Reports from another Saturday of anti-cuts action in Nottingham – more to come!

Sleeping bag protest inside Barclays Bank, Nottingham, 19th March 2011
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!

Corporate tax avoidance actions in Nottingham – various reports and media from 26th Feb 2011

Natwest 26th feb 2011 - Notts SOS Notts Uncut protest
Natwest 26th feb 2011 - Notts SOS / Notts Uncut
Notts Uncut action in Nottingham on Saturday 26th February 2011:

Nottingham Indymedia reports:

National and international news: UK Uncut and US sister group stage more protests at banks, Guardian, 27/2/2011

Boots protest 26th Feb 2011

Vodafone protest 26th feb 2011

Natwest 'read-in' 26th feb 2011

Notts Uncut UK Uncut Day of Action – Big Society Bail In – Saturday 26th February 2011, Nottingham

Notts Uncut UK Uncut Day of Action -Big Society Bail In
Time: Saturday, February 26 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Nottingham City Centre

Click ‘Continue Reading’ for details or visit:!/event.php?eid=147859968609249. All welcome. Just turn up.
Continue reading “Notts Uncut UK Uncut Day of Action – Big Society Bail In – Saturday 26th February 2011, Nottingham”

NOTTS SOS Newsletter No. 3 – February 2011 – out now!

See also: events diary.

A weekend of anti-cuts activity in Nottingham & Notts (5th/6th February 2011) – Libraries, Shelters & Housing, Vodafone

Yesterday, Saturday 5th February, as part of a countrywide protest against library closures ‘Voices for the Library’, library read-ins and other protests were taking place in Beeston, Carlton, Chilwell, Stapleford, Sneinton and Toton. In London at New Cross one library was occupied last night. Read more in Evening Post prior to Nottingham and Notts library events.

Carlton Library, Station Road, Carlton - 5th Feb 2011

Say No To Cuts stall, Market Square, Nottingham, 5/2/2011
Also on the same day in the Market Square, Nottingham, a ‘Say No To Cuts’ stall was run by some of those involved with local homeless shelters and women’s refuges that are facing huge cuts or closure, also highlighting cuts to Refugee Action and housing support for vulnerable young people and adults. Leaflets and petitions were used to encourage more people to get involved. A set of letters written by local homeless teenagers was on display, explaining the vital importance to them of the housing and shelter facilities in Notts that are threatened by funding cuts. Campaign organisers described the cuts as ‘disgusting’ and vowed to prevent a return to large numbers of people sleeping in city centre doorways.

Update post-event. See some photos on Facebook:

On Sunday 7th February 2011 at 1pm a UKUncut protest is due to take place at the Vodafone store on Clumber Street. Vodafone was let off billions off its tax bill by HM Revenue and Customs, money which could have been used to avoid public sector cuts. This is also the next local demonstration since one week ago it became clear that police had used CS spray and hospitalised UKUncut activists at the Oxford Road, London branch of Boots (who are another subject of this ongoing campaign against corporate tax avoidance).

Today’s UKUncut protest in Nottingham makes a further link with the situation in Egypt where revolutionaries are being subjected to CS gas and worse. According to the Financial Times, both France Telecom and Vodafone transmitted pro-government text messages and “Some texts on Vodafone’s network appeared to urge Mr Mubarak’s supporters to confront the anti-government protesters.” According to Mark Steel, writing on Egypt in the Independent newspaper last week, “The Big Society taking place in Egypt means for a moment that the place has become the most democratic country on the planet.” UK UNCUT will therefore be highlighting demands that Vodafone pay their taxes and that they do not support dictators.

See also: Report from a previous UKUncut protest in Nottingham, 30th Jan 2011.

ukuncut demo photo nottingham
Previous demonstration outside Vodafone in Nottingham

Lots more photos on Notts SOS Facebook:

What’s coming up next week? Take a look at

Shocking video of UKUncut corporate tax protesters CS pepper-sprayed on Oxford Street, London [plus video of Nottingham demo].

