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3 Nov, 2011 16:54

Bill Gates takes OWS message to G20

Thousands of anti-globalists are mixing with anti-capitalists across the French Riviera to prompt the G20 summit for a little more action. They seem to have won an ambassador to promote the Robin Hood tax at the top gathering.

Spreading from Nice up the coast to the tax haven of Monaco, the anti-G20 protest has taken on some strange forms with demonstrators turning up dressed as President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel or President Obama.A mock press conference was held, which demonstrators insist was much more informative than the regular top level “vague babble.” “We don’t see a problem with the world’s economy,” said a fake Nicolas Sarkozy according to RT’s Daniel Bushell. “We are happy with Greece to have a referendum on a bailout as long as they vote ‘yes’,” added a fake Angela Merkel.Monaco, as well as other tax havens, has gone on to the anti-capitalists’ agenda as the demonstrators are outraged that bankers who are bringing in huge bonuses while Europe is drowned in bailouts can move to Monaco without paying tuppence in tax. Previous G20 summits brought a promise to shut down tax paradises, but the pledge did not seem to go very far.Unlike some previous anti-G20 protests, this year’s demonstrations stress their peaceful disposition. But boiling across the French Riviera, the protest cannot enter Cannes itself. There, even local residents have to wear badges to get through the tightest security, which has even forced some people to move out of the city till the summit finishes. Although the demonstrators are worried their message to world leaders might not get through, they do appear to have supporters among the mighty. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, have both recently expressed their support for the Robin Hood tax proposed by the demonstrators. The additional tax targets financial transactions on each stock and bond trade. "It is very plausible that certain kinds of financial transaction taxes (FTT) could work," Gates told the Guardian newspaper. "I am lending some credibility to that. This money could be well spent and make a difference. An FTT is more possible now than it was a year ago, but it won't be at rates that magically raise gigantic sums of money."Bill Gates, who arrived in Cannes on Thursday, is expected to present this idea to the G20 summit and argue that the money raised could top up government aid budgets to fight poverty and deprivation around the world.