London student protest ends in fracas and arrests

Hundreds of student protesters flooded onto Parliament Square yesterday after bursting through police barriers in London.

Remarkably only two people were arrested after protesters on a student demonstration charged the headquarters of the Tory party in central London.

Armed with a large wheelie bin, a small group charged towards police who were guarding the entrance of the building, which is near Parliament Square.

Officers forced them back and pushed people away, before more protesters tried to force their way in. The pair, a man and a woman, were arrested at the scene for affray, officers there said. Thousands of students have been marching through central London in protest against tuition fees and debt.

The demonstration began peacefully when student protesters gathered outside the University of London near Euston, before leaving to march through the capital shortly after noon.

But after it reached the Houses of Parliament the atmosphere grew more hostile, and hundreds of police and riot officers were deployed in the area.

Protesters tore down railings at Parliament Square and took over the grass area, chanting in defiance over tuition fees and austerity cuts, while others wearing black bandanas let off flares as they marched through nearby streets.

Demonstrators hurled orange paint over the entrance to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills before riot police formed a cordon.

Customers were also trapped inside a Starbucks coffee shop after eggs and white paint were thrown over the front window.

Riot police, some left covered in paint themselves, guarded the entrance as a group of demonstrators shouted abuse over the company’s alleged tax avoidance.


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