In Nottingham on Sunday 30th January a further UKUncut demonstration was held against profiteering and the hypocrisy of governments that allow companies like Boots and Vodaphone to operate abroad and avoid tax when services are being cut – because the deficit must be reduced at all costs so we are being told time and time again.
Well if the cost is forests in England being sold off, libraries being closed, the NHS being maneouvered further towards privatisation, cuts to benefits and disability allowances going ahead at breakneck speed and an increase in homelessness due to the axing of vital services, then we don’t like it one bit. We are right to be angry. Watch video of Nottingham demo.

Meanwhile, on the demo in Oxford Street in London, after the Policy Exchange thinktank classed UKUncut as ‘street extremists’ who should be dealt with harshly and have their website taken down by the state for daring to suggest that something is wrong, it seems this policy idea was quickly put into practice, with protesters getting pepper sprayed in a manner that could not fail to be likened to the use of tear gas by police in Egypt in recent days.

UKUncut said: Before 15:00 outside Boots on Oxford Street a female activist tried to push a leaflet through the closed door of Boots explaining the details of Boots’ tax avoidance to the staff. A police officer then arrested the individual for “criminal damage”. Around 20 people tried to help the female being arrested and 10 were subsequently pepper sprayed. Three people have been taken to hospital.

Video link:

Link to pictures:

What next – tasers?

Full UK Uncut Press release:

Useful advice?
Or if you don’t fancy that, maybe this phone app for demos? Sukey Roar and Growl:

Video of Nottingham demo on 30th Jan 2011:


Anti-cuts events week beginning Monday 24th Jan 2011 [plus Video ‘The Rise of Street Extremism | 10.01.11’]

Anti-cuts events: January 24th-30th 2011. Follow links for details. Plenty to get involved with.
Update: find out about further meetings and events here:

Monday 24th Jan: Second National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts. All day. Action in Nottingham – see

Monday 24th Jan: NCVS meeting impact of cuts on voluntary and community groups, 2-4pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Monday 24th Jan: Notts SOS meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham. Our regular meeting. All welcome.

Tuesday 25th Jan – Mansfield SOS meeting, 7.15pm, at the Gas Board Sports and Social Club, Lime Tree Place, Mansfield.

Wednesday 26th Jan: UCU Open Forum, Nottingham Uni, Portland Building C11, 1pm-3pm.

Wednesday 26th Jan: Stand Up For the NHS, 7:30pm at Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham.

Wednesday 26th Jan: National walkout to save EMA (Facebook). Download College students flyer about EMA produced at Network X

Thursday 27th Jan: Save Sherwood Forest meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Saturday 29th Jan: Education no-fees/cuts demo in London. Called by Education Activist Network, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and University College Union (UCU). Coaches leave Nottingham Trent SU at 8:30am, Nottingham Uni (Portland Building) at 9am. Tickets are £7 concession, £15 waged and must be bought in advance. To book text/call 07849 392 842. Download flyer: There is also a demo in Manchester on the same day which UCU and PCS are also supporting – there are coaches – contact respective unions. Nottingham Students now have tickets to Manchester as well. So take your pick. Email nsafac [at] for tickets both events.

Sunday 30th Jan: Nottingham UK Uncut event 1pm Clumber Street.

Video extra: Think tank Policy Exchange worries about ‘domestic extremism’, including anti-cuts campaigns (and websites!). Apparently it’s unfairness that makes ‘the British people’ rise up and this must be addressed by the government before it’s hijacked by the Left and anarchists. It’s a long video with a range of experts, who are mostly ex-police – maybe they are getting a bit worried? They are certainly saying the state should be getting more prepared. See/listen around 3 mins in about those terrible UKUncut flash mobs that have been used to close stores (see also near end of the video a suggestion that it’s time their website be brought down – how democratic!). Then 7 mins in – an infiltrator of CND talks about the general problem of anti-parliamentary groups. Various stuff about kettling and other public order tactics and the terrible constraints of the Human Rights Act. And a suggestion that a royal wedding protest with anti-cuts flavour could be a problem. Enjoy.


