Today at lunchtime NCAG, UK Uncut and disability rights activists staged a vocal and vociferous protest outside Topshop to highlight the companies tax dodging.
Sadly a well attended and good spirited protest was only marred by the appearance of one or two particular Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts members who did nothing but moan and throw accusations of alienation around.
Report from Tony on events…
At 11.45, Vic and I arrived at Topshop, the police presence already apparent, with a couple of officers standing by the entrance to the shop, we were joined by members of the Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts among them the SWP, the Greens, Disability Rights Groups, Anti War, Trade Union members and a strong contingent from NCAG.
A few of the above groups were represented by one or two individuals, the SWP had a better turn out, however the largest groups in numbers were representative of UK Uncut and NCAG.
The Press arrived and asked if they could take photographs of the demonstrators behind their banners. This resulted in a confrontation between a member of the ‘hidden caucus’ within the coalition and a member of NCAG as the ‘caucus’ attempted to jostle their way to the most prominent position for their banner. This member of the caucus behaved in a petulant and childish manner, however as time passed he calmed down and engaged with members of NCAG.
NCAG having recently acquired a megaphone put it to good use.
Outnumbering all other groups NCAG were a lot more vocal, and engaging even managing to get some school children involved.
It appeared that this type of engagement infuriated a certain member of the ‘coalition’ steering group, from now on referred to as ‘Jobsworth, who approached NCAG asking,
“Where did you get a megaphone from?”
(Was he insinuating that NCAG had stolen it, well to set the record straight there is a receipt!)
NCAG were exceptionally loud and vocal with the megaphone, telling the public what the demonstration was about.
A few minutes later ‘Jobsworth’ reappeared saying that members of the public had complained to him that people were swearing, using the word ‘Bastard’ and that they did not want their children to hear such language. This is fair enough, however members of NCAG utilising the megaphone to such effect did not swear or use language that could be deemed offensive.
Attention was then turned to the employees of Topshop informing them what Peter Green was about and advising them they should take action themselves to make him pay back some of the money he had stolen from the British Tax Payer, suggesting that maybe they should go on strike.
Once again ‘Jobsworth’ approached NCAG asking them why they were picking on the employees, and alienating people. He was given short thrift diplomatically.
He was asked how, by informing the workforce what their boss gets up to, whose activities of Tax Avoidance could cost them a lot more than their jobs, and by informing the public vocally about Tax Evasion and what it means, NCAG were alienating people. Jobsworth did not like this and made straight for one of the police officers. What was said only he and that officer know?
A couple of NCAG members donning Peter Green masks, attempted to breach the stores defences. However the officers must have had a tip off that these weren’t the real Peter Green and the breach was suppressed.
All in all a good natured event with smiles and laughter all round, except from a few Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts members.
While NCAG appeared for the UK Uncut day of action as well as answering the call out made by the TUC, we have one major question? Where were the trade union membership?
Clearly someone had forgotten to invite them….