9 Nov 2011

LIVE BLOG: student protest march #9Nov

Get the latest from the Channel 4 News team on the ground at the student protests in London.

17.30: As of 5pm, police had arrested 24 people for a variety of offences following the protests which remained largely calm.

16.45: Police announce there have been 20 arrests during today’s march, 12 for breach of the peace, three for violent disorder and affray. One person was detained for carrying an offensive weapon and three for “going equipped”.

16.40: UCL medical students tell Channel 4 News: “We should have marched to parliament, not the City.”

16.40: A small group of determined protesters remain at London Wall, some are dancing as police on horseback patrol the area.

Read more: Police out in force for student protests

16:00: Protesters at London Wall throw sticks at police in small skirmishes. Marchers have been told they will only be allowed to remain at London Wall for two hours (approx 1800). The demonstration is in response to a hike in tuition fees across English universities and spending cuts hitting education.

More from Channel 4 News: mapping the cost of a degree

15.45: Channel 4 News understands a group were briefly detained at Holburn Circus after sticks and stones were thrown.

15.40:Police say there are 2,500 marchers at today’s protest. However, the student estimate is 10,000. Some demonstrators say the police “threat” of deploying rubber bullets has kept some away. The Occupy London group are holding a separate event in Finsbury Square.

15.30: Protesters who “deviated from the route” have been arrested while thousands continue walking with placards towards Moorgate. The route is lined with a heavy police presence, with some officers in helmets and holding riot shields. There are reports of small missiles being thrown at police at London Wall.

15.17:Protesters march past St Paul’s Cathedral.Police say a “number” of arrests have been made due to public disorder offences.

14:55:Police begin to remove demonstrators from Trafalgar Square. Campaigners are linking arms to resist being taken away.

14.48: In a separate demo, hundreds of electricians and construction workers protested at the new Shard building, which is under construction near London Bridge. They moved towards Blackfriars Bridge, also a major construction site, for a rally. They are protesting against a new deal on pay and conditions being offered by a group of seven major firms. The Unite union has announced it will be balloting for strike action over the deal, which they say amounts to “deskilling and pay cuts”.

Read more: Why did electricians march through London?

14.30: New Met restrictions state protesters should only remain for two hours at London Wall, where protest ends. Read more: Met Police demo update

13.57: Marchers brandish banner saying “Occupy Everything, Take London”. Anti-police chants include some interesting new wording: “You can shove your water cannons up your a***”

13.45: Demonstrators with pop-up tents have staged an impromptu occupation of Trafalgar Square. The streets lesding away from the famous London landmark are now sealed. Channel 4 News has counted 22 tents so far (See pictured).

Student protests – add your voice

13.00: Students march through central London, past Leicester Square tube and Trafalgar Square towards the river. But why are the marchers descending on the City rather than Westminster? Have we lost face in the power of politicians? Add your voice as the student marchers join forces with the Ocuppy London campers at St Paul’s.

Baton rounds row
Scotland Yard announced that baton rounds, or rubber bullets, will be made available for police chiefs to use if necessary. But Michael Chessum, lead organiser of the demonstration, accused police chiefs of acting in a “political and cynical” manner.
“What the police have done is extremely political and a cynical attempt to put people off from coming to a national demonstration,” he said.
“What they are doing is trying to put people off and pre-criminalising the process.
“They are ramping up the pressure and in the process being completely irresponsible.”
Mr Chessum added: “They have made it more likely that trouble will occur.”

The Met Police have issued guidelines for 9 November demonstrations: see here

12.40: Reports of masked protester arrested. Police have pledge to detain any demonstrator with a covered face. The march comes exactly a year after thousands of people first took to the streets in anger at the government’s higher education plans. Those protests descended into chaos.

Read more from Channel 4 News: student protests

12.30:Around 10,000 students gather in central London to march against fees and cuts. More than 4,000 police officers are deployed to maintain order.

Updates from the Channel 4 News team on the ground, plus featured tweets and analysis from the November 2011 students protests against fees and spending cuts. Add your voice above or on Twitter via @channel4news or use the hashtag #c4news