Glasgow students protest banking bail-out

Published

Pete Ramand

Students and trade unionists demonstrated against bank-bailouts outside Halifax Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and the Royal Bank of Scotland in Glasgow on October 18th.

Danny McGregor, one of the organisers of the demonstration, outlined the demands of the protestors, highlighting the issues raised by rescuing big business with taxpayers’ money.

He said: “Working people should not be the victims of job losses and home repossessions while the bankers are being bailed out with billions of pounds of public money.

“Glasgow hosts some of the biggest financial corporations in the world. Despite the corporations being part of the cause of this crisis it is their profits that are being saved.

“We demand a bail-out of ordinary people, not the bankers; and to nationalise the profits, not the debts.”

RBS declined to comment, while both HBoS and Lloyds TSB were also unavailable to make a statement.

The demonstration was organised by the Socialist Workers Student Society as a prelude to a mobilisation planned for October 31st outside the corporate headquarters of HBoS in Edinburgh.

This event follows a series of demonstrations over the bank bailouts; the most notable of which was held in London on October 10th, where 700 students attempted to occupy the Bank of England.

In what was dubbed ‘Fight-back Friday’ students attempted to break into the London bank.

Steve Henshaw, one of the organisers of the protest, described the scene.

He said: “The police couldn’t really control things, and many started lashing out punches in frustration. The crowd were eventually trapped into a corner by police on horseback and officers with dogs.

“It’s becoming harder to pay bills, to find work and our student loans are linked to inflation, so the loan company will add about 10% extra onto our debts this year. We’ll fight with those trying to defend their homes from re-possession, stand alongside workers on picket lines and we’ll be on the streets again on the 31st.”

Rob Owen, of the NUS National Executive, was equally critical of the banks’ handling of the current crisis.

He said: “Students have had enough of one rule for the rich and another for the poor. The Bank of England gave billions of pounds of our money to the rich but we won’t be made to pay for their crisis.”

A spokesperson for the City of London police force reported: “This was a well-controlled demonstration.”