On Saturday the 18th of December, twenty or so activists responded to the #ukuncut call out for more direct action against the rich tax dodgers like Phillip Green and Vodafone. They met at midday by the Donald Dewar statue at the top of Buchanan Street. However, due to a late change of time some people had still turned up at 10am and then left bewildered.
After recognising that the police were well positioned to stop any occupation of the adjacent Topshop, the group decided to fan out and regroup at 12.30 outside the Argyle Street branch of Vodafone.
A dozen or so activists entered the branch and their carol singing protest was met by laid back staff, who after two subsequent actions just went through the motions of calling the police.
However, the police arrived in considerable numbers. Perhaps 3 or 4 units initially arrived and asked the anti-cuts protesters to leave or be arrested. And when the group continued to sing, they became effectively kettled within the shop.
The shop was closed for around an hour, mainly by the police tactics, which seemed to be geared towards intelligence gathering. By the time the protesters were being let out one-by-one there were around 5 police units, a FIT team who were videoing the activists as they came out, and a very conspicuous plain clothes officer (who had followed them into the shop).
Protesters were once again being pressed to give their details despite there being no section 60 in force, and when challenged on grounds for asking, the cops were offering lame excuses like 'We suspect you of having committed a crime, but don't know what it is yet... we'll figure that out later'. Some people just refused to comply and walk on unimpeded.
All the protesters joined the people outside who were running a stall and handing out leaflets. They kept up the singing, the chants and engaging with a totally supportive public until approaching 4pm. And after over three hours of halting and severely disrupting Vodafone's business they all peeled of home.
There were no arrests.
Plain clothes officer