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June, 25

U2 tax protest turns violent

 
 
 
 
U2 tax protest turns violent

Violent scenes broke out in the crowd at U2's long-awaited Glastonbury debut as a protest against the band's tax status was foiled by security guards.

As Bono and his bandmates took to the Pyramid Stage, activists from direct action group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with the message "U Pay Your Tax 2".

But as the campaigners tried to release it over the 50,000-strong crowd, a team of 10 burly security guards wrestled them to the ground before deflating the balloon and taking it away.

The intervention by security after U2's opening song Until The End Of The World sparked angry clashes with 30 or more protesters.

One security guard told a photographer to "go away", adding: "If you are press, I'll have you."

Several protesters were pinned against a fence near the Pyramid Stage after attempting to hold on to the balloon. There were no arrests.

One of the campaign group members said: "That was totally over the top. He threatened to hit me."

Another said: "Political activism used to belong at Glastonbury. This was all going to be completely peaceful."

A handful of U2 fans looked on open-mouthed and booed as the security guards swooped.

Gary Noble, 45, from Eastbourne, said: "It was all a bit shocking. I love U2 but I think everyone should pay their taxes. The campaigners have a right to voice their opinion."

 

Source: music.uk.msn.com
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