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British students leave classes for protest march

Nov 26 2010, 10:18 IST
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SummaryThousands of students in cities across Britain walked out of classes and marched to protest the government’s plans to steeply increase university tuition.

Thousands of students in cities across Britain walked out of classes on Wednesday and marched to protest the government’s plans to cut education spending and steeply increase university tuition. It was the second such protest this month.

The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but here in London at least eight people, including two police officers, were injured in pockets of violence, and three protesters were arrested on suspicion of committing violent acts and stealing. Some protesters surrounded and vandalised an empty police van, breaking its windows, scrawling graffiti on it and trying to tip it over.

In cities like Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Warwick, university students — in some cases joined by students from secondary schools, walked out of class — marched through town centers or tried to occupy university buildings. Several students occupied part of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, and there were reports of occupations at other universities.

The demonstrators were angry at proposals to help reduce the country’s budget deficit by giving less money in direct grants to universities, allowing them to charge tuition of up to $14,400 a year, from the current cap of $5,624.SARAH LYALL

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