Students set to march through London
On 9th November 2011 it is expected that a number of students will march in protest through the city of London against the rise in tuition fees and the proposed privatisaton of a number of universities.
These new protests come almost a year after the original student protests against the proposed rise in fees to £9,000. Save The Student was at the forefront of reporting and supporting these protests and you may remember our London Student protest report and student petition against the fees increase (supported by Labour leader Ed Miliband).
The plan for this November's student protests is for around 10,000 students to march to St. Paul's Cathedral where the protest against greed campaigners are located. This area is key as it is located in and around the financial district. It has been reported that the protesters against greed will stage their own protests in support of the students too.
The National Union for Students (NUS) have stated that they are supporting a peacful protest but they are not the organisation that has made the arrangements. The National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts have organised the march themselves through a number of channels including social media. Their main aim is to march against the idea of market driven universities.
Many government ministers and police chiefs have been warning that they do not want to see a repeat of the incidents that occurred last year in the forms of violence. This view is backed by the majority of the protesters and supporters of the march who want a peaceful protest in order to put forward their point.
The 4,000 strong police force have been given instructions to use baton rounds if protesters become too violent. The baton rounds are in the form of rubber bullets and the protesters have been warned that they will be used if necessary.
I for one hope that the protest is non-violent yet is able to send the message to government ministers as well as the universities themselves. However, there is still a problem with confusion over the new fees as was proved by an independant study carried out last week.
The study showed that 59% of prospective students still don't understand the new rise in fees. I do not agree with the rise in fees or possible “privatisation” of universities but I feel that more students need to be better informed by the government as to how the new fees will affect them.