Socialist Worker

Campaigners give mobile phone firm a taxing time

Issue No. 2227

Protest against Vodafone in Birmingham last week (Pic: Geoff Dexter)

Protest against Vodafone in Birmingham last week (Pic: Geoff Dexter)

Activists in several cities have protested at Vodafone shops across Britain for the second week running over its £6 billion legal tax dodge.

In Plymouth, members of the Right to Work campaign leafleted outside a Vodafone shop, forcing it to close for an hour.

One protester said, “If someone in Plymouth claims too much benefit they face a court appearance and possibly jail—yet Vodafone get off scot free.”

In Manchester, 15 people protested inside the Vodafone shop on Market Street before police forcibly removed them.

“This is not a ‘single issue’ about corporations not paying their fair share of tax,” said one protester.

“We want to dispel the myths about the inevitability and fairness of the cuts, as well as making people aware that there is an alternative.”

Three demonstrators were arrested in Cambridge after occupying and closing a Vodafone shop inside the privately-owned Grand Arcade. They were later released without charge.

One student on the protest said, “The people we spoke to were highly supportive, expressing their anger at the government’s prioritising of corporate interests over public interests.”

Other protests took place in Bristol, Nottingham, Brighton, Glasgow, London and Birmingham.

Three “Vodafone executives” even turned up at chancellor George Osborne’s dad’s luxury £90-a-roll wallpaper firm in Chelsea—to thank Osborne for his help with their tax bill.

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Tue 9 Nov 2010, 18:50 GMT
Issue No. 2227
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