Thousands of students take action against cuts and fees

Photograph from Whitehall by @beckpitt

Thousands of students and supporters are due to take part in a national day of action against cuts and tuition fee increases across the UK on 24 November. Post your live updates here.

The main day of action Facebook group has over 22,000 attendees.

We'll be updating this story throughout the day as events unfold, please add your own updates as comments.

Occupations have begun at some universities before the official day of action:

- Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, occupied the Brunei Gallery on Monday, the occupation continues at time of writing, held by around sixty students, updates are being posted to their blog.

- Around 50 of these students are engaged in the occupation of Lecture Theatre 7 in the Manchester Metropolitan University Geoffrey Manton building, the occupation began on Monday.

- Around 40 students at the University of the West of England (UWE) students began an occupation at the Frenchay Campus on Monday afternoon with the intention of staying overnight.

- Students at Royal Holloway occupied a corridor of the founders building last night, they are posting regular updates and have a live webcam feed

- Birmingham and Plymouth universities have both been occupied today.

- 10.45am - School walkouts have begun, with a well-organised protest in Leeds leaving the school at 10am for a march around the town centre.

- Local newspapers are reporting a number of secondary schools and sixth form colleges will be participating in the walkouts during the day.

- 12:10pm - anticuts.com just reported UEL going into occupation following a demo on campus.

- 12:20pm - London Southbank university just went into occupation, more details on on their blog.

- 12:28pm - The Guardian's Paul Lewis on twitter writes: March just broke into a sprint away from police at strand - cops now blocked the road. #demo2010, then March broken from official route to Trafalgar Sq. Now at Embankment. This wasn't supposed to happen. #demo2010

- 12:39pm - UCL occupied . update 12:41pm: Guardian reports that "hundreds of UCL students" have occupied the Jeremy Bentham room in the central campus building). 12:50pm - photo.

- 12:46pm - @paul_sagar writes "There are school kids at the Cambridge demo, in uniform. AND WITH THEIR TEACHERS! #demo2010"

- 12:51pm - traffic stopped in central Leeds (photo)

- 1:23pm - Warwick University in occupation in Arts Centre Lecture Theatre

- 1.30pm - Police van isolated by protesters, then abandoned by police in Trafalgar square, in process of being ripped apart. Protesters are in process of being kettled by several hundred police officers, various journalists and others reporting on twitter that things are still unpredictable.

- 1.40pm - Essex University occupied.

- 1.54pm - Leeds University occupied.

- 2.01pm - Oxford library occupied.

- 2.02pm - BBC live coverage shows police using batons to beat back protesters.

Protester bleeding in Westminster

- 2.04pm - One arrest at Bristol protest.

- 2.24pm - Over 5-600 students marched through cambridge according to the BBC. Several hundred scaled a fence to occupy Senate House. Lots of people in there, beating back people with batons. A few students jumping back over the fence to get out of the way.

- 4.00pm - over 1,000 students walked out of Chiswick community school earlier today according to twitter (no link because the twitter account appears to be the real name of a real student at the school).

- 4.48pm - Dozens of retweets on twitter that Officer U2128 kicked an unarmed 15 year-old girl in the stomach, this was caught on video. Witnesses then changed "You're going on YouTube".

- 5.42pm - video from the Senate House occupation in Cambridge:

- 5.45pm - solfed updates from around the UK:

Liverpool
Initial estimates suggested a turnout of thousands who brought Lime Street to a standstill, with a fast moving march featuring an attempted sit-down in Castle Street. While most commenters are agreeing that the protest has been peaceful, police brought out dogs and horses and there have been complaints of "intimidating behaviour." The march was largely halted as of 1pm but quickly got moving again and reached the town hall at around 1.30pm. Hundreds of people filled all levels of the Liverpool One shopping centre, and the protest broke up at around 2.30pm. The main incident saw students occupy the Guild (Liverpool's Student Union) after the march had broken up, in an interesting twist on the story of over a dozen occupations iat universities across the country - apparently many students have remained unimpressed with the performance of the likes of Aaron Porter.

- Brighton
The city saw a relatively energetic march converging on Dyke Road Park, from age 12/13 up. Numbers were difficult to estimate, but our members thought there could be 500-1000. One noted at 3.30pm: "Speeches were largely ignored, and over half the crowd has broken away on an unauthorised march. Cops are heavily outnumbered, with a total of over 2,000 people on the demo." As it ended many converged on the town hall, where police pushed the crowd back as it attempted to storm the building.

Most spectacular however were the events after the official march ended, with reports coming in of students smashing in their union building and large numbers of police being mobilised. It appears that the police have been totally outmanouvered, with roaming demos which have seen the city's VodaFone shop briefly occupied, 400-500 people holding the major Western Road and continuing struggles at the town hall - with the force's Chief Inspector Taylor noting "No other arrests apart from the earlier one for breach of peace."

