Brighton student protest ends peacefully

Posted On 08 Dec 2010 at 11:11 am

Another student protest against the rise in tuition fees in Brighton has ended peacefully.

Students gather at the Clock Tower. Picture by Sussex Police/@nickcloke

About 150 students gathered at the Clock Tower in Brighton this afternoon from 4pm. An effigy of David Cameron was burnt, and speeches were made.

Sussex Police deployed 250 officers on the ground in case the protest became violent, but in contrast to the two former tuition fees protest, there was no violence or disruption.

Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “I am pleased to report that today’s demonstration was held in a peaceful and law abiding manner and members of the public, unconnected to the activity were able to go about their normal business.

“We are expecting a further demonstration tomorrow to coincide with the House of Commons vote on tuition fees and I would urge both the organisers and those intending to participate to engage with police so that we can keep disruption in the city to a minimum.”

Before the protest, Brighton and Hove Buses warned that disruption is expected. In an email sent to subscribers, it said: “We will be working hard to minimise the disruption but some will be inevitable due to the importance of this road junction to the bus network.

“Contingency plans are in place to divert buses if it becomes necessary and details will be available on our website, by email alerts and on the real time information signs at bus stops.”

Tomorrow, a mass walkout from the city’s schools is also planned tomorrow as MPs are due to vote on the controversial plans.

Schoolchildren are being invited to walk out of school from the first school break tomorrow morning. A rally is then planned at The Level at 1pm.

Councillor Dee Simson, the council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “We have asked schools to talk to parents and pupils to urge them not to attend the march because schoolchildren should not miss school and both the council and the police have concerns over their safety.

“Individual schools look after day to day attendance and put in place appropriate sanctions for any pupil that leaves their school unauthorised.

“The council works with parents who fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school. Our emphasis is on supporting parents – prosecution is a last resort if all else fails to turn the situation round.”

The last student protest in Brighton on Tuesday 30 November saw windows smashed at Vodafone in Western Road and Halifax and McDonald’s in London Road. A policeman was also assaulted.

Five people, including three 15-year-olds, were arrested.

The first demo, on Wednesday 24 November, saw protesters enter council and university buildings and Poundland in Western Road was looted.

It resulted in six arrests. Brighton University’s Pavilion Parade building is still occupied.

Another protest in the city centre last Saturday, where demonstrators glued themselves to the windows of Topshop in Western Road and which resulted in 21 arrests, was against big corporations avoiding tax rather than tuition fees.

  1. Ellie Reply

    UK tution fees have gone up 200 percent, the skill set of our economy as a whole is going to fall drastically as less and less people go to university. This recession is going to have a enduring effect for decades to come.

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Alan Sugar did not go to uni. Most of the traders on the floor of the stock exchange did not go to uni. These market=traders-in-suits, both there and working the Hedge Funds, along with computer-trading systems are at the root of how the world’s economy ended up where it is now.

    Having a university degree had nothing to do with it and will have nothing to do with getting us out of the proverbial. Actually, that’s not true. The PhD mathematicians working as quants or higher enabled the whole wretched trading situation to develop. It was PhD mathematicians who devised the casino games all the underlings then used to such devastating global effect.

    University used to be about learning to think effectively, to strand out and evaluate information and judge it. It used to produce the guardians of all aspects of culture. One used to need a good command of composition and grammar too and to be able to write a literate essay. No. more.

    And we used to have polytechnics to educate, train and produce what is needed to generate wealth in the economy: applied knowledge and skills. The PC brigade(and perhaps lecturers)from the polytechnics felt jealously second class and unequal so the term (and function?) was abolished in favour of calling everything a university.


  3. Russ Reply

    The skill set of our economy will fall? What world are you living in exactly, and since when did universities teach skill?

    I’m 28 and decided not to go to uni. I got myself into a company in the area I was interested and I worked damn hard, now I’m earning a decent living and all without university.

    Don’t blow this out of proportion

  4. Russ Reply

    This has nothing to do with people’s ‘skill sets’ and everything to do with the Tory policy of making education so expensive that only the well-off can afford to give their kids a good education. This whole issue about fees not being paid back until you earn X amount is a smoke-screen to conceal the fact that the poorest kids will feel put off from getting into debt in the first place. If you’ve not grown up in a household where you fear the knock at the door from the bailiffs – as the Cabinet haven’t – then you can’t understand the fear and worry that debt involves for the poorest people in society.

  5. Russ Reply

    What difference does it make if you are well off or not? No difference, if you’re serious about going to uni for the right reasons then you can, and you can pay the debt later, that’s the way it’s been for many many years. Yes fees are going up by a huge percentage, but don’t pretend that it will stop people who seriously want go to uni from going, it won’t.

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