HUNDREDS of Barclays Bank customers were prevented from making transactions on Saturday afternoon following an Axe the Tax demonstration in the town centre.
The demonstration was organised by groups including Unison and the newly-formed Axe the Tax group, calling on council workers not to implement the tax.
One of those taking part was Jon Hughes, a former chemistry supply teacher from Fartown.
He said: “It was a demonstration against the Government’s welfare reforms, the so-called Bedroom Tax.
“We walked round the town for five to 10 minutes and then some of them who organised it went into Barclays Bank on Market Place to demonstrate against what the banks had done in precipitating the credit crunch.
“An internal security alarm was triggered and staff and the public were evacuated. Police confronted the people still in the bank and two of them were arrested.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “At 1.34pm, police were called to Barclays Bank on Market Place, Huddersfield, following reports of a disturbance.
“During the incident, which appears to have involved protesters, the bank has activated a security system that has filled the premises with smoke.
“There are no reports of injuries and two people have been arrested in connection with the incident.”
Ian Brooke, of Axe the Tax, said: “Before waiting for the police to arrive the manager set off the alarms and dry ice and closed the bank.
“Two local anarchists were arrested and a crowd of protesters and passers-by blocked the road to prevent the police from leaving.
“The two were released from custody shortly after midnight and we do not know yet if they are being charged.”