False Economy ran from 2010-2015. This site is no longer being updated, but the False Economy research team continue to report at Sentinel News.
Skip navigation

Campaigns

The City of London Corporation Protest 

Location: UK » London » EC

THE TAX & FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY BILL 2010-11

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2010-2011/0166/11166.pdf if passed, will require the Secretary of State to take steps to require banks, corporations and trusts to provide information on their status, income arising and tax payments made in each jurisdiction in which they operate; and for connected purposes.

June 10th 2011 is the date of the 2nd reading of the bill.  This is the most crucial stage of the process of the bill becoming lawful legislation – an Act of Parliament.

You can contact your MP http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ to show you support this important bill and to urge them to also support it.  It is in the best interests of at least 95% of the UK population that the bill is passed without concessions.

This action is only pencilled in for that date at present and if preparations are not 100% then the protest will be postponed until a more suitable date, perhaps the next stage of the process.  http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/taxandfinancialtransparency.html

We urge all direct-action groups, no matter what your main focus to join with this action to achieve the goals stated below.  We request help with the planning and organising of the action as well as giving exposure to the event to ensure large numbers of people attend or are involved.

We hope this will be the start of a consistent working hour presence of campaigners in the City to build awareness and keep this crucial issue in the news.


WHAT IS THE CITY OF LONDON CORPORATION?

http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Council_and_democracy/Council_departments/whatis.htm

The City of London provides local government services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the ‘Square Mile’. It is committed to supporting and promoting ‘The City’ as the world leader in international finance and business services through the policies it pursues and the high standard of services it provides.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London_Corporation#Criticism
“Nowadays, with its Lord Mayor, its Beadles, Sheriffs and Aldermen, its separate police force and its select electorate of freemen and liverymen, the City of London is an anachronism of the worst kind. The Corporation, which runs the City like a one-party mini-state, is an unreconstructed old boys’ network whose medievalist pageantry camouflages the very real power and wealth which it holds.” – pp110, Rough Guide to England, 2006

Maurice Glasman: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110201t1830vHKT.aspx

http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publicLecturesAndEvents/20110201_1830_theCityOfLondonAndItsTaxHavenEmpire.mp3

Do you need any greater statement about the power of the City of London? They blow all the money, we bail them out, and then… we get cut! It’s a stupendous act of shameless power and they say if you don’t support this then we won’t have economic growth… but we don’t have economic growth because the City of London will not invest in the country, because the rates of return in the financial sector are always higher than in the real economy, and therefore we have completely hitched our wagon to a very very very volatile mistress.

Whats going on? We are living in a world dominated by money, we are living in a world dominated by capital, we are living in a world of disenchanted politics and a very very very ferocious form of unmediated globalisation.

Then what is to be done?

We respond obviously in anger, rage, fury. But that’s not the way. The way is to think, about how we can act together to salvage a more human world from all of this. And for everybody who is committed to developing countries, to making the world a better place, there is no more urgent task than to democratise London. To have all of London as the City.


WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF THIS PROTEST?

- We want to raise awareness of the issue of tax justice.

- We want to raise awareness of key role of The City of London Corporation in preventing tax justice.

- We want to put pressure on MP’s to pass the Tax & Financial Transparency Bill 2011 without concessions.

- A longer term goal of the abolition of The City of London Corporation.


WHAT ARE OUR PROTEST STRATEGIES?

We invite the people of the world to spend a day in the square mile on June 10th 2011.  There are plenty of sights to see and places to enjoy.

We would like as big a presence in the City of peaceful, lawful activists as possible.

This will be an official protest action and we will be co-operating fully with the CoLC police to ensure the day passes as peacefully as possible.

This is not about smashing windows, but rather about raising the profile of the issue.

We feel that our best weapon is our number, especially in a relatively small space.

It is possible to bring about change peacefully, so why give them a reason to arrest us?

All that is needed is the masses united behind what we consider to be the issue with the most potential for improving conditions around the world.

We invite you to bring:
- related flags, banners, postcards (ideas for slogans and graphics seen elsewhere on this page)
- you can create t-shirts and other forms of clothing so people can identify you as a campaigner
- guitars, flutes, saxophones, steel drums and any other musical instrument you like
- bring your grannies and their knitting needles
- any crafts and hobbies items that are unobtrusive and will help you while away the day
- juggling balls
- street artists and performers
- sound systems
- megaphones
- food and drink
+ anything else you can think of to create an atmosphere and that stays within their laws

There are many fascinating places in and around the City of London,  http://www.visitthecity.co.uk/flash/archmap.pdf including:
- The Bank of England
- Mansion House – Lord Mayor of the City of London
- Guildhall – Offices of the CoLC
- London Stock Exchange
- Various Major Global Corporation HQ’s
- Royal Courts of Justice
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- The Gherkin
- Barbican Centre
- Tate Modern
- The Tower of London
- Tower Bridge

Reclaim this territory, reclaim our democracy, reclaim our rights…
…and have fun doing it =)


MORE INFORMATION

Excerpt from Nicolas Shaxson’s ‘Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World’ http://treasureislands.org/

“The third big change necessary is to confront the British spider’s web, the most important and most aggressive single element in the global offshore system.

