Student protests and occupations continue throughout Britain

From : Libcom

Thousands of students and supporters are due to take part in a national day of action against cuts and tuition fee increases across the UK on 24 November. Post your live updates here.

The main day of action Facebook group has over 22,000 attendees.

We’ll be updating this story throughout the day as events unfold, please add your own updates as comments.

Occupations have begun at some universities before the official day of action:

– Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, occupied the Brunei Gallery on Monday, the occupation continues at time of writing, held by around sixty students, updates are being posted to their blog.

– Around 50 of these students are engaged in the occupation of Lecture Theatre 7 in the Manchester Metropolitan University Geoffrey Manton building, the occupation began on Monday.

– Around 40 students at the University of the West of England (UWE) students began an occupation at the Frenchay Campus on Monday afternoon with the intention of staying overnight.

– Students at Royal Holloway occupied a corridor of the founders building last night, they are posting regular updates and have a live webcam feed

– Birmingham and Plymouth universities have both been occupied today.

– 10.45am – School walkouts have begun, with a well-organised protest in Leeds leaving the school at 10am for a march around the town centre.

– Local newspapers are reporting a number of secondary schools and sixth form colleges will be participating in the walkouts during the day.

– 12:10pm – just reported UEL going into occupation following a demo on campus.

– 12:20pm – London Southbank university just went into occupation, more details on on their blog.

– 12:28pm – The Guardian’s Paul Lewis on twitter writes: March just broke into a sprint away from police at strand – cops now blocked the road. #demo2010, then March broken from official route to Trafalgar Sq. Now at Embankment. This wasn’t supposed to happen. #demo2010

– 12:39pm – UCL occupied . update 12:41pm: Guardian reports that “hundreds of UCL students” have occupied the Jeremy Bentham room in the central campus building). 12:50pm – photo.

– 12:46pm – @paul_sagar writes “There are school kids at the Cambridge demo, in uniform. AND WITH THEIR TEACHERS! #demo2010”

– 12:51pm – traffic stopped in central Leeds (photo)

– 1:23pm – Warwick University in occupation in Arts Centre Lecture Theatre

– 1.30pm – Police van isolated by protesters, then abandoned by police in Trafalgar square, in process of being ripped apart. Protesters are in process of being kettled by several hundred police officers, various journalists and others reporting on twitter that things are still unpredictable.

– 1.40pm – Essex University occupied.

– 1.54pm – Leeds University occupied.

– 2.01pm – Oxford library occupied.

– 2.02pm – BBC live coverage shows police using batons to beat back protesters.

Protester bleeding in Westminster

– 2.04pm – One arrest at Bristol protest.

– 2.24pm – Over 5-600 students marched through cambridge according to the BBC. Several hundred scaled a fence to occupy Senate House. Lots of people in there, beating back people with batons. A few students jumping back over the fence to get out of the way.

– 4.00pm – over 1,000 students walked out of Chiswick community school earlier today according to twitter (no link because the twitter account appears to be the real name of a real student at the school).

– 4.48pm – Dozens of retweets on twitter that Officer U2128 kicked an unarmed 15 year-old girl in the stomach, this was caught on video. Witnesses then changed “You’re going on YouTube”.

– 5.42pm – video from the Senate House occupation in Cambridge:

– 5.45pm – solfed updates from around the UK:

Initial estimates suggested a turnout of thousands who brought Lime Street to a standstill, with a fast moving march featuring an attempted sit-down in Castle Street. While most commenters are agreeing that the protest has been peaceful, police brought out dogs and horses and there have been complaints of “intimidating behaviour.” The march was largely halted as of 1pm but quickly got moving again and reached the town hall at around 1.30pm. Hundreds of people filled all levels of the Liverpool One shopping centre, and the protest broke up at around 2.30pm. The main incident saw students occupy the Guild (Liverpool’s Student Union) after the march had broken up, in an interesting twist on the story of over a dozen occupations iat universities across the country – apparently many students have remained unimpressed with the performance of the likes of Aaron Porter.

– Brighton
The city saw a relatively energetic march converging on Dyke Road Park, from age 12/13 up. Numbers were difficult to estimate, but our members thought there could be 500-1000. One noted at 3.30pm: “Speeches were largely ignored, and over half the crowd has broken away on an unauthorised march. Cops are heavily outnumbered, with a total of over 2,000 people on the demo.” As it ended many converged on the town hall, where police pushed the crowd back as it attempted to storm the building.

A member in the Northwest notes: “Biggish one in Manchester again, around 700 people but a bloody enormous one in Bury up the road, police saying around 1,200. It’s now finished and police say there were no arrests made.
News from Leeds: Protesters have occupied Leeds university. People are on the roof.

Most spectacular however were the events after the official march ended, with reports coming in of students smashing in their union building and large numbers of police being mobilised. It appears that the police have been totally outmanouvered, with roaming demos which have seen the city’s VodaFone shop briefly occupied, 400-500 people holding the major Western Road and continuing struggles at the town hall – with the force’s Chief Inspector Taylor noting “No other arrests apart from the earlier one for breach of peace.”

As the police’s frustrations rise, there has been at least one anecdotal story on twitter that a student in school uniform has been beaten up by a policeman at Priory House.


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