Thursday, 11 November 2010

Tens Of Thousand March Against Fees

Students gather at Horse Guards Parade

By Ben Aulakh

More than 50, 000 students from across the country marched through the centre of London yesterday to protest against a proposed trebling of their tuition fees.

The mass demonstration was in response to a recently announced plan by the Coalition government to raise the annual cap on fees from the current £3290 to between £6000 and £9000 a year.

Tens of thousands of students gathered at Horse Guards Parade at around 11.30am, before marching onto Westminster at around 12.45pm.

The march ended at the Tate Britain Gallery on Millbank at around 3.30pm, however many students stayed in the area for another couple of hours.

Students march on Westminster

Amanda, a student from London Metropolitan University said, “I am blown away as to the huge turnout on this march today.

“I’ve been amazed how many people have come down here, it just proves how many people are worried that the long term impact of these plans could be the creation of a huge divide between the middle and working classes.”

A steward at the event who was asked how many universities were present said, “There isn’t a university I haven’t seen here so far today.”

A number of students also protested outside the Conservative Party Headquaters at Millbank, burning effigies of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, and burning placards on a bonfire in the buildings courtyard.

There were also scuffles between a small number of protesters and police in riot gear with some windows being smashed and missiles thrown at police; a number of arrests were also made.

Jenni, a student from Brighton University said, Students are out protesting today because others aren’t going to be able to afford it in the future.

“It’s not realistic to for students to leave university with debt the size of a small mortgage.
Much of the anger from students on the protest – expressed through the variety of placards and banners many protesters were holding – was aimed the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Mr Clegg co-signed a pledge before the general election, alongside the rest of his party and the National Union of Students, that under no circumstances would they raise tuition fees. 

Jenni added, “The Liberal Democrats were unelectable on their own, today shows that they are going to lose the next election, with both Tories and opposition voting for tuition fees, who will be the voice for students then.”

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