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UK Acts to Defuse Further Fuel Protests

September 29, 2000

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A special task force Friday announced a deal binding oil companies, trade unions and police to ensure regular fuel supplies if protesters demanding lower fuel taxes try to resume blockades.

According to press reports, details of the arrangement were kept under wraps to prevent any intervention by protesters, who attempted to keep truckers from entering refineries for the better part of eight days last month, causing severe fuel shortages.
Officials refused to reveal what measures, if any, the government and police plan to take if the protesters, including farmers and truckers, carried out their threat to resume blockades and prevent other truckers from loading fuel at the country's refineries.
The blockades put police between a rock and hard place, but they were effective in throttling fuel supplies for the country. Major worker unions called the action undemocratic, but protesters managed to gain the support of large segments of the British public.

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