Protests? What protests?

If you have been anywhere near twitter today, you can’t have failed to notice that there have been a few little protests going on.

Actually, not so little. These protests were nationwide. There was chaos in Oxford Street, the busiest shopping street in London, on a busy weekend shortly before Christmas. Protesters blocked access to some very large shops, all owned by Philip Green, who carried out a review of government spending and procurement at the request of David Cameron. Green runs Arcadia group but the shares are actually in his wifes name, and since she lives in Monaco, all £1.2 billion in dividends has been tax free. Shouts of “Pay your tax!” are quite hard to argue with.

In Brighton some people got inside the window display at Top Shop and super glued themselves to the window. Police also held a large group of people outside the shop for several hours. Protesters were eventually allowed to leave on the condition that they gave all their details to the police, something that is completely illegal for the police to demand.

The most bizarre thing about the day was the astonishing lack of coverage on television news. After a couple of hours without mention a campaign started on twitter to phone the BBC to complain. The staff on the other end of the phone were friendly and sympathetic. They had quite a few calls about the subject and knew exactly what I was talking about. There was a short report on BBC News at 13:46. And that was it. No other mention at all. Sky news has not even mentioned it once. The revolution apparently won’t be televised. But it will be tweeted.

—Edit: The BBC played the same footage at 18:16. Apparently shutting down parts of the busiest shopping street on one of the busiest shopping days of the year is not news worthy. Thank you very much to channel 4 news, who opened with this story and spent several minutes on it. —-

The BBC News TV report – all 23 seconds of it

Here are some links to find out more about the protests.

Channel 4 news

BBC News website

The Daily Mail – a strangely un-critical report!

The Guardian

UK Uncut, the organisers

Some more footage

F.I.T. keeping track of protesters

#UKUncut on Twitter