Thousands of people are set to march through central London today in protest against tuition fee increases.
The demonstration, organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), is supported by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU), along with a number of trade unions. The route will start on Malet Street near Russell Square at 12 noon and end around 6pm on London Wall in the City, taking in the OccupyLSX protesters at St Paul’s along the way – the Occupy Finsbury Square camp is still in place near the finish point. Some businesses in the Moorgate area have advised staff to finish early due to possible tube station closures.
The Met have already made plain that disorder will not be tolerated, going public with a warning that their rubber bullets are locked, loaded and metaphorically (we hope) bearing the name of potential troublemakers. The rather pre-emptive announcement has led to criticism that the demonstration is being pre-criminalised. Tuition fees protests turned violent last year, with a number of arrests made, including that of Charlie Gilmour, who recently lost his appeal against his 16 month sentence for violent disorder.
‘In marching on the City, we are sending a message that we will not let the Government hand over education to the markets. Education should be a public service, accessible to all – not a corporate enterprise.’
Correction: Rise Against are not appearing at the protest. This information was based on a incorrect news story and has now been updated. Please accept our apologies for any misunderstanding.