PolicyExchangeUK | 11 January 2011 | 0 likes, 42 dislikes
There are increasing signs that significant sections of the extreme left have little intention of confining their opposition to Coalition policies to peaceful, democratic protest. In recent weeks we have seen riots over student tuition fees, the forcible closure of high street stores by flashmobs and also growing demands for industrial action to undermine the Coalition administration, including from the leader of Britain’s biggest trade union.
Do these actions portend a dangerous new trend towards the use of physical force? If so, what can and should be done to prevent this phenomenon becoming a regular feature of the national landscape?

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM | former Head of the Counter Terrorism Command and former Borough Commander in Brixton during the 1995 riots
Rt Hon David Maclean | former Minister of State at the Home Office and Parliamentary Adviser to the Police Superintendents Association
Paul Mercer | UK’s pre-eminent expert on extremist groups and author, Longman’s Directory of British Political Organisations [who also likes to spy for arms dealers it would appear.]
Henry Robinson | Anti Terrorist community and street activist and former Irish republican prisoner

Forests and allotments – selling ’em off or raising prices in Nottingham and Notts

National Forests, including Sherwood Forest in Notts and allotments across Nottingham City are one very vunerable focus of national government and local authority plans to ‘reduce the deficit’ by either privatising assets or making us pay vastly more to use them.

Last week it was highlighted in the press that Sherwood Forest in Notts is to be included in the sell off of Forestry Commission land as part of the forthcoming Public Bodies Bill – there have been previous reports but the Bill is due in parliament within the next few weeks. National campaigning exists and especially in Gloucestershire about the Forest of Dean seel off, but a vibrant local campaign will be needed here to stop Sherwood Forest being sold off. A national protest rally was held earlier in the month with more than 3,000 people and a petition of over 110,000 pledging to defend “the people’s” trees from what is likely to be a corporate land grab: What more can be done here in Nottingham and Notts?

Furthermore Nottingham City Council is holding a consultation of changes to allotment tenancies, rent levels and plot allocation. They claim that the review “aims to encourage more people to get involved with growing food in Nottingham.” In fact, the changes would involve the trebling of rents for allotments in Nottingham. More details on Nottingham Indymedia:

Save Our Forests Campaign – want to get involved?

The government is planning a massive sell off of our national forests. They could be auctioned and fenced off, run down, logged or turned into golf courses and holiday villages.

We can’t let that happen. We need to stop these plans now. National treasures like The Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest and The New Forest could be sold off. Once they are gone, they will be lost forever.

There has been significant media coverage of the risks to the public forests and a huge “Save Our Forests” petition at has attracted nearly 130,000 signatures and is growing all the time – please sign it.

Local campaigns have also been set up to fight the sell off in Cannock Chase and the Forest of Dean; but there isn’t much time. The Public Bodies Bill, the legislation that will enable this to happen, is due in parliament in the coming weeks.

Please contact us if you want to get involved in a Save Sherwood Forest Campaign and let us have your ideas about what we can do. You can also visit the Facebook group site: Save Sherwood Forest !!! ( FoSF ). Also on Facebook: What is the issue about the forest sell off — what is happening and why does it matter? And who cares?

More background info from Climate Alliance…

Public Bodies Bill
The Public Bodies bill, of which the ‘modernisation of forestry legislation’ is a part of, is going through the House of Lords at the moment and will then move to the Commons. So anyone who is in contact with their MP or wants to be on this issue, has time to call or write to your MP and raise your concerns/opposition/request for amendments to the bill. The link below takes you to the status of the bill & a short explanation of it, plus you can sign up to email updates which alert you whenever there’s progress/activity on the bill.

Natural Environment White paper
This white paper is still open to to grassroots consultation, responses can be submitted until the end of January.

Parliament briefing updated 23rd Nov 2010: The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England document provides historical & current background info on the sale of the public forest estate, plus a number of other links to info sources.

