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Up to 40,000 Protest Across Germany for Higher Taxes on the Wealthy

"Where does the debt come from? It comes from the bank bailouts...and a tax system that favors the wealthy"

An activist wears a cape with counterfeit bills in a demonstration against the increasing gap between wealth and poverty on September 29, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images)

(TheBlaze/AP) -- Thousands across Germany are protesting for more taxes on the wealthy, specifically for the introduction wealth and financial transaction taxes.  They are also looking for higher property taxes, according to EuroNews, and for the government to crack down on tax evasion.

Organizers said Saturday around 40,000 people took to the streets in 40 different cities to demand what they believe would be a more "equal" society.

Police estimates of the turnout in the country's biggest cities were lower than the organizers', however.

Frankfurt police said about 4,000 took to the streets, and Cologne reported 2,000.  Authorities in Berlin declined to provide an estimate, but organizers said about 5,000 protested in the country's capital.

The organizers - including unions, civil society groups and the anti-globalization group Attac - demand a permanent tax on people's wealth "to have rich households contribute significantly more."

They said the tax they're supporting would only affect the country's wealthiest citizens, with almost 99 percent not paying additional taxes.

The rhetoric and symbolism seem to mirror American protests from the notorious group "Occupy Wall Street."  They, too, are fond of Guy Fawkes masks and discussing the "99%."

Union leader Frank Bsirske commented: "Where does the debt come from? It comes from the bank bailouts during the bank crisis, and a tax system that favors the wealthy..."

Germany has been one of the countries keeping Europe afloat as country after country is rocked by high unemployment, high taxes, and low growth.

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