UK police resort to prohibited spray to disperse tax protesters


London : British police have controversially resorted to use tear gas at the latest protest against corporate tax avoidance by multi-national companies in the UK.

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Three protesters were taken to hospital after police used CS spray during a demonstration and sit-in at Boots health store in Oxford Street in central London on Sunday.

The protest was among peaceful sit-ins staged at hundreds of people at high street stores around the country as part of the latest UK Uncut day of action, designed to highlight the billions saved in tax avoidance could reduce the need for spending cuts.

Scotland Yard confirmed that CS gas was used when protesters chanting: ‘Shame on you’ against the police after arresting a woman for placing leaflets in-between the gaps of the store’s doors.

The police have faced previous criticism for charging horses and ‘kettling’ protesters for hours during student demonstrations against education cuts and increased tuition fees.

CS gas is used commonly as a temporary incapacitant in riot control and in armed sieges but in 1999, UK mental health charity MIND called for a suspension in its use until it is fully tested and there is proof it is safe.

In canisters, it was used at the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland but has since being used by the British Army and security forces.

Britain is a signatory of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, that prohibits CS use but only in war and military conflicts.