Boycott Microsoft (Black Friday Mourning Picket!) November 28

Join us in our #BoycottMicrosoft Black Friday Mourning Picket! The Badass Teachers of WA are calling on everyone who cares about the future.

Black Friday #Boycott Microsoft

Come prepared to:

Carry a light for every child who didn’t get the attention their teacher wanted to give them because of criminal underfunding of schools.

Mourn the learning opportunities lost in our classrooms because of tax loopholes.

Mourn the loss of revenue for our most vulnerable citizens while protesting tax loopholes given to the wealthy.

Microsoft is shirking their responsibility for meeting society’s needs and putting the tax burden on the backs of workers, thus perpetuating inequality (while profiting at record levels).

We MOURN economic fairness. But we have hope. We have a clear struggle ahead of us and we have solidarity.

Microsoft owes $8.16 billion to our state from tax years 1997-2014 (according to investigative journalism by Crosscut. The article link with the facts is below).

The time is NOW to call the public’s attention to the reality of our most vulnerable citizens; Washington legislators are in contempt of court for not meeting our own state constitution’s paramount duty to fully fund basic education. Microsoft has helped this travesty along.

Safety net programs will be on the chopping block this legislative session because of false choices. State funded programs should not be fighting each other for scarce resources when corporations like Microsoft enjoy huge tax gifts year after year.

***Wear black, bring flashlights or other lights to carry in solidarity as we picket the overpass between the East and West Microsoft campuses.

***Join educators, health care workers, public servants and concerned citizens to protest the perpetual under-funding of public schools, basic health and other state programs that improve the quality of life for EVERYONE.

***Signs & artful resistance messages will be available for you.

LOCATION: Park at Overlake Transit Center, just a block from the overpass: 15590 Northeast 36th Street
Redmond, WA 98052. Follow the signs to the picket.

The picket theme is similar to a funeral procession:
We MOURN lost revenue, lost lives and lost learning opportunities to corporate greed.

We are public servants in MOURNING of amply funded classrooms and safety nets. Because the legislature relies on regressive sales taxes paid by families who NEED to buy cheap this one day of the year, we protest the growing riches of the 1% while poverty is on the rise.

Attendees will demand:

1. Microsoft pay back taxes owed from their manipulation of licensing laws and moving certain financial operations out of state specifically to avoid their tax responsibility.

2. The public boycott Microsoft products including: Microsoft Office, Minecraft, Surface Tablets, Windows, Xbox, Skype, & Nokia phones until Microsoft pays their fair share for Washington State services.

3. Legislators reform tax laws! Each and every legislator swore to uphold their paramount duty when they were sworn into office. Demand legislators change revenue policies to eliminate tax loopholes for corporations. Fully fund basic education. Support students, teachers, small class sizes, and all workers in Washington with a fair budget and sustainable revenue. Support our most vulnerable citizens across the state.

“We can conservatively estimate Microsoft’s savings from lobbying and dodging the state royalty tax between 1997 and 2014 at $5.34 billion. If we factor in interest and the Department of Revenue’s typical 25 percent penalty on unpaid corporate taxes, that number jumps to $8.16 billion”.

“The sophistication with which these men have manipulated the law and enforcement in Olympia has tremendously harmed our state and our schools, and undermined constructive dialogue over tax fairness. Ballmer and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos both fought the progressive income tax in 2010. In 2012, Smith suggested raising the sales tax was the best approach to fund education.”

“Since this is the same state government whose auditors scoured Yelp listings to collect taxes from dance clubs while ignoring billions in tax breaks to Microsoft and Boeing, it’s likely the court will need to firmly guide the Legislature’s hand to prevent them from making the most regressive tax system in the country any worse.”

Read the entire article here:
Where are Washington’s K-12 dollars? Just ask Microsoft shareholders

And on the national scale they admit to avoiding paying $29.6 Billion in taxes by hoarding them off-shore:
Microsoft Admits Keeping $92 Billion Offshore to Avoid Paying $29 Billion in U.S. Taxes

Visit the picket’s facebook page and sign up.

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