UKUncut target those organisations they say avoid tax, using legal loopholes. They say that, if these organisations were obliged to pay tax at the same rate as those businesses that don’t exploit these loopholes, the need for cuts in public services would be reduced as the exchequer would raise more revenue which, in turn, could be put towards minimising those cuts. UK Uncut regularly targets businesses as an ongoing protest movement. Protests typically involve picketing outside high-street outlets, leafleting and occupying premises during trading hours, forcing them to lose business and, sometimes, shut.
On 26th March, UKUncut targeted Fortnum & Mason, in London’s Piccadilly. It was a day of mass protests against cuts, that saw a massive protest march organised by the TUC and many other protests, across the centre of London. UKUncut give their reasons for targeting Fortnum & Mason here. Protesters argue that they were tricked in to ending their protest by police who, they say, told them they would not be arrested. All those involved in the occupation were arrested as they left the premises.
This page features photos from the protest, shot during and after.
Protesters pitch a tent within the store:
They occupied themselves with various activities, including knitting:
“Closed by UK Uncut” tape was wrapped around signs:
Many settled in:
Police and shop staff watched the main shop floor area from overlooking balconies:
Protesters hung signs and looked over the large spiral staircase that features as the architectural centrepiece of the store:
Many serving positions remained manned and customers eating at the store prior to the protest group entering the store, continued with their tea:
At times, coloured gas from smoke bombs, set off by other protest groups outside, on Piccadilly, blew through the store’s doors. A few riot equipped police entered the store:
A protester looks out at dozens of riot police, standing guard outside the store. Outside, during the UK Uncut protest, other protests by other groups took place along Piccadilly:
Police and protesters wait:
After a vote, and what the protesters describe as an assurance from police that they would not be arrested, protesters left Fortnum & Mason:
Chalk graffiti on the outside walls of the store and more “Closed by UK Uncut” tape stretched across the front:
One by one, UK Uncut protesters were arrested:
Some refused to cooperate with the arrest and had to be dragged by police:
All photographs Copyright 2011 Joel Goodman.