Yesterday (Saturday 16th April) activists from Hereford Solidarity League held a sit-in and picnic in Barlcays bank and Vodafone in protest at government spending cuts and excessive bankers’ bonuses.
Just after midday around a dozen protesters entered the Barclays building on Broad Street and held a ‘sit-in’ protest and picnic in the main lobby. The protest lasted just under an hour before protesters moved off to the Vodafone store in the city centre.
Advertising the protest at an undisclosed location on the internet had clearly ruffled a few feathers; half a dozen police officers were dotted around the Castle Green meeting point and proceeded to follow activists around the city, even having a look-see through the window of a pub activists were drinking at later in the day!
More interestingly many banks in the city had drafted in extra security in apprehension of the protests, with contract security guards from across the region stood outside a number of buildings.
Much like the protests at Gloucester in November and the Lloyds TSB occupation in January, this action was taken to highlight the fact that the five biggest banks will make estimated profits of £52 billion this year (that’s £1 billion a week!), bankers continue to award themselves £billions in bonuses, and big corporations avoid paying their taxes, all at the same time as ordinary people are being made to pay for a financial crisis which these banks helped to create!
Despite government claims that ‘we’re all in this together’, there is a very big and real gap between the rich and poor in this country. The rich award themselves billions in bonuses, big corporations avoid their tax bills and bankers continue to live their lavish lifestyles, whilst the poor lose their jobs and have their services cut as a result.
We will continue to fight the government cuts. We will continue to fight the greedy banks and capitalists that created this crisis. More local events are being planned and details will be announced soon – watch this space.