Anarchists Take Over peaceful protests on London

Mail Online

It was supposed to be a day of peaceful protest, with students exercising their democratic right to demonstrate against soaring university fees.

But anarchists hijacked the event, setting off the most violent scenes of student unrest seen in Britain for decades. Militants from far-Left groups whipped up a mix of middle-class students and younger college and school pupils into a frenzy.

The focus of the violence was Tory HQ in central London, where hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage was caused.

Anarchists break windows in London

More anarchists hidden behind hoods wreak havoc in London.

The violent revolt is blamed on a small minority who he believed had arranged it beforehand.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘I am appalled that a small minority have today shamefully abused their right to protest.

‘This is intolerable and all those involved will be pursued and they will face the full force of the law.

‘The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has assured me that there will be a vigorous post incident investigation. He will also be reviewing police planning and response.’

The protest of 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters – including at least one Lib Dem MP – started peacefully with a march from Whitehall past Downing Street and Parliament.

But it turned violent when demonstrators halted outside Millbank Tower, home to Tory HQ, facing the Thames.

Even though the march had been publicised for weeks, Scotland Yard had policed the event with just 225 officers.

The 20 officers lining the route at Millbank faced an impossible task of trying to hold back thousands of demonstrators.

Officers watched helplessly as protesters charged the entrance lobby and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage by using chairs and fire extinguishers to smash the glass frontage, effectively opening up the atrium to the entire crowd.

Thousands of students outside Millbank Tower yesterday afternoon.

Students protesting against tuition fees rises in Westminster on Wednesday.

Conservative Party staff remained in their offices throughout with chairman Baroness Warsi among those inside.

The protesters in the Tory HQ building and on the roof released a statement which said: ‘We oppose all cuts and we stand in solidarity with public sector workers, and all poor, disabled, elderly and working people.

‘This is only the beginning of the resistance to the destruction of our education system and public services.’

Under the Government’s proposals, which represent the most radical shake-up of student funding for decades, the fee cap will be raised to £6,000, with universities able to charge up to £9,000 – triple the current cap – in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Higher Fees to be Trendy

Almost all universities will charge £9,000-a-year tuition fees to avoid their courses being seen as poor quality, a report will warn today.

The vast majority will charge the highest possible fee within a few years because students perceive costlier courses to be more prestigious, analysts said.

They warned that charges of £9,000-a-year across the board would significantly increase the cost to taxpayers of offering students subsidised loans to cover fees.

This would potentially force the Government to further raise interest rates on loans or lower the £21,000 salary threshold for repayments to start.

Ministers have claimed that universities will charge £9,000-a-year only in ‘exceptional cases’. They even say some will charge less than £6,000. But the report, by respected think-tank the Higher Education Policy Institute, says:

‘Those institutions that are over-subscribed will charge £9,000 without hesitation.

‘Those that have struggled to recruit students will initially be more cautious, but, within a few years, we believe that almost all universities will charge the maximum £9,000 fee.

‘No doubt, as now, some further education colleges will charge less than the maximum, and so may a small number of higher education institutions, but our expectation is that the great majority of students will be charged the maximum.

‘The evidence from the U.S. suggests that a higher fee makes the institution more, rather than less, attractive.’

The report also suggests the ‘savings that will accrue to the Government will in reality be much lower than expected’.

Today’s report follows David Cameron fanning the flames of student anger yesterday by admitting higher fees would subsidise charges for foreign students.

Challenged by a Chinese student during his trip to the country, the Prime Minister revealed that the higher fees were partly designed to limit rises for international undergraduates who can pay around £20,000 a year.

About Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda is an independent publication. It does not take money from Corporations, Foundations or Non-Governmental Organizations. It provides news reports in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese to reach a larger group of readers. Our news are not guided by any ideological, political or religious interest, which allows us to keep our integrity towards the readers.

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