City of London

The City of London is at the centre of the global web of tax havens that are aiding and abetting the theft of vast sums of money from the public around the world

The City of London is at the centre of the global web of tax havens that are aiding and abetting the theft of vast sums of money from the public around the world. More than half of the ‘secrecy jurisdictions’ identified by the Tax Justice Network have supply chain links to the UK. Crown Dependencies like Jersey and British Overseas Territories like the Cayman and British Virgin Islands rely on the City of London – on its permissive legal structures, tax rules and, crucially, its reputation for stability – for a large part of their business.

The best available evidence puts the total amount hidden from tax authorities around the world at at least £13 trillion. Among those who lose out are some of the poorest countries on earth. It’s been estimated that for every US dollar given in foreign aid, developing countries lose ten through illicit financial outflows. This money should be contributing to essential public services: to roads, schools and hospitals.

What happens in London does not stay in London; it has a real impact global levels of inequality and poverty. Right now, the City of London is on the side of tax thieves. In ways large and small, the City greases the wheels of tax theft globally, and makes a lot of its money from doing so.

We partnered with the Tax Justice Network , The City Reform Group , UK Uncut and Occupy London.
Overnight on March 11th, 66 billboards sprung up all over London, and Londoners woke up to find their city called out as the Tax Haven Capital of the World. The campaign featured in the Guardian and the promotional video spreading around the Internet like wildfire. Over 20,000 people around the world signed onto our open statement. We took a full-page ad in Saturday’s Guardian with the open statement. Day of Action, which saw hundreds of members and friends of /The Rules, UK Uncut and Occupy London gathering outside Royal Exchange, the financial heart of the City, in a powerful demonstration of support for tax justice.

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Trump: Join us in connecting the dots

The election of Donald Trump has left millions, maybe even billions of us in shock. Although we may be looking with bewilderment at the US today, we should remember that he is not an isolated phenomenon. He is a symptom of a sickness that is raging all around the world. People are hurting, disillusioned with mainstream politics and increasingly angry at a neoliberal economic system that is destroying lives and the planet with increasing ferocity. And in their desperation they are willing to consider extreme measures to make themselves heard.

Demagogues thrive amid fear and insecurity, which is why they paint the world in such dark terms. It’s a strategy that has put right-wing populist leaders in power in an Axis of Egos: from Brazil to Turkey, the Philippines to Russia, authoritarian strongmen like Trump are on the rise. Meanwhile, many centrist liberals, like the Democratic Party in the US, have been so intent on rejecting left-wing populist solutions, and so sure of their ability to beat anyone running on a white supremacy platform with its misogyny and homophobia, that they opened the door for Mr. Trump to walk straight through. Their preference is always to maintain the status quo that has served them so well.

As dangerous as the election of Trump is for the world, we can also see in this moment the truth that we simply cannot rely on the electoral political system to save us, because it is designed to prevent the fundamental change we need. Its own survival is at stake and it will marshal all its champions and resources to defend itself and stop the emergence of a new system. But when we work, or continue working for change from the ground up; when we build or keep on building new ways of living and being with each other where we live; when we construct or keep constructing the future we know is possible with our own hands, rather than hoping distant leaders will build it for us, we find our true power. Finally, when we combine that with the unbending hope that has powered change through the ages, we know our power has meaning.

A 400-year-old economic system is dying and another is struggling to be born. Change on this scale is not going to be smooth or easy. We should not be surprised, then, that moments like this — where the establishment is dealt a body blow — become more and more common. We can despair when that blow comes in the form of right-wing extremists, or we can step-up. We are the ones we are looking for, who can and must grasp the opportunities in these crises that are undoubtedly there.

So it’s time to come together, taking time to remember the earth. Remember all the successful struggles for justice that came before us, and imagine all those to come. Remember that social movements are growing all over the world and realising the common struggle. Remember life. Then, organise. Find each other and help midwife the inevitable transition that brings forth from the ashes of neoliberal capitalism a system that works for the good of all life on Mother Earth. This is not just activism; this is our responsibility as human beings alive as this all unfolds.

This is why we are here.