DO you remember these ugly scenes in Colchester?

Our dip into the archives has unearthed these pictures from 1990, when residents marched – and fought – in Colchester High Street against the Poll Tax.

Colchester town centre was transformed from a shopping centre to the epicentre of running battles between the police and protesters voicing their opposition to the unpopular tax.

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher first unveiled the idea of the poll tax – or community tax – in 1974.

It was a change in the way the levy, used to fund councils, was worked out.

Instead of being based on a home’s value, the tax was worked out according to the number of adults living in a property.

It became a priority in the Conservative manifesto for the 1979 elections and was introduced in England and Wales from 1990.

But opponents said the tax – which was the same for a mansion as a bedsit – was a tax on the poor and they took to the streets to protest.

In Colchester, protesters demonstrated in March and May, shouting anti-Government chants and triggering clashes with police officers.

The Socialist Workers Party led some of the protests but opponents came from across the community with mothers pushing prams joining the marches.

The opposition never abated and, in 1993, the Government relented and introduced the council tax, which has been in place ever since.