The City of London Corporation – this offshore island floating partly free from Britain’s people and its democratic system – must be abolished and submerged into a unified and fully democratic London.

The City’s international offshore web, a mechanism for harvesting and profiting from financial capital from around the globe, however dirty it may be, must be dismantled.

It harms the people of Britain, and it harms the world at large. Britain is too subservient to the City and its offshore sector to be able to do this alone; pressure from outside is essential.

Developing countries in particular need to appreciate how this is a kind of imperial economic system, in which their own elites are deeply implicated.

Alongside this new focus we need a greater understanding of the role of the USA as an offshore jurisdiction in its own right and the harm this causes, inside and outside the United States.”

Tax Justice Network: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcat=2
Declaration, manifesto and proposals: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcat=3&lang=1&client=1

Tax Research: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/
Briefing Sheets: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/briefing-sheets/
Manifesto: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/Manifesto.pdf
Country by country reporting: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/CBC.pdf
Definition of the term ‘secrecy jurisdiction’: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/Secrecyjurisdiction.pdf
Definition of the term ‘financial transparency’: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/Transparency.pdf

The City of London and its Tax Haven Empire – LSE Lecture by Nicolas Shaxson & Maurice Glasman
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110201t1830vHKT.aspx
http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publicLecturesAndEvents/20110201_1830_theCityOfLondonAndItsTaxHavenEmpire.mp3

Transcript from the conclusion of Maurice Glasman’s speech:

“I just want to come to the point here about invisibility, secrecy and the status of The City of London.

Essentially, the population of London was removed, so the City of London is the great bearer of a tremendous political autonomy, for a thousand years it has defended itself against encroachment of the state, and as the population has moved out and the livery companies, particularly the commercial livery companies have become more powerful, the City, effectively, the greatest democratic continuous city in all of Europe becomes a lobbyist for the markets, for capital, for the power of capital.

What essentially we have, is the maritime economy, the sea, is flooding the land. There is no more status at work. It’s not allowed. There is no more possibility of having any security at work, that’s against the demands of globalisation.

Democracy is populist if it begins to confront the domination of money power. And why is that? Its because capital is promiscuous. That’s its nature, it wants an immediate return on its investment, it will leave a stable relationship. Capital will leave its partners, to get new fresh, more vital experiences, to get more return on investment.

It is the role of any statecraft, any politic, to try to domesticate this viral energy of capitalism in order to try to constrain and control that energy in ways that can actually underpin the flourishing of human life not render it asunder.

What has happened in the last thirty years under both Thatcher and New Labour is that the motor of growth is the City of London. So this relentless promiscuity of relationships has in fact become the order. So what you have in effect is country’s/tax havens are basically offering a haven where capital can act in an entirely unconstrained way with great damage to the natural environment and to the human beings who have to try and live stable lives within that context.

Marvin Gaye said “What’s going on?”

Marvin Gaye’s question should always take precedent over Lenin’s question: “What is to be done?”

Both have to be asked temporally.

And the what’s going on is that we’re all at sea.

What’s going on is that we’ve got a massive deficit, the bankers blew it.

Do you need any greater statement about the power of the City of London? They blow all the money, we bail them out, and then… we get cut! It’s a stupendous act of shameless power and they say if you don’t support this then we won’t have economic growth… but we don’t have economic growth because the City of London will not invest in the country, because the rates of return in the financial sector are always higher than in the real economy, and therefore we have completely hitched our wagon to a very very very volatile mistress.

Whats going on? We are living in a world dominated by money, we are living in a world dominated by capital, we are living in a world of disenchanted politics and a very very very ferocious form of unmediated globalisation.

Then what is to be done?

We respond obviously in anger, rage, fury. But that’s not the way. The way is to think, about how we can act together to salvage a more human world from all of this. And for everybody who is committed to developing countries, to making the world a better place, there is no more urgent task than to democratise London. To have all of London as the City.

There was no London-wide civic authority until 1899 with the LCC. Then when that started getting going that was abolished and became the GLC.

Then the GLC got going and started asking some questions that was abolished entirely. Then what have we got? What is this?

The Greater London Authority. What kind of thing is that for a great city like this, it’s absolutely disgusting! We should all be deeply ashamed.”

Wish to amend this entry?

Events

Add an event for this campaign »

Fixing Britain: Campaigns and events

UK campaigns map Isle of Man North West Northern Ireland West Midlands Scotland South West North East Wales East Midlands National/non-regional South East East London

Share

 
Next events