Tuition fees demo hits London

London is clogging up with anger. Thousands of students will today head towards London's financial district to protest against higher tuition fees. Later, taxi drivers will attempt to grid-lock Trafalgar Square to protest against what they fear is lax private car hire licensing rules. Meanwhile hundreds of electricians are also converging in the City to protest about lower wages. No wonder police leave has been cancelled.

Rubber bullets

It's estimated student demonstrators will number 10,000 plus. It's not just about fees though. Students are also opposing government plans that would allow private providers to offer degrees. Or even some public universities to turn private. It's high stakes; this time last year thousands took to London's streets to protest - which turned nasty, leading to many arrests.

The Met have also been authorised to use batons and rubber bullets. If used it will be the first time they have been fired on the UK mainland. A worrying development given that they have been linked to deaths in Northern Ireland. Rubber bullets against... students!

Met letter

Expect 'kettling', though this time the Met claims they will use "containment" officers for the practice which, they claim, will allow people inadvertently caught up in the practice to be freed. The Met has also been sending out letters - around 450 - to protesters connected with last year's march (see below).

The Met's letter reads: "It is in the public and your own interest that you do not involve yourself in any type of criminal or antisocial behaviour. We have a responsibility to deliver a safe protest which protects residents, tourists, commuters, protesters and the wider community. Should you do so we will at the earliest opportunity arrest and place you before the court."

So trouble is expected. Perhaps the most worrying development the students are now fighting is the treatment of education - just another consumer commodity to be milked dry, it seems.
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