Violence erupts at student protest in London

Updated: 2010-11-25 11:13


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Violence erupts at student protest in London
A demonstrator stares at a policeman during a protest, in central London Nov 24, 2010. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - British university students Wednesday staged nationwide protests against planned tuition fee increases during which a police van was damaged in central London.

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Some protesters surrounded the van in Whitehall, smashing the windscreen with wooden poles and lines of police tried to hold back thousands of demonstrators.

"There is a containment on Whitehall to prevent further criminal damage and we will look to disperse anyone being held as soon as we can," police said in a statement.

In addition to London, students held demonstrations in Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, and elsewhere.

More than 50,000 university students staged the first wave of rallies in central London on Nov 10 to protest the planned rise of tuition fees. Some of the students attacked the headquarters of the ruling Conservative Party and clashed with police.

Police said before the latest demonstrations that there would not be a repeat of the violence two weeks ago, when 60 people were arrested and dozens injured.

British government confirmed that university undergraduate students will be charged tuition fees of up to 9,000 pounds ($14,300) a year from 2012 from the current 3,290 pounds ($5,200).

According to the plan, graduates earning more than 21,000 pounds ($33,200) per year start repaying their loans at 9 percent of their income at a real rate of interest, up from the current threshold of 15,000 pounds ($23,700), with outstanding loans written off after 30 years.

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