Wednesday’s student protests saw towns and cities across the country echo to the sound of militant protest. Here, Socialist Worker publishes a selection of updates, reports and interviews from “Day X”.
Students are gathering at Westminster Kingsway College. Darius told Socialist Worker: “I’m on the demo because of the rise in tuition fees. The government is trying to take from the poor to feed the rich—it’s out of order.”
Over 1,100 students have walked out of Chiswick Community School, west London.
Arnie Joahill told Socialist Worker: “Effectively the whole school has walked out. There has been no confrontation with teachers—they support us. We are on our way to Trafalgar Square and then to march on parliament.”
Some 300 students from Gower College Swansea gathered with placards and banners. School students from Haberdashers’ Aske’s in south east London joined university students outside Goldsmiths College to march into central London. A school student told Socialist Worker, “Only half of our year is at school today. Lots of people are really pissed off that they are being put down by the coalition government.”
Around 100 students walked out of Parkside school and Long Road sixth form colleges in Cambridge.
Some 100 students are gathering outside City and Islington sixth form college in north London. One student, Danny, told Socialist Worker, “I don’t want to live in a country where only the rich get an education. We need to keep protesting in the coming months.”
Hackney sixth form college in east London has walked out as did Acland Burghley in Tufnell Park, north London.
Over 500 students gathered at ULU in central London.
Greg, a new graduate joined the protest saying, “I scraped through university with help from my parents, the government, a loan and a hardship fund from my university. Now they are saying that none of this will be available and people will have to rely on the wealth of their parents. This is a crime against young people.”
Up to 5,000 school, college and university students, and education workers, are marching to Leeds city centre. There have been walkouts from schools and colleges including Notre Dame and Park Lane Colleges and Primrose Hill school and a march from Allerton Grange school.
Several thousand students blockaded the roads around Liverpool’s Lime Street station. Over 5,000 students from Manchester Metropolitan university and Manchester university have been joined by hundreds of FE and school students.
Hundreds of students gathered outside Sheffield town hall chanting, “Give us back our EMA, make the fucking bankers pay”.
Around 300 students are rallying outside Cardiff university. They have been joined by a delegation of 50 from the nearby Caerleon FE college. Some 250 students from Gorseinon FE college, near Swansea, are also rallying.
In Brighton school students have walked out from Dorothy Stringer high school and sixth form students walked out from BHASVIC sixth form college, Varndean College and Northbrook College.
Some 200 students have gathered at Edinburgh University and are getting ready to march and join with other school and college students outside the Bank of Scotland. They then plan to march on the Lib Dem HQ in Scotland.
In London more than 5,000 students have taken over Whitehall, playing music, chanting and dancing. Some who are furious with the police blockade stopping them from reaching parliament, are rocking a police van.
Hannah Patel, a student at Leeds College of Art and Design said, “We all walked out together,” she told Socialist Worker. “Even the teachers came. We need to make a stand—this is our future.”
Students from Colchester Royal Grammar school, Colchester Institute College and Colchester sixth form have marched to the town centre.
Thousands of students have taken over the central square in Newcastle.
In Bristol, up to 5,000 students have surrounded the university’s Wills Memorial building and are being met with a heavy police presence. Protesters’ numbers have been bolstered by a school students’ feeder march. Over 500 students have marched through Exeter city centre.
A limping school student in his uniform says police injured him while he was protesting in central London. He told Socialist Worker, “The police have created panic. They’re not letting people out. The police stopped me and one hit me over and over on my leg with a truncheon.” Two of the boy’s friends carried him from the crowd.
At the centre of the Whitehall protest in London sits a smashed police van. The graffiti on it reads “Tory scum” “Fuck the police” and “revolution.” Just past that a group of students are sitting round a bonfire. Overlooking them are students dancing on a bus stop.
Graffiti reading, “Smash the state” and “Revolution” has been painted on buildings near the Treasury.
Around 200 students from the University of Kent at Canterbury marched from campus into the town centre, joining with around 100 Canterbury College students. Protesters occupied the roundabout of the main arterial road into Canterbury before marching on to the Tory HQ.
A student from High Storrs School in Sheffield told Socialist Worker, “Around 500 of us walked out of classes to the front of the school. Teachers tried to blockade the exit and stop us from leaving but around 300 of us broke through.”
Some 600 students marched in Bournemouth, led by sixth form students. Students broke through police barriers at the town hall.
Over 100 students marched in Truro, Cornwall. Two students, part of the thousands still kettled in Whitehall, London, spoke to Socialist Worker about why they were there. Casey, a school student in North London said, “If they get rid of the Education Maintenance Allowance I won’t be able to go to college. I don’t think it’s wrong to smash up a few things. When voting doesn’t work, what are we supposed to do?”
Over 1,200 students rallied in George Square. Trade unionists joined the rally and speakers included STUC deputy general secretary Dave Moxham.
Students remain kettled by police in Whitehall while others are now blockading Westminster bridge.
Helen, 14, came to the protest in Whitehall from a school in West London. Her friend, who is 15, was arrested. Helen said, “They’re arresting people for doing absolutely nothing. If we hurt the police we would go to prison, but I’ve seen them hitting and lashing out and it’s us that get arrested. Its not fair.”
Thanks to everyone who sent in their reports and pictures