Forestry in England: A new strategic approach (apparently!)
Letter to MPs from DEFRA to clarify position on public forest sale.

Forestry commission: Modernising forestry legislation
The Forestry Commission’s position on the government proposals

More general comment & analysis

London School of Economics – Detrimental consequences of sell-off:

Jonathon Porritt blog:

Tax Breaks on forestry investment:

“It takes the biscuit” – local action against VAT increase on 3rd Jan 2011

A digestive biscuitOn Monday 3rd January 2011 a group of activists gave out biscuits and leaflets in Nottingham and launched a website Takes the biscuit saying,

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a particularly unfair form of taxation. Poor people pay more as a percentage of their income than the rich.

VAT Increase
On Tuesday January 4th, the VAT rate goes up to 20%. This is part of the coalition government’s “deficit reduction” plans and was announced in George Osborne’s “emergency budget.”

Broken Promises
Nobody voted for an increase in VAT. During campaigning before the General Election, David Cameron said, “We have absolutely no plans to raise VAT.” The LibDems actively campaigned against a VAT increase, accusing the Tories of hiding a secret “VAT Bombshell.”

The Cuts
“The cuts” are a way of making ordinary people pay for the economic crisis caused by the bankers. When the banks got into difficulty, the British state stepped in to prop them up, but at huge cost. In order to make up this money, the government is now attempting to pass this cost onto ordinary people by cutting services, laying-off staff, increasing charges, inflating tuition fees and raising VAT.

Not Necessary
We believe that these cuts are unnecessary an attack on our communities. In fact some leading mainstream economists agree including the Guardian’s Larry Elliott and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz who have both warned that the severity of cuts being pushed by the coalition could kill off the economic recovery and push us back into a recession.

Government of Millionaires
The current government is made up of millionaires and public schoolboys who don’t understand the lives of ordinary people. When the new cabinet was announced in May, it emerged that 18 of the 23 full-time cabinet members were millionaires.

The Chancellor George Osborne is a prime example. Born Gideon Oliver Osborne, he is a former public schoolboy, attended Oxford, stands to inherit the Baronetcy of Osborne and is worth an estimated £4million.

Fighting Back
We have seen groups emerging across the country to resist the cuts. In Nottingham, Notts Save Our Services has been launched to try and coordinate local campaigns. By linking up the cuts against different cuts (to education, health, welfare, social care and much more) we can put more pressure on the government than we could working separately. The campaign to reduce (and perhaps ultimately abolish) VAT is another strand of this campaign.

The biscuit theme was intended as a way of making a fairly boring issue (VAT) at least vaguely interesting.

We chose biscuits because of the bizarre laws which mean that biscuits are subject to VAT, but cakes are not. In a relatively well-known case, McVities went to court in order to prove that Jaffa Cakes were indeed cakes and hence exempt.

Christmas carols subverted into anti-cuts protests [with ’12 Days of Cripmas’ and ‘tax Vodafone’ videos]

[youtube=]The 12 Days Of Cripmas is a topical take of a classic carol listing the benefits and services currently being removed from disabled people in Britain. The lyrics were written by a user of the Ouch messageboards, sent to Where’s The Benefit and the track produced and directed by BendyGirl of The Broken Of Britain. We’re all incredibly proud of Imana our 11 yr old singing star who is a child carer for her mum who has Multiple Sclerosis.

A few of reports from the recent 15th December national day of protest about cuts affecting welfare and disabled people are online:
London: Disabled People Against Cuts, “Nativity Play”, Trafalgar Square:
Glasgow: Citizens United:
Oxford: Uninvisible Rally:

See also, about a specific cut in Notts County (courtesy of Parish of Nottingham blog, where Vogon commander would appear to be County leader Kay Cutts):
Creative carols were also sung on the 18th Dec anti-tax avoidance demonstrations in Nottingham.


[Video 1] [Video 2] [Video 3]

Look at pictures: in Notts SOS facebook gallery

See also – a comment on Notts Trades Council website about Christmas pop:

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