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Violence erupts during London anti-tax protest

At least nine people were injured and 91 arrested when violence broke out Saturday during protests in London against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's new local tax. It was the second violent demonstration this year against the controversial community charge, widely known as the poll tax.

Saturday's trouble began after a demonstration by about 5,000 people had ended peacefully and 2,500 youths left to march to Brixton prison in south London.

Police said the crowd tried to storm a barricade set up to prevent the marchers from reaching the prison, where a number of people arrested during poll tax riots in March are being held.

Police wearing helmets, leg armor and carrying shields charged the crowd after some protesters hurled cans, injuring some civilians. The police came under a hail of bottles, bricks and fireworks as they made several charges.

Five civilians and four police officers were injured.

The tax was introduced to pay for local services, replacing a centuries-old property levy. It is unpopular because it takes no account of ability to pay.

Opinion polls earlier this year found that 75 percent of Britons oppose the tax and this has contributed to the recent decline in Thatcher's popularity and that of her ruling Conservative Party.

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