Campaigners around the world demand a Financial Transaction Tax from the G20
The global campaign for a Robin Hood Tax moved up a notch last week, with campaigners from 25 countries uniting to call for the G20 to deliver a tax on the banks. From Argentina to Australia, Spain to Senegal, and Brussels to Brazil, thousands of people and organizations took part across the globe.
Campaigners have been taking action on the eve of a G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Paris, where the Financial Transaction Tax is expected to be discussed. President Sarkozy of France, Chair of the G20 and G8 this year, is leading the charge for a tax on financial transactions that could raise billions to tackle global challenges of poverty and climate change. With banks returning to profits and ongoing public anger as the effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt, this year sees a golden opportunity to see a tax on banks agreed.
Last week saw action focused on the embassies of France, Germany and the UK in the 25 countries that took part. These governments are key in securing an international deal on an FTT. Many joined the big Robin Hood idea, dressing up in the obligatory green hat and tights to attract some media attention in their countries. Some of the highlights from today include:
- Spanish merry men protested in 18 cities across the country, and this culminated in a presentation of a giant Robin Hood arrow to the French Ambassador in Madrid;
- In the US, our American friends from over 30 organizations wrote to President Obama and posed in front of the White House to photographers;
- In France, Monsieur Robin des Bois took centre stage at the launch of a new national campaign at the old Stock Exchange building in Paris;
- In Nepal, a group of development organisations are visiting the British and French embassies, dressed in traditional Robin Hood hats and masks;
- In Germany, a band of merry men arrived at the Berlin film festival in a stretched limo and attempted to strut down the red carpet for European media;
- In Senegal, activists from across the African continent posed in front of media, and this week are delivering giant campaign banners to Ambassadors in Dakar. The banners were signed by hundreds of delegates at the World Social Forum;
- British Robin Hood Tax campaigners handed in a giant ‘final demand’ notice into banks in seven cities across the country.
Stunts and campaign actions also took place in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda, and South Africa.
To see people from across the globe come together for the FTT/Robin Hood Tax campaign is an inspiring moment, and this is just the start of our work this year. With a new worldwide petition launched and lots more campaign actions planned, governments will be feeling the heat from our hero in green tights!