Backlash Against Payday Lenders

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Words by Neil Harrison

A nation-wide backlash against payday loan lenders is set to get underway today (Saturday, September 7th) as a wave of protest hits the streets of many major towns and cities across the UK. The action, which is being co-ordinated by The People’s Assembly, will see high street branches of certain high-interest loan companies occupied by protesters.

The move comes as it was revealed this week that one payday loan company, Wonga, makes over £1 million in profit per week at, it is felt by many, the expense of some of the most vulnerable in society. According to the organisers of today’s protest,

“The interest that these outfits charge the poorest is robbery – but not considered a crime. This Saturday the People’s Assembly is encouraging peaceful occupations of high street payday loan shops to expose these companies for what they really are – thieves who prey on the poorest.”

It is understood that the action in Manchester is set to be filmed by documentary makers from BBC3.

Occupied today?: A Manchester loan shop

They are particularly keen to hear from young people aged 18-30 who may have been adversely affected by this type of money-lending service.

The protest will meet at Market Street, Piccadilly at 1pm before moving on to occupy the city’s loan shops brandishing props and banners. For more information on this and more events, visit the People’s Assembly Facebook page.

If you are having difficulty with loan companies or spiralling debt, support can be found at The Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Neil Harrison is studying Social History at Manchester Metropolitan University, he is an aspiring journalist and a terrible guitar player. Follow him on Twitter @looseriver

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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