Riot police move in on student protest

Protesters attack a police van. Photo: Germaine Arnold

Riot police have assembled outside Westminster, as the party atmosphere at the student protest spills over into violence.

Protesters are currently kettled by police outside Westminster, and have turned on an empty police van.

Launching the second wave of protests against government cuts to education, almost 5,000 students and counting have descended on central London for the Carnival of Resistance. Students have travelled from all over London to join the protest, and the crowd is overwhelmingly young, with many sixth-formers in attendance.

The atmosphere had been jovial, with a large sound system aiding the party atmosphere. Protesters were dancing on top of the van, when events began to spiral out of control. A firework was set off, and protestors began to throw smokebombs and debris.

A policeman has been taken away for treatment.

“Many are annoyed with the violence and not sure what to do,” said our reporter, Sam Foster. “There is much elaborate attention-seeking.”

“It would be better if it were peaceful, everyone needs to have a clear message,” said Tom Mayer, 23, a student at SOAS.

Hannah Wilson, a 20 year old drama student said: “I don’t like it. It should be peaceful. Our president has just told me that she is disappointed. We don’t want violence, the media will focus on that instead of the message.”

Some other protestors  disagreed. “With an injustice as big as this some violence could be justified if it got publicity,” said Lorna Hamwell, 48, a protestor from Norfolk.

Neil Cafferky, a member of the Socialist party, said: “Young peoples’ future is being sacrificed. We refuse to pay the debt saddled on us by bankers.”

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