Saturday 19th March 2011 saw sustained action against austerity with a joint stall by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Notts SOS. Scrapping Trident missiles in Scotland and the rest of the death-dealing UK arms industry (including those in Nottingham) are cuts we in Notts SOS can certainly support.
This was followed by a Notts UnCut ‘Bail-in’ occupation of Barclays Bank and vocal protests outside high street shops like Vodafone, BHS and Boots who have managed to avoid paying tax in UK by various schemes, and who have been allowed to do so by HM Revenue and Customs. Earlier in the day, Vodafone had closed its shutters 10 secs after seeing one protester with a banner, and this was before things had even got started! Glad to see the message is getting across. Barclays is not the only bank which has faced action by UK Uncut and Natwest was also visited. Barclays was targeted today in Nottingham because of their bosses’ admission that it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 – a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn in profits (so that’s less than 1%, meanwhile we are facing VAT of 20%). Most seriously we are being told that the government cannot afford to look after vunerable people in our cities – having got rid of the Supporting People budget that supports homeless projects, women’s refuges and other important services. This was highlighted by the 40+ Notts Uncut demonstrators on Saturday by lying in sleeping bags inside Barclays, whilst bank customers, staff and the police were able to hear why we are angry. It was made clear that staff were not targetted since they are not the ones receiving massive bonuses from a bank that was bailed out by the government using public money. Barclays paid out £2.5bn in salaries and bonuses last year. Lots of photos on Nottingham Indymedia. More photos. Watch various videos via Notts SOS facebook page or directly on You-tube.
Elsewhere in Notts, a petition was handed in against the Health and Social Care Bill which will see further privatisation of NHS services. 38 Degrees and Notts Save Our Services presented a 180,000 signature petition to Anna Soubry, the MP for Broxtowe, at Beeston Library. Anna Soubry sits on one of the parliamentary select committees currently scrutinising the NHS Bill. A public meeting will now be held in Nottingham on 21st April co-organised by Notts SOS, to explain what the Bill will mean to the future of NHS services, if it is not defeated.
This week sees more events including two days of strike action at Nottingham universities and colleges and final preparation for the monster march in London on Saturday 26th (with over 30 coaches going from Notts). More local diary dates are listed here. Get involved by contacting Notts SOS or letting us know about action you are taking or would like to take against the cuts!