We're glad you're here and ready to help make corporate tax dodgers pay their fair share. We pay our taxes. Why don't they?
US Uncut is all about action. Don't worry if you've never done anything like this before- you're not the only one. And taking action is easy!
US Uncut is a decentralized organization. It is entirely up to you to plan your action and go forward with it.
I: HOW TO GET STARTED
1. Plan your action for the US Uncut/UK Uncut suggested days of action. Do this by coming to the website, clicking the actions tab, and telling everyone when and where your action will be.
2. Search for or create your local chapter. Search through our twitter feed for mentions of existing US Uncut groups.
3. Spread the word. Mention @usuncut and use the hashtag #usuncut in related posts. Create a facebook event and invite your friends. Call/email your local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations.
II: PLANNING AND TAKING ACTION IN 5 EASY STEPS
1. Choose your target. Go to the "Targets" tab on the website to find a list of and information on America's most egregious tax dodgers.
2. Plan your specific action. Find one of those companies' local branches in your community. On Saturday, February 26th, US Uncut's suggested target is Bank of America. Local organizers are free to act autonomously and choose a different target if necessary.
3. Bring friends, meet new people. Tell friends, family members, coworkers, business associates, classmates, roommates, neighbors, teammates, fellow churchgoers, significant others and everyone else you know about your action.
4. Be creative, think outside the box. US Uncut follows UK Uncut's example of creative protests. Watch their video here for how to stage a bail-in at your target corporation on the day of action you've planned. Make it fun and interesting!
5. Do it already! On your planned day of action, go to your target and stage your action. Emphasis is on creativity and nonviolent, direct action. Make sure you print out some flyers with useful information on your target's tax dodging activities, tie that to low tax revenues for your state, and how that relates to unnecessary budget cuts. hand it out to everyone you see!
6. Bring a video camera.If it isn't captured in video or photographs, it didn't happen. Be sure to share your video with the US Uncut twitter feed and send it to your local media.
Staging your own US Uncut action is easy. This website will serve as your organization's hub to plan local actions at specific targets. Remember- it is entirely up to you to plan and take action.
By the recently formed DC chapter of US Uncut. Follow them here.
US Uncut has arrived. Inspired by the UK Uncut movement, the popular revolutions sweeping through North Africa, and articles in the Nation and Washington Post, activists in Mississippi, Chicago, New York, California, Maine, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Washington DC and elsewhere have started US Uncut to mobilize against corporate tax cheats who are costing America billions of dollars each year and forcing the government to propose deep cuts to vital services and pay freezes for hardworking families.
As reported by many major news outlets in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that between 1998 and 2005 approximately two-thirds of all American corporations did not pay ANY income tax. Of the largest corporations, 25 percent did not pay any federal income tax despite generating over $1.1 trillion in revenue.
A recent report by Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse found that US corporations and banks avoid at least $37 billion (another report put the amount as high as $100 billion) in US taxes per year, unfairly shifting the tax burden to small businesses and individuals. Even worse, some of the most egregious tax-dodging corporations are the same institutions that taxpayers were forced to bail out during the financial crisis! In 2007, Citigroup had 427 off-shore tax haven subsidiaries (in places like the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Switzerland) and received a $45 billion bailout. Morgan Stanley had 273 and received $10 billion; Bank of America had 115 and received $45 billion; JP Morgan Chase had 50 and received http://projects.propublica.org/bailout/entities/282-jpmorgan-chase; Goldman Sachs had 29 and received $10 billion; and AIG had 18 and received approximately $70 billion.
President Obama’s 2012 budget released on February 14th 2011 calls for the collection of $129 billion in revenue over the next 10 years by cracking down on corporate tax havens and abuse of foreign tax credits. While this is a noble effort, a similar initiative in last year’s budget sought to raise $122 billion by closing the same “loopholes.” Due to corporate and Republican opposition, Congress reduced that amount to just $10 billion over 10 years.
While allowing the corporate tax cheats to prosper, our political leaders are preparing more sweeping sets of service cuts and spending freezes that threaten to bring misery and despair to countless men, women and children still suffering from the economic crisis those same corporations caused. President Obama has proposed more than $600 billion in spending cuts over ten years, with some Republicans calling for up to $2.5 trillion in cuts. The long-term suggestions of the “bipartisan” budget commission are even more dire and include major cuts across the board—even to Social Security and Medicare!
We demand that before the hard-working, tax-paying families of this country are once again forced to sacrifice, the corporations who have so richly profited from our labor, our patronage, and our bailouts be compelled to pay their taxes and contribute their fair share to the continued prosperity of our nation. We will organize, we will mobilize, and we will NOT be quiet!
This has the potential to be a popular grassroots movement. Numerous polls have shown that the majority of Americans are fundamentally opposed to most spending cuts, and events in the UK have demonstrated how such an initial small effort can grow into a powerful force for social and economic change.
Please consider joining us. Our first day of action will be on the 26th February. Find out how to organise your own action here.
The form the action takes is up to you. So far in the UK people have picketed, leafleted, staged performances, glued themselves to windows, occupied stores and even held an intrepid one woman protest. We are targeting big corporations and the governments that support them, not staff or customers who are being screwed too. Civil disobedience is an important part of what we do, but whatever you decide to do keep it creative and constructive.
Step 1 – List an action
Add your action to the website (with a place and time!). It’s easy to do and we’ll make sure our followers get to hear about it. Creating and linking to a Facebook event is a really good move as it will give you an idea of how many people to expect as well as free publicity as people see their friends signing up.
Step 2 – Spread the word
Listing the action is not enough. Some ideas for getting others involved:
Tell friends, family, colleagues, the dog and the postman
Put up posters in public spaces and in sympathetic shops
Get in touch with as many local groups as you can; trade unions, sympathetic political party groups, anti-cuts groups, student unions, local campaigning groups... you never who might want to get involved.
Set up a Twitter account and tweet, tweet, tweet using the #usuncut hashtag.
Email any lists you might subscribe to
Step 3 – Action prep
You'll probably want to take some flyers, some posters or placards and a banner. You'll be able to find flyers and posters on our targets page soon. Letters to workers explaining that they are not the target of the action can also be effective.
Read up on your target. Why are you targeting them in particular? There are likely to be a lot of curious members of the public milling around – it’s important you’re able to answer their questions. We’ve had a great response from the public once they know what we’re doing and why.
Step 4 - Turn up!
Be brave – even the smallest protests can have a big effect if they’re done right. You'll meet some new people, get a lot of kind words from passers-by and hopefully have a great time.