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British student protests continue against tuition fee plan as police warn of future unrest

English.news.cn   2010-11-26 09:27:11 FeedbackPrintRSS

LONDON, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Protesting students continued sit-ins at universities and colleges across Britain on Thursday in a campaign against planned increases in tuition fees that is gathering pace.

As students at universities across London, including the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the University of London, staged occupations of some rooms on their campuses, they were joined by students in Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, and Cardiff, capital of Wales, who occupied rooms in their universities.

As the students continued their protests, Britain's top policeman said that there was going to be more disorder, riots and protests on the streets after a prolonged era of peace and calm.

Metropolitan police commissioner Paul Stephenson said that the "likelihood is for more disorder on our streets."

He added "We have been going through a period where we have not seen that sort of violent disorder. Regrettably, the game has changed and we must act."

John Rees, of the Coalition Against the Cuts -- a broad organization attempting to link protest groups against government policies -- told Xinhua on Thursday "The Metropolitan Police have issued a statement today saying that they expect 'an era of riots,' that's their phrase not mine, and I think they are pointing to the fact that people in this country are extraordinarily angry about what the government are proposing and that they expect to see a mounting level of protest and I think they are absolutely right about this. People will not sit still and see the welfare state and the education system dismantled."

Students took to the streets of London, and other major cities across the nation, including Leeds and Newcastle, in further marches and protests on Wednesday.

In London 10,000 students, from schools as well as universities and colleges, marched through Whitehall, where many government offices are. They were confronted by police who contained several thousands of them for up to nine hours only a few meters away from the entrance to the prime minister's home in Downing Street.

On Thursday, organizers complained about police behavior. Clare Solomons, president of the University of London Union, told Xinhua that students as young as 14 had been trapped by police for nine hours with no access to toilet facilities or food, and only very restricted access to water.

Editor: Wang Guanqun

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