British students stage sit-in over fees rise

11th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Dozens of students at Manchester University staged a sit-in Thursday against plans to triple tuition fees, a spokesman said, the day after mass protests in London turned into ugly riots.

"It's a peaceful protest. There are about 40 of them in a corridor" in the main building, a spokesman for the northwest English university told AFP, adding: "It's to do with tuition fees and the protest yesterday."

Reports on microblogging site Twitter said the students had occupied the offices of the head of the university, but the spokesman denied this, saying: "They are not in any room."

Fifty people were arrested following Wednesday's violence in London, which erupted during a mass demonstration against Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to triple the amount students must pay for university.

Thousands of people surrounded the headquarters of Cameron's Conservative party and a group of protesters smashed through the glass frontage, wrecked the lobby and attacked police.

Fourteen people were injured, half of them police officers.

Cameron branded the violence "completely unacceptable" and vowed to press ahead with his plans, which he has insisted are necessary as Britain seeks to pay off a massive budget deficit left by the previous Labour government.

© 2010 AFP

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