London Statement on Tax Havens & Corporate Responsibility

Initial statement of the Corporations Working Group, as passed by the OccupyLSX General Assembly on 25th November
“Of the world’s 100 largest economic entities in 2000, 51 were corporations and 49 were countries. [3]

With its relentless pursuit of profit at all cost, the present corporate system fits the definition of a psychopath, driving the rapid destruction of our society and the natural environment. [4]

This is done only to benefit a small minority and not the needs of the 99 per cent. The way corporations and governments are intertwined fundamentally undermines democracy. Corporations are rarely transparent or accountable to the people. This corporate system is broken and we call on the people to reclaim their power and bring about a radical and immediate change.

We propose these following points as first steps towards this:

Globally, corporations deprive the public purse of hundreds of billions of pounds each year, leaving insufficient funds to provide people with fair living standards. We must abolish tax havens and complex tax avoidance schemes, and ensure corporations pay tax that accurately reflects their real profits.

Corporate lobbying subverts our democracy. Last year corporations spent £2 billion influencing the British government. We believe exploitative corporate lobbying has no place in a democratic society. Legislation to ensure full and public transparency of all corporate lobbying activities must be put in place. This should be overseen by a credible and independent body, directly accountable to the people.

The existing system of corporate sanctions allows executives and board members to avoid individual responsibility for the consequences of their actions and inactions. Those directly involved in the decision-making process must be held personally liable for their role in the misdeeds of their corporations and duly charged for all criminal behaviour.

A welcome development at Occupy London is that many people working within these corporations have communicated support for our concerns. We encourage anyone to come forward and offer their opinions, or any relevant information, either openly or confidentially, to add to this discussion.

We recognise that corporate employees may feel like they do not have the power alone to create change, but by welcoming them into talks with Occupy London and working together, we can create a socially responsible and sustainable economic system.”

Notes
[1] http://occupylsx.org/?page_id=575
[2] http://occupylsx.org/?p=839
[3] Sales: Fortune, July 31, 2000. GDP: World Bank, World Development Report 2000
[4] http://www.thecorporation.com/index.cfm?page_id=47
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0218-01.htm

About author
We are just like you, citizens of the world fed up with the critical situation and we believe a real change can be achieved through the coordination of non violent actions and self-managed alternatives around the world. There must be a better way of dealing with the survival and enjoyment of our life, we believe in consensus and in non-hierarchical organization. We believe that another world is possible, where nobody has to die of hunger while others throw food away. We don’t have flags and we fight the borders crossing them. We try to be in the best place at the good moment, from Brussels to Lisbon, from Madrid to Athens, reporting but also acting. We come from activist groups, hacking platforms or post capitalist projects and we participated a lot in the Spanish revolution since the beginning. We leave our respective assemblies for this international project of global coordination but we keep in touch, sending back information and visiting regularly. We are open to integrate new people to our project or to help the creation of new teams. More information about our way to work in the protocol.

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