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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Student take to streets over fees

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A protester scuffles with police officers during a march by students against university fees

Nationwide demonstrations against deeply unpopular plans to ramp up student tuition fees have been marred by violence once again.

Thousands of young people incensed by the threat of substantial debts at the end of their time at university took to the streets.

The vast majority took part in peaceful marches, occupations and vigils as MPs debated the potential impact of the changes in Westminster.

But seven arrests were made in London and 10 in Bristol as protests spilled over into violent confrontations.

Hundreds of demonstrators ran from police in Whitehall, in central London, over fears they would be “kettled” just yards from the start of a planned march.

Officers played cat and mouse with splinter groups around the West End as they added to traffic chaos sparked by snow and icy conditions.

A hardcore group of around 100 people were eventually surrounded in Trafalgar Square as one male officer was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Graffiti was daubed on public statues and fires lit at the base of Nelson’s Column as missiles were thrown at riot police.

Police said three protesters were also hurt, including a woman who was hit on the head by a missile, and a man who fell over in the snow.

In Bristol, 10 people were arrested as police were pelted with mustard when thousands of students from both universities in the city marched.

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