Daily Archives: 04/12/2010

Photos from UK Uncut Protest in Nottingham

Week of Action

We had a wicked protest today in town, with 100s of people. We managed to shut down 2 Vodafone stores for unpaid billions in corporation tax and rallied in Topshop and Boots too. If  you have any photos and vidoes please send them to nsafac@gmail.com. We then had a general assembly at Nottingham Trent University. Info and requests from that meeting are as follows:

We would like this campaign to be a city-wide campaign with all students on the Nottingham area, we will be doing more outreach in terms of leafleting etc. but could everyone please invite their friends to this Facebook event. Particularly if they are students from colleges, schools or Nottingham Trent. Also post any other outreach suggestions on the wall.

  • Sunday 5th – 2pm. Meeting in Florence Boot hall to discuss the open meeting on Monday. What questions to ask, who will represent us, how to not actually have anyone represent us etc. As the meeting on Monday is only for UoN students and staff, Trent, college or school students who would like to have a question read on their behalf could you please email it to nsafac@gmail.com with Meeting Question in the subject.
  • Monday 6th – 2.30. Rally outside the Great Hall. 3.30 Open meeting in Great Hall.
  • We have been invited to a few council and Union meetings, if you can go to any of them please reply to this message. They are really important as we need to build links to make this campaign truly city wide. We can help with paying for transport if necessary.

Wednesday

  • 12pm. UCU meeting in Derby.
  • 5pm NUT meeting – Sherwood.
  • 7.15pm Trade Council meeting – Sherwood.

Friday

  • School council meeting at South Nottingham College. West Bridgeford (Time tbc.)
  • General meeting of university occupations. London (accomodation available)

Get in touch with us via email about questions, requests and information!

Rally and Forum on Monday

Support from John Pilger

John Pilger, the investigative journalist, political writer and New Statesman columnist, sends this message of support to all university occupations in the country:

“Your action, and the action of your fellow students all over Britain, in standing up to a mendacious, undemocratic government is one of the most important and exciting developments in my recent lifetime. People often look back to the 1960s with nostalgia – but the point about the Sixties is that it took the establishment by surprise. And that’s what you have done. Your admirable, clever, courageous actions have shocked and frightened a corrupt political class – coalition and Labour – because they know you have the support of the majority of the British people. It is you, the students on the streets – not the Camerons, Cleggs and Milibands – who are the authentic representatives of the people. Keep going. We need you. All power to you.”

Message of support from the School of History

As academics, teachers, researchers and postgraduate students in the School of History at the University of Nottingham, we wish to express our support for the peaceful direct action recently ended and for the continuing efforts of our students, in alliance with academic staff and concerned citizens of all ages from local communities, to make their voices heard and have their concerns taken into account at this crucial moment for the future of higher education. We urge the University to take note of their demands and the Vice-Chancellor to express opposition to the current government’s destructive agenda for higher education.

Dr. Nick Baron
Dr. Daniel Hucker
Dr. Gwilym Dodd
Dr. Joe Merton
Dr. Spencer Mawby
Dr. Claire Taylor
Dr. Rob Lutton
Robert Hearn
Faye Taylor
Dr. Karen Adler, Member of Senate
Andru Chiorean
Mathew Phillips
Mathew Longland
Prof. Chris Wrigley
Dr. Sarah Browne
Dr Ross Balzaretti
Theresa Tyers
Dr. David Appleby
Rosemary Muge
Olga Bertelsen
Anne Woodcock

Rally Today 1pm @ Vodafone

Originally posted on Notts Save Our Services 30 Nov 2010.

Vodafone tax avoidance demonstration with Won't Pay as They Go  banner

Notts Save Our Services will be calling on corporations to pay their tax on Saturday 4 December. We meet at 1pm outside Vodafone on Clumber Street and will visit a few other tax avoiders after that. http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/actions/4

This is our second demo in Nottingham about corporate tax. For info and videos of the first and other tax related articles, see: http://nottssos.org.uk/tag/tax

PRESS RELEASE: [Notts SOS Tax Avoidance Day of Action Press Release] [PDF format]

Download flyer:
Tax avoiders protest nottingham 4th dec 2010

Background: VODAPHONE – Taxman let Vodafone off £6bn bill. Private Eye investigation: Vodafone – don’t pay as you go and Vodafone-a-friend at HMRC . ARCADIA GROUP including TOPSHOP, DOROTHY PERKINS & MISS SELFRIDGE: Philip Green to be target of corporate tax avoidance protest and Topshop chief Sir Philip Green to conduct review of coalition spending cuts.

