rikki | 09.12.2012 12:57 | Public sector cuts
the first action in islington yesterday took place at the starbucks branch opposite angel tube.
this protest focussed on highlighting the closure of rape crisis centres under the government 'austerity' drive, and to compare the costs of maintaining the service against the loss of government funds due to tax avoidance.
up to ten people including a legal observer managed to enter the coffee shop and set up a mock rape crisis centre at the rear of the branch, with leaflets, an infographic wall chart, and animated discussion.
meanwhile at midday outside, banners and placards were paraded by initially around twenty protestors, but these numbers swelled over the next hour to around forty or fifty people.
the shop staff stopped serving, and the business was effectively closed down for a full hour on a busy saturday lunchtime, while outside, a megaphone provided the forum for us to hear short speeches and information from various women's groups, disabled activists, council workers and other individuals.
the multi-national corporation, rather than paying for any private security, despite reporting £400m sales in the UK last year, chose to rely on tax-funded uk police, who turned up and discussed the situation with the shop manager and activists. turning away from the heavy-handed and even unlawful response to past ukuncut actions, the police were on this occasion less confrontational, and ensuring a path for pedestrians to safely pass by the protest, they facilitated the action calmly.
shortly before one 'o' clock, the remaining protestors emerged from the store to loud cheers, and after a final photo-call, the crowd dispersed.