09/12/2010

Trouble Erupts At Student Fees Protest

Violence has broken out between thousands of students and police on Westminster as talks over plans to treble university fees take place in Parliament.

One police officer is in hospital with serious neck injuries, and a mounted officer has been thrown off his horse as the clashes in central London escalate.

Some of the protesters have been breaking down metal barriers around Parliament Square and surging onto the green towards Whitehall.

A handful have been seen climbing onto a statue of Winston Churchill and daubing it with graffiti.

Protestors are hitting out at coalition proposals that could see students having to pay up to £9,000 per year.

Ahead of the planned protest in London today, the Met Police were working closely with the National Union of Students (NUS), University and College Union (UCU) and University of London Union (ULU).

In order to balance the needs and requirements of those protesting against tuition fees, and other Londoners to go about their everyday business, officers agreed a route for a protest march from Malet Street WC1 to Westminster and to the rally point along the Victoria Embankment.

The NUS, the UCU, together with ULU, discussed their plans fully with the Met Police Service Public Order Branch agreeing to the following: Rally along Victoria Embankment from 15.00hrs - 16.30hrs and then a candlelit vigil in the same location from 16.30hrs until 17.00hrs.

The march route goes from from Malet Street along Kingsway - Aldwych - The Strand - Trafalgar Square - Admiralty Arch - Horse Guards Road - Parliament Square via Great George Street - Whitehall and ending in Victoria Embankment with the other protesters.

(BMcN/GK)

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