Today there are student demos up and down the country against the rises in tuition fees. SKY News has reported that mostly the demos have been peaceable and in London there is a good level of policing to contain any rioting. There have been 15 arrests so far, and two police officers injured, one has a broken arm. Six members of the public have been injured.
SKY reporters were interviewing a group of students, and one student said “After the last demo, nothing happened!” as though he expected Dave and George to stampede out of No. 10, waving wads of cash and a huge white flag. Guess what! They ain’t gonna! They believe that what they are doing is the right thing, just as the students do. A young female student organiser was interviewed on SKY and she has just said that Nick Clegg’s remarks that students should read the proposals were “patronising.” You can say that again. Anyone planning a peaceful demo to abolish Nick Clegg – call me!
A young student was speaking so passionately on SKY about EMA, my feeling is that although I support tuition fees, they are too high. Education just for the rich would be so wrong. But it is so hard to work out the equation of what is the fairest thing.
The Lib Dem and Conservative HQs are blocked off, as is Whitehall, and protesters are trying to break through, but the policy of firm containment seems to be working well for the police. The police want to avoid the tactic of “kettling” where large groups of protesters are contained in a small area, but have been forced to adopt this policy in Whitehall. There is a containment of 2-3,000 people in Whitehall and the police are arranging for toilet facilities. There are a few small isolated fires, but nothing serious. People are being allowed, in small groups to go home,. Brian Paddick has just said overall, the police have done a very good job. The Standard report is here.