Student protesters held at Buckingham Palace: police

13th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police arrested two suspected student fees protesters as they tried to talk their way into Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II's official residence, Scotland Yard said Thursday.

The men were reportedly carrying several political banners and were held on Wednesday as they tried to get through the staff entrance of the historic site in central London.

Matthew Bellis, 26, and Laurence Flanders, 20, were to appear at a central London court later Thursday "charged under Section 128 of the Serious and Organised Crime Police Act," a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

The section covers trespass on protected royal, governmental and parliamentary sites including Buckingham Palace. Offenders face up to six months in jail and a fine.

It was not clear if the queen was in the palace at the time.

The arrests come a month after demonstrators opposed to a planned rise in university tuition fees attacked the car of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla in London.

That incident came during the biggest and most violent of a string of protests in recent months against the fees plan, introduced by Britain's coalition government as part of harsh austerity measures.

© 2011 AFP

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