In both London and Manchester student marches have diverged from their planned routes—one march has gone to join protesters outside the Egyptian embassy, while a breakaway from the other has occupied a branch of Barclays bank.
In London the mood was electric as up to a thousand students joined the many hundreds of people already protesting in solidarity with the Egyptian people outside the embassy off Park Lane.
Chants of “Solidarity, solidarity,” “London and Cairo unite and fight” and “Hey ho Mubarak has to go” are ringing through the air.
One man on the original protest said, “I can’t believe that all these young people have come to support us. This makes us feel even stronger. I can’t wait to send the pictures of all you British people who have come to support us to people back home.”
Before reaching the embassy, the protest stopped outside the Tory HQ at Millbank – a focus of student anger and protests last year – as students chanted, “Tory scum, here we come.”
In Manchester at least 1,000 demonstrators broke away from the main protest to march towards Manchester city centre.
They stopped to occupy a branch of Barclays Bank on Oxford Road and have broken into smaller groups to run through Manchester city centre and surrounding areas.
Students are frustrated that the march was being directed to Platt Fields instead of the city centre. They have also expressed frustration at the slow pace of the NUS leadership in the battle against fees and cuts.