UK Uncut stages Starbucks protests over coffee chain's tax affairs

Activist group carries out more than 40 demonstrations across the country

Coffee chain Starbucks was today hit by protests at branches across the country over its tax arrangements, despite announcing changes to its payments.

The US-owned giant said it expects to pay around £10 million in UK corporation tax for each of the next two years, following the revelation that it paid just £8.6 million in 14 years of trading in Britain and nothing in the last three years.

Activist group UK Uncut carried out more than 40 demonstrations across the country, "transforming" Starbucks stores into refuges, creches and homeless shelters.

The anti-cuts direct action organisation said the number of protests had increased since Starbucks made its announcement.

One store in Vigo Street, central London, was occupied by protesters at 12pm and then temporarily closed.

Dozens of activists chanted and waved placards and banners outside, shutting off the street to traffic under the gaze of the police.

The store was transformed into a domestic violence refuge as the protest sought to highlight the "disproportionate" effect that the coalition's cuts to the public sector are having on women.

Lisa Stewart, a 30-year-old UK Uncut activist, said: "Women are bearing the brunt of these cuts, and if they (the Government) made tax-dodgers like Starbucks pay that would bring in £25 billion a year.

"Think of all the spending cuts that we could cover with that.

"Today we are standing up for the women's services we refuse to see destroyed."

Ms Stewart said the reaction from customers inside the store had been positive, adding: "There is lots of anger out there and people realise they are being lied to."

Anna Walker, an activist who took part in a sit-in at a Starbucks in Conduit Street, central London, said: "We demand that the Government takes urgent radical action on tax avoidance, rather than cutting the welfare state, childcare benefits, maternity benefits and housing benefits while dismantling the NHS.

"These cuts are having a massive, devastating impact on women's lives today."

Ms Walker said 100 people had taken part in the Conduit Street action, which saw activists try to transform the store into a creche.

"Unfortunately the police did walk in and say everybody was going to be arrested if they didn't leave after only five minutes, so we weren't able to set up our creche," she said.

UK Uncut described today's protests as their biggest ever national day of action, with sit-ins staged in places such as Aberdeen, Belfast and Cornwall.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?