‘Free education’ protesters march through Brighton

Posted On 31 Jan 2015 at 6:32 pm

Scores of protesters took to the streets of Brighton this afternoon (Saturday 31 January) to campaign against tuition fees.

Sussex Police said that it led to minor disruption but no disorder.

The force said: “The organisers of the Brighton March for Free Education failed to engage with Sussex Police about their plans for the day despite officers making attempts to speak to them in advance.

“Officers were on duty to keep disruption to a minimum and organised rolling roadblocks as the crowd of about 150 people moved from The Level at 2pm through streets in the city centre.”

During a previous march, some protesters invaded Topshop. Today officers and security guards were stationed close to the entrances to Churchill Square and by other possible targets.

Chief Inspector Katy Woolford, who was in charge of the police operation today, said: “Residents and visitors may have seen more police officers on the streets as we were determined to ensure the public was kept safe during the protest.

“Unfortunately the organisers of the march failed to speak to us before the event despite our attempts to contact them which meant we could not be sure what their plans for the day involved.

“We had spoken to many businesses in the days before the march about the possibility that the protesters might try to get into their buildings to cause disruption and I would like to thank them for their assistance.

“Some of those businesses used extra security staff who were ready to tell protesters to leave if it had been necessary.

“I would particularly like to thank the public for their patience. Unfortunately some did face delays because we had to close some roads briefly as the protesters marched in the carriageway, at times against the flow of traffic.

“Thankfully no one was injured and most of the extra officers who had been drafted in were able to be stood down before 4.30pm. No arrests were made.”

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