Student Protests Marred by Violence


An NUS led protest in Central London against government rises in tuition fees has ended in angry clashes between demonstrators and police. Around 30,000 people descended on the capital early this morning, marching peacefully to challenge the Conservative Party’s plans to lift the cap on tuition fees, whilst cutting student funding.

The Millbank Building which houses the Conservative Party headquarters was broken into late this afternoon by hordes of angry protestors, bringing an ugly end to a day that had begun with little trouble. The violent head-to-head between police and demonstrators came to a climax at Westminster, where police lines were apparently broken and placards set fire to. St Johns Ambulance reports that 9 people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

The demonstration, which Southampton University Students’ Union provided t-shirts and transport for five coach-loads of students and lecturers to attend, was apparently hijacked by violent demonstrators, some of whom covered their faces to avoid identification. The leader of the National Union of Students, Aaron Porter described the violence as ‘despicable’.


Discussion7 Comments

  1. avatar

    Let us hope that the message of the majority who peacefully represented their views of government policy are not overshadowed by the few who went too far. The violent must be distanced from the students who were there to oppose the increase in tuition fees in a respectable manner to be heard democratically.
    I would like to congratulate Southampton Students for their positive approach.

  2. avatar

    People will join in any protest or demonstration for whatever reason as an excuse to create mayhem. I’ve been guilty of this in the past, though not to this extent. I doubt that the majority of students who went to London particularly cared about tuition fees, or if they were actually students in the first place.

  3. avatar

    it was a great protest, i enjoyed it. 52,000 apparently attended 🙂 great atmosphere and not intimidating, despite a bit of broken glass.. biggest Southampton University turn out to a demo, in the last 3 years for sure.

    keep positive- we kept to our principles, met other inspiring universities students, don’t let violent anarchists ruin the coverage, we did good!!

  4. avatar

    I agree. Perhaps I should have made more of the fact that it was a really great protest. Students from Southampton turned out in their hundreds to stand up for what they believed in – injustice at the hands of an aloof and elitist Conservative government – and did us proud. The article was intended to report on the violence from the small minority that threatened to ruin the day for the majority who protested in peace.

  5. avatar

    A friend got caught up in all this, he was in the middle of a barraging circle and couldnt get out, so was dragged into the building. Upon asking why the Police didnt think Tory HQ should have had more protection, the reply was a monosyllabic “cuts”. Brilliant. Almost a big fat F U.

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