Text of flyer:

Avoiding tax is big business. British corporations avoid up to £25 billion a year in tax, with major offenders including Vodafone (owes £6 billion); Boots (paid £0 in tax last year); and Top Shop, where boss Philip Green has signed ownership of his company over to his wife in the tax haven of Monte Carlo. He now pays no tax in Britain .

Tax-avoiding corporations cost the government billions each year, money that could be used to invest in services and protect jobs. Instead, HMRC are writing off tax bills for the richest in our society, whilst sending bills to pensioners, workers and others who they claim owe thousands due to their miscalculations.

Notts Save Our Services will be joining a national day of action against tax-avoiding corporations, starting from Vodafone in Clumber Street and visiting other tax-avoiders along the way.

Tell the corporations: it’s time to pay tax!

Join us on Saturday 4 December at 1pm outside

Vodafone. Bring your banners, placards, whistles. Tweet the demo: #ukuncut

Nottingham Students Evacuate Great Hall after Successful Negotiations with University

Originally Published on 3rd December 2010 in Impact Magazine, Nottingham University. 2 comments.

The defiant occupation of the Great Hall by ‘Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts’ came to a dramatic close this afternoon. After two hours of animated debates among students and tense negotiations with University Security, the students departed the premises having secured a meeting with the Vice Chancellor and other senior staff scheduled for next Monday at 3:30pm.

Students gathered in the Great Hall at 1pm for a meeting to discuss possible responses to mounting pressures from University Security to evacuate the premises, the most recent of which being an order from Security received at 10am, which claimed that the students’ occupation was in contravention of Health and Safety regulations. A surprise appearance from Billy Bragg fired up the crowd, who applauded his heartfelt, vigorous support for the students’ cause. Those gathered then proceeded to discuss a variety of ideas for future action, including some form of public activism in conjunction with students of Nottingham Trent University, occupying a different room in the University, and the possibility of continuing the occupation until Thursday 9th December, when MPs will vote on whether or not to enforce raises in tuition fees and cuts in higher education funding. The debate soon turned, however, to the most pressing question of the day: should they stay, or should they go?

Tensions were running high as time seemed to be running out. Whilst some argued that ending the occupation could create an impression of “backing down” in the fight against cuts and rising fees, and may hinder the sense of solidarity with protesting students nationwide, many felt that, having secured a meeting with the Vice Chancellor, the occupants could leave with pride and a feeling of victory. Concerns were also raised regarding the potential lack of “manpower” necessary to hold the fort at all times, with many of the students who have occupied the building for the last three nights suffering extreme fatigue. A vote was called, from which a show of hands indicated a majority in favour of accepting the offer of the meeting and vacating the premises. Some protesters, however, felt this vote was insufficient to determine the fate of the protesting body.

Subjected to much interrogation was the claim made by University Security that the premises must be evacuated before tomorrow, since a wedding is supposedly scheduled  to take place. In response to students’ requests for some form of evidence that the wedding was in fact planned, the Head of Security evaded the issue, claiming it was “not relevant” to the ultimatum being offered – If the students did not evacuate the offer of a formal meeting on Monday would be withdrawn.

Security loitered outside the entrance from approximately 2:30pm, warning students that they had five minutes before the offer of a meeting would be withdrawn. Many were keen to accept the University’s offer, yet others held out, adamant that leaving the building would be tantamount to giving in. After many passionate exchanges between ardent individuals, students began to collect their belongings and vacate the premises. Before leaving, students were keen to share contact details to ensure that the decision to terminate the occupation would not incur any loss of momentum in the fight against cuts and fees. Re-occupation of the Great Hall, or another University building, remains a possibility, should Monday’s meeting not result in active effort from the University to take the students’ concerns seriously. The University has already clarified, however, that no firm decisions will be made at the meeting.

Helen Pattison, undergraduate student of Social Policy and NUS delegate candidate, confidently asserted, “We are Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts and we will carry on. This is a victory for us, and this is only the beginning of a movement up and down the country”. Helen celebrated the decision of her seminar tutor to hold a seminar within the Great Hall during the occupation, “we want education to be free, and we want the Great Hall to be free as an educational space. Whenever the space we have occupied has been needed for educational purposes, we have been keen to accommodate that.”

This may be the end of the occupation, but it is certainly not the end of the fight against cuts and fees. All those involved now eagerly await the outcome of Monday’s meeting, in addition to plans to appeal directly to MPs next Thursday prior to the vote on the measures. The meeting on Monday is open to all students and staff of the University of Nottingham and will last no longer than 90 minutes. An “independent” chair will lead the meeting, and student media has been invited to attend.

Natasha Smith