Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts vs BIS

Protesters: National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
Target: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Location: London
Date: 9 November

The lowdown

Thousands of students took to the London streets and hundreds of police officers lined the route as demonstrators carried placards that read 'Scrap Tuition Fees' and 'Free Education'. The protesters, who marched through Trafalgar Square, were joined by activists from the Occupy London camp at St Paul's Cathedral.

Why the protest?

The protest, which follows a similarly sized march last year, is against higher tuition fees and 'privatisation' in universities. 'The aim of the march was to highlight the iniquities in the higher education white paper. We want to reclaim the educational maintenance allowance,' said Mark Campbell, an official of the lecturers' union UCU at London Metropolitan University.

How did the Government respond?

Universities minister David Willetts said: 'Most new students will not pay upfront, there will be more financial support for those from poorer families and everyone will make lower repayments than they do now once they are in well paid jobs.'

How did the media cover it?

Much of the media coverage focused on the use of plastic bullets and a 'heavy-handed' approach by the police. Headlines such as 'Students say plastic bullets threat is scare tactic' (Channel 4 News online) filled the news.

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