Edinburgh Uncut have been at it again. Our 15th action took us on a tour of three well-known high street shops to remind them that we’re all in this together.
By splitting up we were able to infiltrate BHS by the front and back doors, and had started to deploy high-vis vests, banners and a drum before the management caught up with us. Standard banter ensued: the manager insulted us and tried to kettle us using clothes rails – BHS always try to do this, even though it never works – until the police made us go outside, where we continued to educate the general public about Philip Green’s tax-dodging.
After that we moved on to Boots, because we haven’t visited them for a while. The police followed us, and by parking their van in a bus stop on the other side of the road, they managed to cause more disruption than we did. It’s worth noting that this was done under the supervision of the same senior officer who parked the van in a disabled parking space a few weeks ago.
Our final target of the day was our old friends at Topshop, but for a bit of variety we picketed the entrance at the corner of South St Andrews Street. We must be getting predictable, because they had locked all the doors before we got there, so we spent the whole time outside, spreading our message to the Saturday afternoon shoppers.
Far from being dissuaded by the appallingly political way that UK Uncut actions have been policed Down South, we’re pleased to report that several new volunteers have stepped forward to join the Big Society Revenue and Customs in recent weeks. Although we have had no arrests in Edinburgh to date, Lothian and Borders Police sent some of their least friendly officers to “facilitate” our protest this week. We were threatened with section 14 of the Public Order Act, and told that we had expressed the intention to cause property damage – but thankfully these accusations were forgotten as soon as we started recording the officer in question. The senior officer also told us that he considers our presence in a shop to be an act of public disorder, although we think this is a bit of a stretch, because it’s not our fault if members of the public find the tax avoidance by some of the country’s richest people to be distressing.
More pictures of this action can be found here.