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Protest over tuition fees

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Protest over tuition fees

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LONDON – Tens of thousands of students marched through London yesterday against plans to triple university tuition fees, and violence erupted as a minority battled police and trashed a building containing the headquarters of the governing Conservative Party.
Organisers said 50 000 students, lecturers and supporters demonstrated against plans to raise the cost of studying at a university to #9 000 pounds sterling (US$14 000) a year – three times the current rate – in the largest street protest yet against the government’s sweeping austerity measures.
As the march passed a high-rise building that houses Conservative headquarters, some protesters smashed windows as others lit a bonfire of placards outside the building.
Office workers were evacuated as several dozen demonstrators managed to get into the lobby, scattering furniture, smashing CCTV cameras, spraying graffiti and chanting “Tories Out”, while outside police faced off against  crowd that occasionally hurled food, soda cans and placards.
“We are destroying the building just like they are destroying our chances of affording higher education,” said Corin Parkin, 20, a student at London’s City University.
The violence appeared to be carried out by a small group as hundreds of others stood and watched. Anarchist symbols and the words “Tory scum” were spray-painted around the building, and black and red flags flew from atop an office block beside the 29-storey Millbank Tower.
Rooftop protesters threw down water, paper – and in one case, a fire extinguisher – to boos from the crowd below.
Police said eight people, a mix of protesters and police officers, were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. (AP)