What gave them away, apart from all 14 wearing yellow and black T-shirts reading in large print “Democracy Now”? Somehow the Police became suspicious and found the group to be carrying banner making equipment, presumably to take advantage of the high profile yearly tennis championship at Wimbledon where the Spaniard Rafael Nadal was due to play that day. Another creative non-violent occasion in their campaign to denounce the undemocratic and ruthless way the Spanish (substitute here by Greek, UK, etc) government is dealing with the economic crisis. The queue was held up for 45 minutes whilst the Police dealt with the demonstrators, thanks to which we came to hear about it.
Meanwhile, at the traditional rock-and-mud Glastonbury Festival a 25ft high inflatable “U PAY TAX 2?” balloon and ‘Bono Pay Up’ banner were being raised by Art Uncut (and swiftly pulled down after just a few minutes by the festival’s staff) to denounce that Bono, the guy who talks to Very Important People about getting rid of hunger and poverty has joined the big corporations in tax avoidance practices. In spite of the short protest news of it continues to circumnavigate the globe carried by traditional and alternative Media alike.
A report about the band’s unholy tax practices had been released by DDCI (Debt and Development Coalition Ireland) via its spokesperson, who told the Belfast Telegraph: “We wanted to raise our concern that while Bono has championed the cause of fighting poverty and injustice in the impoverished world, the fact is that his band has moved part of its business to a tax shelter in the Netherlands. Tax avoidance and tax evasion costs the impoverished world at least 160 million US dollars every year. This is money urgently required to bring people out of poverty.”
Glastonbury is the usual place for fans to express their adoration to rock musicians but this time it was “shame on you Bono”.
The times are a-changing….