Last weekend, anti-austerity activists including UK Uncut and Occupy London targeted the U.S. corporation Starbucks for tax avoidance while making a point about the disproportionate impact of austerity on women. Over 40 protests occurred across the UK at Starbucks shops, UK Uncut's biggest day of action yet. Protesters staged sit-in occupations and transformed Starbucks cafes into refuges, crèches, libraries, and homeless shelters in protest against the impact of the government's cutting of services ranging from subsidies for single mothers to rape crisis centers. Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with this brilliant action to attack austerity and demonstrate the alternatives of mutual aid and resistance, while also calling attention to the inherent hypocrisy of governments' allowing multinational corporations to avoid taxes while cutting services to the poor. This issue is by no means limited to the UK only; these actions stand as an inspiration and one possible model for resistance movements fighting austerity across the world.
Growing public anger at Starbucks was clear today as over 40 of their shops across the UK- including in Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol and Shrewsbury- were targeted today by the anti-cuts direct action network, UK Uncut.
In central London a creche and women's refuge were set up in Starbuck's flagship stores, and in Birmingham people slept in sleeping bags on the floor to highlight homelessness. In Barnet, activists turned Starbucks into a library, while in York protesters handed out free tea and coffee in store.
The group took action to confront the company over its tax avoidance and highlight the impact of the government's cuts on women.