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Group defends protest over U2 tax affairs

Protest group Art Uncut has defended its demonstration against U2 insisting the band's attitude toward taxation is part of a global problem that "cripples" developing countries, writes Mark Hilliard.

Speaking after security guards at the Glastonbury Festival clashed with protesters on Friday, the group said it was targeting U2 in a bid to address a broader problem.

Organiser Philip Gough said that they were trying to promote an ethical attitude toward corporate tax, so that much-needed money could be invested in social development and world aid.

In relation to global taxation, he said: "Much of the tax dodging that is crippling the developing world is perfectly legal."

U2 frontman Bono responded briefly to the snuffed-out protest by saying he was glad the campaigners had a voice, but that their message was simply wrong.

"I'm all for protests. I've been protesting all of my life," he said.

"I'm glad they got the chance to have their say. But, as it happens, what they're protesting about is wrong."

Campaigners had attempted to release a 20ft balloon with the words 'U Pay Your Tax 2' on it as the band played to a 50,000-strong crowd on Friday night.

However, clashes soon broke out with security employees -- who deflated and confiscated the balloon, leading to charges of heavy-handedness.

Speaking after the clash, Mr Gough said that people should have a sense of what their "fair share" is and that taxation was important for social development.

He said he believed that U2 were not thinking about their tax affairs in an ethically responsible manner.

Irish Independent