Tax protestors told not to march

COUNCIL tax protesters heading to London for a national rally on Saturday have today been told they won't be able to march on Downing Street.Thousands of protesters from throughout Britain are heading to Trafalgar Square for the rally – which will still go ahead.

By Paul Geater

COUNCIL tax protesters heading to London for a national rally on Saturday have today been told they won't be able to march on Downing Street.

Thousands of protesters from throughout Britain are heading to Trafalgar Square for the rally - which will still go ahead.

But the proposal for the protesters to march down Whitehall to Downing Street have had to be cancelled after the Metropolitan Police refused them permission.


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However a 35,000-signature petition calling for council tax bills to the kept down will be handed in at Downing Street.

The rally has been organised by the national umbrella group for council tax protesters Isitfair, and speakers from the organisation are expected to urge local and national politicians to keep council tax rises to a minimum this year.

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A coach full of protesters from Suffolk is heading down to join the protest - and more people are expected to travel down to London independently.

Organisers of the rally have been left fuming by the Met's ban on the march.

"They've just said it's because of health and safety concerns, but they haven't told us any more than that - it's just not good enough," said Reg Hartles from Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk (PACTS).

"They seem to allow every other kind of march in London - if we were lesbian and gay protesters we wouldn't have any problem marching.

"But the rally will go ahead - and there should be a march sometime in the spring once the Met have been satisfied."

No one from the Metropolitan Police was today available to comment on the exact reasons for the ban on the march.

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See page 19 for how owners of holiday and empty homes in Ipswich are to be squeezed in an attempt to cut down on council tax bills next year.

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