Across the UK, as an austerity-minded government is cutting public services and social programs, a grassroots movement has emerged demanding that the corporations, banks and superrich individuals who caused the global economic crisis in the first place pay their fair share of taxes.
As Johann Hari reported in his recent Nation article, "How to Build a Progressive Tea Party," a group calling itself UK Uncut has occupied the storefronts of corporations and banks across the UK, demanding that these offenders pay their "membership fee for a civilized society.”
UK Uncut has changed the nature of the debate in Great Britain successfully channeling popular outrage and unrest over severe budget cuts and service shortfalls toward the rightful causes of the problems.
In this country, UK Uncut’s example, as described in Hari’s piece, has struck a chord with American citizens, and the newly-founded grassroots group US Uncut has planned its first actions for this Saturday, February 26, at Bank of America locations across the country. (Why BoA? It received $45 billion in government bailout funds while funneling its tax dollars into 115 separate offshore tax havens.)
"The $3 in my wallet is more than ExxonMobil, GE and Bank of America paid in taxes last year, combined," said Carl Gibson, founder of US Uncut. "There’s a direct connection between corporate tax dodging and what’s happening to real people’s lives. Because of overseas tax havens and other tax loopholes, US corporations are making profits in America but barely paying taxes here. If we close those loopholes, we wouldn’t have to be cutting back on firefighters, library hours and student loans."
Check the US Uncut website for information on when and where protests will take place and consider joining demonstrators to demand an end to the corrupt system that allows corporations to go untaxed while services and programs for low- and middle-income Americans are savagely cut.
There are currently more than four dozen actions planned coast to coast.
In Washington, DC protesters will meet at the corner of 19th and N Streets NW promptly at 10:00 am where instructions and guidelines will be given for a "light hearted, fun, and creative" action featuring a “teacher” will give a brief “lesson” about corporate tax avoidance to BoK customers and employees. Desired props include graduation caps and librarian glasses!