LONDON – Thousands of students were marching in central London in a protest against higher tuition fees and “privatisation” in universities, the BBC said. They were going to march to the City of London, where a protest against corporate greed has been taking place outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
Security was tight, especially in the City, with 4,000 officers on duty and plastic bullets on standby. Last year a wave of student protests ended in violent clashes. The student protest is against the government’s plans for a market-driven higher education system. “We are being told by a cabinet of millionaires that we will have to pay triple tuition fees,” said campaign leader Michael Chessum.
The route of the march was through the financial district of the City of London, where there is already a protest camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral. The Occupy London protesters at the cathedral were planning to stage their own events in support of the student marchers.
As a warning against any outbreaks of violence, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police had said that one of the tactics available was “the authority to deploy baton rounds [plastic bullets] in extreme circumstances”.