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Arrests made at student protest in London

Thousands of students were protesting against university tuition fees, student debt and austerity measures

Ahram Online in London, Thursday 20 Nov 2014
London
British police officers confront protestors during a demonstration against university tuition fees in London, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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More than ten people were arrested during clashes with police at a student protest in London on Wednesday.

Thousands of students marched to Parliament in a demonstration against high tuition fees, debt and austerity measures.

The Free Education march was organised to express opposition to raising tuition fees from £3,000 to up to £9,000.

It was the biggest protest against the fees since 2010.

Hundreds carried placards and banners chanting "When they say cut back, we say fight back," and "No ifs, no buts, no education cuts."

During the protest, a breakaway group of demonstrators lobbed missiles at police officers and attacked government buildings and businesses.

Police said arrests were made after a small group of protesters became more hostile and flooded the streets around Parliament Square, some lighting flares.

Three officers suffered minor injuries.

"Various missiles were thrown at the officers and protesters pulled down protective fencing around the grass area in Parliament Square," police said in a statement.

Some of the students were charged with assaulting police officers and criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon and violent disorder.

The match was not endorsed by the National Union of Students (NUS), but was backed by other groups including the National Campaign Against Fees And Cuts.

Riot police were called to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills after demonstrators hurled orange paint over the entrance to the building.

Scuffles also broke out when protesters, many wearing black balaclavas and hoods, tore down metal railings and pulled aside barriers as they stormed on to Parliament Square.

Outside New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the British police, a large group of protesters held a sit-down demonstration. As police looked on, they chanted abuse at the police and shouted "Tory, Tory, Tory, scum, scum, scum."

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