Three arrested in Cambridge protest
November 11, 2010 by Michael
A protest against Vodafone and the government’s budget cuts ended with three arrests in Cambridge City Centre after activists caused the closure of the Vodafone store in the Grand Arcade after around 35 demonstrators had occupied the store. The Cambridge action was organised by CAN (Cambridge Action Network) but is part of a nationwide series of protests against the telecommunications company after it was alleged that Vodafone was exempt from paying taxes to the tune of six billion pounds. Protestors claim that this is at odds with the government’s spending cuts in the public sector and there have been a series of actions against Vodafone stores around the country organised by UK Uncut.
CAN put out a statement to the media to say that their action had been inspired by a desire to highlight the coalition government’s hypocrisy in cutting public spending at the same time as cutting corporate tax.
The protestors turned to printing companies in Cambridge for supplies of leaflets that were handed out to raise awareness of the alleged tax exemptions. Protestors claimed that they led a peaceful campaign and though asked to leave the Vodafone store, they staged a peaceful sit in. When police were called by security guards, the protestors claim that they were dealt with in a forceful and aggressive manner and were dragged into the streets, where things turned nasty and three protestors were arrested.
Vodafone and HM Revenue and Customs have denied that the company has been exempt from a £6 billion tax bill but the campaign against the telecommunications company has grown, mostly via social network sites.