From the TUC

Robin Hood Tax: Global Day of Action

23 Jun 2011, by in International

An awful lot happened yesterday during the third Global Day of Action for financial transaction taxes.

From New York where the nurses union led a demonstration on Wall Street, to Nepal where campaigners met with the Deputy Prime Minister. The toolkit, banners and links to all pictures shared via posterous, flickr and youtube are on the Make Finance Work website.

Karen Higgins, a Co-President of National Nurses United, told the crowd on Wall Street:

“Around the world, we’re calling for a more fair and just economy. The finance tax we’re talking about comes from the trillions of trade of stocks and bonds sold here every day. The revenue is badly needed in our communities.”

The ITUC released a statement declaring that speculative transactions, including financial derivatives, made the banks $605 trillion in 2010 according to the OECD, or around 10 times the worlds GDP, largely untaxed. ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said:

“It was this speculative money that was one of the major drivers in the financial collapse in 2008, but as an industry it continues to grow, without delivering anything back to the real economies of national governments. This industry must start paying its way, instead of just generating obscene profits for the worlds’ bankers and financiers. A simple tax on financial transactions would generate billions of dollars that could be used to create decent jobs, tackle global poverty and fund action on climate change.  It’s time the banks stopped getting a free ride on the backs of working people and start to pay for repairing the damage they have caused to the economy.”

Other actions included:

  • In Berlin, Robin Hoods rolled giant Euro coins down the street to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s residence, where someone who looked an awful lot like her (except with a head four times as large as a normal human) received the money as she prepared to depart for the European Council meeting.
  • In Lebanon, the League of Independent Activists did a direct action on the Central Bank, opening a banner in English and Arabic that states: “Big Day for a Tiny Tax,” before delivering a statement to government officials.
  • In Brussels, activists met the Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, who assured them that his government will support a Europe-wide transaction tax.
  • In Norway, a casino/stock exchange installation was set up alongside a “Robin Hood forest” in the center of Oslo.
  • In New Zealand, activists with 350.org and Oxfam did an action at a shopping mall, resulting in this not-to-be-missed short video of a break-dancing Robin Hood.