After performing her stand up set in Barclays this week, comedian Josie Long said the best protest was about “optimism, silliness, audacity.”
This Saturday, be audacious.
See you on the high streets.