Protesters occupy Glasgow bank to protest against government cuts

A group demonstrating against the UK Government's spending cuts occupied a branch of Lloyds TSB in Glasgow city centre today.

• The protest by Citizens United inside the Lloyds TSB bank on St Vincent Street

Members of Citizens United gathered in front of the City Chambers at around 11am before begining their protest in the St Vincent Street bank.

The 11-strong group, which included pensioners, shouted "no cuts, no cuts" as they held pieces of paper with messages including "Stand up for Glasgow. Stand united against these cuts".

Some of the bank's staff stood near the doors of the branch and told customers that they were closed as the demonstration continued inside.

Three police officers arrived and entered the branch at just before midday today.

Sean Clerkin, 49, a spokesman for Citizens United, who took part, said: "This is a formal occupation of a bank. Concerned citizens in a group called Citizens United have got together today to oppose the Government's spending cuts which would decimate the social fabric of British society.

"What we are saying is no to that because there is an alternative. The alternative is very straightforward - tax the super rich and the rich, and also go after the tax evasion/tax avoidance and that would bring in 120 billion that would be needed to close the deficit.

"The banks caused this. This is why we are occupying a bank today. The banks caused this deficit. They got a massive bailout from the taxpayer, from the public sector. Why should public sector workers and the poor have to pay the price for their greed?

"Citizens United is non-party political, it is not a violent protest and there will be no damage to property. We will not be intimidating any workers in the bank.

"What we are saying is our society must come together. It's (the cuts) going to split our whole society apart and that's what must be avoided."

Mr Clerkin said he hoped the protest would raise awareness and to make sure people "fight back" to make sure the cuts do not happen.

He said the cuts would lead to more criminals on the street and less police officers, which would result in more crime.


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