Police Attack Peaceful March

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Students on yesterday’s march in Whitehall determined to end fees and get EMA grants back
Students on yesterday’s march in Whitehall determined to end fees and get EMA grants back

TENS of thousands of school, college and university students demonstrated against education cuts, tuition fees and the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in nearly every town and city all over Britain yesterday.

Scores of colleges and universities were occupied as students called for fees to be abolished.

Riot police were mobilised against the peaceful protests across the country.

In central London, they stopped students proceeding into Parliament Square.

Students were pushed back and police contained approximately 3,000 students inside a cordon in Whitehall for several hours from around 2pm onwards, preventing anyone from leaving the area.

Four helicopters flew overhead filming the demonstration, while police cameramen on the ground filmed the students as the cordon was established.

Thousands of students and school pupils walked out of classes and marched. Walkouts and protests took place at universities and colleges in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, Southampton, Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

There were occupations at Royal Holloway, Plymouth, Birmingham, London South Bank, UCL, Essex and UWE Bristol.

School youth defied threats and walked out of their classes to join protests all over the country.

Students occupied part of the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall where they unfurled a banner calling for the vice-chancellor to resign.

Thousands of university and school students in Sheffield marched to a rally at Sheffield Town Hall, and in Liverpool students marched to the Town Hall where there was a heavy police presence.

Thousands marched in Cambridge and some students climbed railings and scaffolding at the University of Cambridge’s Senate House to erect banners.

Inside the London cordon students told News Line that the government education cuts must be defeated.

Munira Mohamed, an Essex graduate, said: ‘They talk about crime, and they will depict what happens here as crime, but what they’re doing is criminal.

‘They’re penning us in – young students, 15 and 16-year-olds, who’ve never been on a protest before.’

Students chanted: ‘What do we want? Free Education! When do we want it? Now!’

Sophia Danicic a 16-year-old from William Ellis School in Camden, said: ‘I get £30 a week EMA and they’re planning to take that off me next year.’

Khyati Patel, a 17-year-old student from Westminster Kingsway College, said: ‘Those cuts are really unfair. I think this is going to become a huge revolutionary movement because this young generation knows it has to fight for its future.’