Saturday, June 25, 2011

Protests Disrupt U2 Concert in Glastonbury – Bono on the Defense after Tax Evasion

Bono From the Band U2
Well, it wasn’t exactly billed as Woodstock, but the band U2 ran into its own kind of violent protest last night.

U2, and its front man Bono, have long been known for their environmental and social issues, but Bono has come under intense pressure this last month when it was discovered he had dodged taxes in Ireland.

Fans have been protesting the band since the news came out and feel that if they have to pay their taxes that Bono should too.

And things turned ugly in Glastonbury when upset vigilantes calling themselves “Art Uncut” blew up a 20 foot balloon inscribed with the words "U Pay Your Tax 2."

Police struggled with the group before beating them to the ground and destroying the balloon. About 35 people were involved in the violent clash but it’s unknown how many arrests were made.

U2’s Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen are some of the richest individuals in Ireland and have been criticized for not paying their taxes.

One protestor said,

“U2 and its members have more money than all of us put together and should be paying taxes just like everybody else. Ireland is in the middle of its worst economic downturn and we find out these guys are skipping out. It’s just not fair.”

In a flashback to Woodstock, over 150,000 people had descended on a farm in Glastonbury in southwest England for the concert which includes acts by Morrissey, U2, Mumford & Sons, Coldplay, Beyonce and many others.

While being billed as a humanitarian event many of the fans took the opportunity to protest U2’s hypocrisy.

Another protestor said,

“We know the band has done a lot for not only Ireland but the rest of the people in the World. But when they won’t even pay the taxes in their own country it makes you think they have sold out and it’s really all about the money. They have enough mansions, cars, and toys – now they should make things right at home.”

Many of the fans protested in one way or another and there were thousands of people sporting T-shirts or signs that said “U2 – Bring it home. Pay your taxes.”

Watch U2 Live Performance at Glastonbury

Many of the bands supporters became upset in 2006 when U2 moved its corporate headquarters to the Netherlands where taxes on music royalties are very low. This left many Irish fans feeling like they had been abandoned and betrayed by Bono.

Nobody from U2’s team has commented yet on the incident.

And they say money can’t buy happiness.

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