Thu, Oct

UK students clash with police over tuition fees, graduate debt

Thousands of students protesting against tuition fees and graduate debt yesterday staged a massive demonstration through central London.

Six people have been arrested after students charged on Parliament Square and Tory party headquarters.

Armed with a large wheelie bin, a group charged towards police who were guarding the entrance of the building.

According to the Metropolitan Police, two people have been arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers, while two more were arrested for affray. Three police officers in Parliament Square were injured but did not require hospital treatment. 

A fifth person was arrested on Victoria Street on suspicion of criminal damage to a commercial premises and possession of an offensive weapon. A sixth person was arrested for violent disorder. 

Police received numerous reports of flares being used by a number of demonstrators during the protest, which will form part of a post-incident investigation. 

A police spokesman said: 'Shortly before 14:10hrs as part of the student march was passing through Parliament Square a number of protestors climbed barriers onto the pavement around the Square itself and challenged a small group of police officers.

“Various missiles were thrown at the officers and protestors pulled down protective fencing around the grass area in Parliament Square. A large group of protestors walked onto and have occupied the grass area. The officers withdrew from the area. Three officers suffered minor injuries.”

A breakaway group later attacked a nearby Starbucks coffee shop and threw chairs from another restaurant at police, witnesses said.

Protesters chanted “one solution: revolution” and taunted police by shouting “there are many, many more of us than you” at police.

The event brought large parts of the centre of the capital to a standstill with buses cancelled or re-routed while streets were closed off.

Transport for London tweeted: 'Buses around Holborn, Strand & Westminster are subject to curtail, diversion & delays due to Student March & Rally Demo from 1200-1600hrs'.

The demonstration began peacefully when student protesters gathered outside the University of London near Euston, before leaving to march through the capital shortly after noon.

But after it reached the Houses of Parliament the atmosphere grew more hostile, and hundreds of police and riot officers were deployed in the area.