Leeds Summat, a summary(ish)

  1. Tax Justice, presented by Christian Aid
  2. After much deliberation on what session to attend I’ve gone for the one on tax injustice and how to address it. #ukuncut #summat #Leeds
  3. #summat liked our first task - to choose if we pay tax on our ‘pay day’ earnings through secret envelopes. What would you do? #summat
  4. #summat a Christian Aid report has found that none of the major diamond mining companies in Sierra Leone report a profit = paying no tax.
  5. RT @luluartist: #summat $160bn is lost to poor countries every year through tax dodging practices. Aid can not and should not fill this gap. #taxdodging
  6. #summat what’s the biggest problem with #taxdodging? Secrecy. The ability to hide records allows companies to use tax havens #ukuncut
  7. #summat did you know Delaware is a tax haven? Not just random islands or Switzerland!! #ukuncut #ukuncut
  8. #summat the global focus on tax which includes #ukuncut and Action Aid is bringing tax as an issue to the forefront
  9. #summat what can we do? Putting pressure on 4 huge UK FTSE companies to back the pro-tax campaign.
  10. #summat Christian Aid are currently focusing on Unilever to ask them to support the campaign to back pro-tax policies they’ve #Leeds factory
  11. RT @luluartist: #summat all of the big 4 FTSE companies have offices in #Leeds and is a major financial centre so a lot of action can be taken here
  12. @luluartist What did you have in mind? Is there something already up and running?
  13. @bangthebore not that I know of but I thought it was worth raising. We are not powerless here in #Leeds! @Occupy_Leeds #summat #ukuncut
  14. @luluartist I don’t understand why it is the companies being targeted rather than the gov’t to close down loopholes.
  15. #summat @fearfulpenguin it’s a good question. companies are the knew that pay tax and can set example/lead the way in the FTSE #ukuncut
  16. @luluartist wow, thks. Learning lots from u’re tweets 2day I wasn’t aware of. I fully believe in enterprise/commerce but pay your taxes pls!
  17. Leeds Fabians and Lord Maurice Glasman talk about renewing politics and ‘Blue Labour’
  18. Now in a session on renewing politics and ‘Blue Labour’. Party politics from Maurice Glassman #summat
  19. Capital, if not challenged, will seek to gain the maximum from it’s investment. Democracy should check the domination of money. #summat
  20. I think Glassman is saying that nationalisation is not good as turns voters into clients/customers #summat
  21. @mauriceglasman talking at Leeds #Summat about how “PPE class” became technocrat rulers of workers in nationalised industries after 1945
  22. The hollowing out of trade unions, cooperatives, credit unions leaves the power of the state is unchecked. See Thatcher. #summat
  23. #summat we have to work towards a relational politics where we are working towards a common agenda with people we don’t agree with #Glassman
  24. #summat @mauriceglasman claims the bail out as being the biggest transfer of money from poor to rich since the Norman Conquest.
  25. #summat no demand for reform of the banks while we piled money in
  26. Glasman now talking about palpable contempt for the workforce. We could swap some interesting (depressing) “HR” stories… #summat
  27. #summat @mauriceglasman talking a lot about the regions and the lack of investment or even any attention shown to us
  28. Maurice Glasman: between 97-07 of the £1.4tn invested in uk economy 80% was housing. It was state sponsored capitalism.. #summat
  29. #summat @mauriceglasman ‘politics happens in places. Globalisation claims place doesn’t matter anymore’
  30. "Relationships precede action" - Maurice Glasman #summat
  31. #summat what is the importance of ‘educate, agitate, organise’? A lost maxim? @mauriceglasman talking at #Leeds #summat
  32. Maurice Glasman: ‘educate, agitate, organise’ -our oldest city has capital at it’s heart, London Corp should declare it’s assets.. #summat
  33. #Summat Maurice Glasman describes #occupylsx demands as beautiful: cityoflondon to declare assets and be subject to FOI Act
  34. #summat @mauriceglasman says the most important international agenda should be solidarity with workers. A genuine internationalism.
  35. #summat ‘we have to support free and democratic trade unions and environmental movements across the world’ @mauriceglasman
  36. #summat question from the floor re:China. Is unionising China just for US benefit as labour so cheap? (me: aggghhhh!!!)
  37. #summat I am assuming the man who asked that question has little concern for the fact that Chinese workers die daily? @mauriceglasman talk
  38. #summat I wonder if he has seen the amazing ‘Revolution is Love’ video from #occupy #ows? Can anyone link me up to that Vimeo? #occupylsx
  39. Occupy Wall St - The Revolution Is Love
  40. #summat @mauriceglasman calls for 5% of the bail out to be used to set up local banks. A #Leeds City Bank? Regional banking important.
  41. @luluartist @mauriceglasman Not against local Banks but we need to publicly control the state owned Banks and the Bank of England
  42. Great at Leeds Fabians session with Maurice Glasman at #summat. Interactions on China, nature of power and finance capital.
  43. Time to leave
  44. Had an amazing day @LeedsSummat. Fabulous #yoga session this morning and rounded off with a free massage! Time for me to reflect now #summat
  45. #summat thank you to all the lovely people who got up early to come to my #druyoga session @LeedsSummat it was a joy to teach you

Statement from #occupyleeds

Statement from #occupyleeds (mp3)

Walk to the #n30 strike rally in #Leeds

Walk to the #n30 strike rally in #Leeds (mp3)

We are the 99%

A wave of protests is moving around the globe, inspired by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, people are mobilising to say that they are fed up of the greed of large corporations, the financial system and the inadequacy of those in charge, with a slogan that has caught everyone’s imagination - we are the 99%.

These are peaceful protests which use direct action and community consensus decision making. The way that the groups are currently working together to create these encampments is inspiring. Soup kitchens, tents, media centres, using each other to relay speeches and announcements throughout the crowd - all these means show how intelligence and community can be used in a way so far removed from our current political system.

British cities joined the wave yesterday, along with protestors as far a field as Tokyo and Honolulu.  I was delighted to hear of (via Twitter of course) tents popping up in Market Square in Nottingham and George Square in Glasgow. 

The big focus is on London where the #occupyLSX movement ended up taking occupation of the steps of St.Paul’s, where I was amused to note, we met up to start our March for the Alternative back in March 2011. There is a great video on The Guardian website showing the camp being set up and run: http://gu.com/p/32kxv

St.Paul’s is not the intended target which was (and still is) the London Stock Exchange, but I rather like it as a focal point for the British protest. I’m not sure if these protests will reach the politicians or corporations, or get them to change anything (yet!), but I do think they can reach the wider population - those currently not involved in protest, in fighting the cuts, even in considering the wider implications of what is going on in the UK and beyond. I have seen how distorted people’s ideas become when their only source of information is a Murdoch owned news channel, or the BBC (who are under the dictat of the government, whichever side that leans to). 

So I hope these protests can start to make a change in the way that people think, in the way that we accept, or not, what is happening around us, financially and politically. We are the 99% and that is by far and away a majority.