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Occupy and UK Uncut

05 November 2012

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Social movements

Occupy London Stock Exchange and UK Uncut represent how corporate tax moved from a solely-boardroom issue to a public concern.

For months, it was impossible to leave ITR Towers without wading through a sea of tents filled with hippies, socialists, anarchists in Guy Fawkes masks, punks, students and, yes, ordinary concerned citizens camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral.

The new ad hoc, bottom-up social movements, exemplified by Occupy and Uncut, that have sprung up around the world to try to take over stores and Wall Street alike have tax at the heart of their agenda.

Far from the unfocused layabouts their enemies might like to see them as, their core objective has always been holding banks and big companies to account for their role in the financial downturn and their encouragement of government austerity measures to fix it.

Crucial to this is ensuring these organisations pay their fair share of tax.

The original campers in Zuccotti Park in New York and outside St Paul’s have long since been sent on their way, but the issues they brought to public attention cannot be swept aside so easily. Detailed information about the tax corporations do or do not pay, is being splashed across daily newspapers and websites like never before. These stories are moving corporate tax matters from the business sections to the front pages.

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