Location UK UK

British students hold a rally for free education in London

British students hold a rally for free education in London. There were more than 10000 protestors from 40 universities. Media prefer to stress on violence incident and 11 arrested people. But the real problem is not scuffle near the Parliament. British conservative government started a reform of education system. This reform aims to destroy one of basic rights – the right for education.
We give here some abstracts from media as well as description of the rally written by their participants.

The march was organised to challenge plans to scrap maintenance grants and replace them with loans, which critics warn will plunge the poorest students into thousands of pounds of extra debt.
At present, full-time UK students from families with annual household incomes of £25,000 or less qualify for maintenance grants of £3,387 a year, with smaller amounts awarded according to income.
But under the changes, which come into force in the next academic year, these grants will be replaced by loans which students would start paying back when they earn more than £21,000 a year.
Deborah Hermanns, from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, said: «We know that the fight for free education doesn’t end at the end of this demonstration.
«We are not just marching for one day and for the abolition of fees. We are building a movement which can strike to win, just as other movements all over the world have won.»
A further day of action has been called on November 17, focused on the treatment of international students, migrants and refugees.

Fees for university students in England were introduced in 1998.
The maximum allowable charge was trebled by the previous coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron to up to 9,000 (12,000 euros, 13,000 USD) GBP per year.
The leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has backed the demonstration.
Corbyn had earlier said that plans for education cuts would lead to QUOTE scapegoating and deportation of international students.

Rally chronicle
Thousands of students dissatisfied with £9k fees and graduate debt marched to Westminster and clashed with police at Parliament Square.
Students want to raise taxes on the rich to fund higher education, making it free for all. Demonstrators chanted about education being a right, not a privilege.
11 protesters were arrested, according to the Metropolitan Police.
The march started off fairly peacefully, with police liaison officers joking around with demonstrators.

But once students arrived at Kingsway, black bloc protesters left the designated side of the road and marched with their banner through the cars.
Police were stationed at several points along the route.
Students reached the Strand, where 200 King’s College London activists were waiting to join the contingent.

Along the Strand, students stopped outside a TOPSHOP to shout about taxes, and a McDonald’s to shout about meat being murder.
The atmosphere picked up as they walked down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square, as the protesters knew they were approaching Downing Street.
Someone let off a flare outside Parliament and things kicked off massively when students took down the fences around Parliament Square and stormed it.
There were violent scuffles, and police hats could be seen flying through the air.
While all this was going on, most students were happily marching past the action, sticking to the official route.

A minority of students had confrontations with the police throughout the day, leading to arrests.
Someone flung paint bombs at the glass wall and police seemed to do nothing about it.
Here’s a video compilation of the protesters storming Parliament Square and breaking apart metal fences.


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