Colby says police told him protest inside HSBC in Ely against tax avoidance could carry on “as long as I cleaned up after me”
- Credit: Archant
Colby Smith took a “one-man direct action protest” inside HSBC in Ely on Saturday to highlight the campaign against tax avoidance.
The painter and decorator from Sutton answered the call to action by national activist group UK Uncut with his two hour sit-in at the Ely bank.
Mr Smith, 29, plastered the walls and windows of the building with homemade posters protesting about government cuts and austerity measures and calling on businesses like HSBC, Google and Amazon to pay the proper amount of tax.
Police were called by bank staff but Mr Smith claimed officers were ‘supportive’ and allowed him to remain inside the bank’s window after being re-assured his was a peaceful protest.
He wrote on Twitter during the protest: “The police officer who talked to me (very nice guy by the way) told me he totally understood and that his pay is frozen for five years.
You may also want to watch:
“All went well. Police said I could carry on as long as I cleaned up after me. Branch manager was not happy.”
Mr Smith, who is considering standing as a Green candidate for Sutton at the upcoming local elections, said passers-by were very supportive giving him the thumbs-up sign.
- 1 'Horrific ordeal' of saleswoman tied up, restrained and sexually assaulted
- 2 ‘You’re trespassing’ - What happened when we gave Matt Hancock QEH petition
- 3 In 2,300 words rainbow alliance set out manifesto for change at Cambridgeshire County Council
- 4 Murder suspect is victim's son
- 5 Woman dies after being hit by lorry
- 6 Carpenter 'honoured' by thank-you gifts to mark 25 years' service
- 7 Charity shop supervisor fraudster must pay back £2,550
- 8 £100k homes scrapped 'with almost immediate effect' says Mayor
- 9 Man charged with murder of woman in her 70s
- 10 Here’s what the post-lockdown pub experience will look like
He was joined briefly by Clive Semmens, the Green Party’s would-be MP for South East Cambs, who broke off from handing out leaflets on the Market Place to stand beside Mr Smith.
Mr Smith’s protest was part of a nationwide campaign by activists who descended on several branches of HSBC across the country protesting against tax avoidance and cuts in the public sector.
Colby posted photos of his protest on Twitter as it unfolded and added “sorry mister branch manager”.
He is considering standing as a Green candidate in the forthcoming local elections in Sutton.
Colby Smith took his “one-man direct action protest” inside HSBC in Ely on Saturday to highlight his campaign against tax avoidance.
See the video of Mr Smith’s protest here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NEo0mt-Zj0