Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... NUS and University and College Union vs the Government

Protesters: The National Union of Students and the University and College Union

Target: The Government

Location: Central London

Date: 10 November

The lowdown

An estimated 52,000 people marched through central London to display their anger over changes to tuition fees. Around 200 people stormed the building housing Conservative Party HQ, where police clashed with a crowd that shattered windows and waved anarchist flags from the roof of the building.

Why the protests?

The NUS has attacked plans to raise tuition fees as high as £9,000 while making 40 per cent cuts to university teaching budgets. The fees will be introduced for undergraduates starting in 2012, if the plans are sanctioned by the Commons in a vote due before Christmas.

How did the Government respond?

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the violence had 'been generated by a very small number of people who had behaved utterly unacceptably'. He added: 'Of course I regret that we had a policy in opposition that we have found we simply can't deliver.' The NUS leadership also condemned the violence. President Aaron Porter said that 'a small minority of those protesters ruined it'.

Media treatment

The protest received blanket media coverage, with the media focusing on the violence. The spotlight was trained on the police's failure to control the protests and a protester throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof.

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