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"I Pay, You Pay, Why Doesn't B of A?": Are We Seeing the Birth of a Totally New Protest Movement?

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It's April 5, the end of the financial year, and 100 people - mostly strangers - have their arms linked in a massive circle, occupying the heart of Canary Wharf, the hyper-real maze of steel and plate glass that is the home of Britain's financial services industries, banks and corporate law firms: the firms that caused the recession, yet lived to tell the tale. Besuited commuters look on in amusement as they sashay their way to the rush hour subway station. "It's tax year's eve!" cries someone from the circle, in mock celebration, then they begin to sing: first falteringly, then full-throatedly, over and over, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne:

"Should tax avoidance be forgot/And never brought to mind/Should tax avoidance be forgot/Unfairness you will find/For schools and hospitals, my dear/For pensions and home care/For EMA and libraries/Just pay your bloody share."

This could only be the work of UK Uncut. From the country that brought you the Suffragettes, the Chartists, the Levellers, and the peasants' revolt of 1381, UK Uncut is the zeitgeist's protest movement, a web 2.0-enabled incarnation of the aforementioned.

UK Uncut doesn't have leaders, a hierarchy, a PR firm or funders; it's not violent, it's not party-affiliated or backed, and yet in six months it's changed the face of British politics: on the left and in the protest movement, across the mainstream media, into parliament itself, and beyond the shores of the UK, to US Uncut, Canada Uncut and even, astonishingly, Sudan Uncut.