A loosely-knit global collective calling itself ‘The Rules’, with links to the Occupy movement, has recently been established. The group aims to stage a number of campaigns based on what it sees as major issues connected to fairness and equality in various countries. In essence, it aims to globalise the activist approach to what it considers a global tax avoidance issue whereby, for example, tax avoidance in the UK negatively impacts countries in the developing world.
The London branch of the collective was launched this week and will see initial actions being played out through a campaign called ‘Visit the City’. A mock video advertising the City of London as a global tax haven indicates that actions will begin on Saturday 16 March by the Royal Exchange, London, to expose ‘the hidden City of London’. The event looks set to be theatrical, possibly playing out a ‘beach theme’ and the date has been timed to take place ahead of City of London Corporation elections on 20 and 21 March.
No particular corporations have been mentioned in material so far, but rather, the initiative appears particularly concerned with what it perceives to be an overarching ‘corrupt system’ as opposed to separate companies. Nevertheless, various corporations, particularly those previously targeted by UK Uncut including Vodafone, Arcadia Group and Starbucks are likely to be focused upon in Saturday’s actions. In the longer-term, ‘The Rules’ already appears to be effectively run which may assist with the campaign’s sustainability. It seemingly has funds which it has used to purchase high-value advertising space in London, it has an effective PR body, and goals past Saturday’s actions (it looks set to continue focused campaigns until the G8 Summit in June at least). Moreover, its global approach to the issue of ‘tax avoidance’ appears to have slightly reinvigorated the overall movement. Nevertheless, a more effective analysis of the group, particular its tactics and what the future may hold in terms of possible occupations (a possibility due to the group’s links with Occupy), will be better gauged in the coming weeks.