As the police's frustrations rise, there has been at least one anecdotal story on twitter that a student in school uniform has been beaten up by a policeman at Priory House.

Extra...
A member in the Northwest notes: "Biggish one in Manchester again, around 700 people but a bloody enormous one in Bury up the road, police saying around 1,200. It's now finished and police say there were no arrests made.
News from Leeds: Protesters have occupied Leeds university. People are on the roof.

Massive list of what's planned for today at http://anticuts.org.uk/?page_id=778

More on libcom:
- Discuss today's events in our forum
- Discuss the 10th November protests
- UK against austerity

Comments

Auto
Nov 24 2010 09:07

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/11/468456.html

Birmingham Uni is in occupation.

mons
Nov 24 2010 10:05
Entdinglichung
Nov 24 2010 10:18
mons
Nov 24 2010 11:52

Massive list of what's going on here: http://anticuts.com/2010/11/23/listofwalkouts24/

Also mentions of a few school walkouts happened on the main facebook page, but no reports or anything yet

flaneur
Nov 24 2010 12:03

There's one from the Guardian coverage.

Quote:
Hundreds of teenagers poured out of Allerton Grange high school in Leeds just now to join the protest.

The well-planned action has seen almost the whole school empty with carefully prepared banners picked up from prepared stores.

The students are now marching to the nearby Roundhay high school in the hope of encouraging students there to join in. The two schools are high-achieving comprensives in a largely prosperous part of Leeds. Both regularly win Oxbridge places.

The students are chanting "they say cut back, we say fight back." Two 16-year-olds said that the focus was on the loss of the Educational Maintenance Allowance. One said: "without EMA I'll never be able to go to university. I want to follow my dream."

Also from the Guardian, police has been more than tripled in London to 800 (only 250 last time).

Entdinglichung
Nov 24 2010 12:13
Auto
Nov 24 2010 12:21

London South Bank University has gone into occupation.

http://savesouthbank.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/lsbu-students-occupy/

Mike Harman
Nov 24 2010 12:30

@paul_lewis - March broken from official route to Trafalgar Sq. Now at Embankment. This wasn't supposed to happen. #demo2010

Bournemouth march has been stopped by the police on the road next to the town hall!

Auto
Nov 24 2010 12:33

A Tweet from Guardian journalist Paul Lewis:

'paul__lewis: March broken from official route to Trafalgar Sq. Now at Embankment. This wasn't supposed to happen. #demo2010'

Seems like the script has been flipped.

Auto
Nov 24 2010 12:42

Guardian liveblogger claiming that UCL is under occupation as well.

'Hundreds of students' have apparently occupied the Jeremy Bentham room.

ftony
Nov 24 2010 12:57

looks like a large group of Hackney school students are out: https://twitter.com/polkadotrock/status/7400130554626049

Mike Harman
Nov 24 2010 13:03
Rob Ray
Nov 24 2010 13:07

Quick update from Solfed people on the ground in Liverpool and London:

http://solfed.org.uk/?q=student-protests-liverpool-and-london

flaneur
Nov 24 2010 13:18

The London demo has been kettled near Parliament Square says The Guardian.

Mike Harman
Nov 24 2010 13:20

Paul Lewis on twitter saying first skirmishes with police are happening at Trafalgar Sq. bus shelter smashed, a few missiles thrown, now police van windows smashed, other people on twitter saying they've already been kettled.

"Occupation attempt at Cambridge involves literally storming barricades. Possibly could have chosen a more accessible target" - https://twitter.com/#!/paul_sagar/statuses/7420426867183616

flaneur
Nov 24 2010 13:34

And now they've abandoned the van in the street. Hope they have insurance.

Live BBC coverage.

Auto
Nov 24 2010 13:52

Not too much going on in Oxford at lunchtime. A few hundred protestors gathered at Carfax. Seems quite energetic though, so we'll see what happens.

The wider, more spread action really seems to be working though.

flaneur
Nov 24 2010 13:53

Paul Lewis reckons lads are fighting each other in the crowd?

no1
Nov 24 2010 13:54

Latest from Brighton: Hundreds converging on Dyke Road Park, from age 12/13 up. Numbers are difficult to estimate, but could be 500-1000. Lots of energy.

Auto
Nov 24 2010 13:57

Oxford University Library - Occupied! (I wondered where the crowd had got to...)

Leeds Met - Occupied!

Essex Uni - Occupied!

Mike Harman
Nov 24 2010 13:59

BBC live coverage: "You can now see one of the policemen just using a... using a truncheon there to er... to er.... calm down one of the demonstrators there." As the video feed shows the cop frantically whacking someone with his baton as a few people try to pull back a barrier.

Rob Ray
Nov 24 2010 15:13

Apparently the Swappies are set to win the award for biggest leftie arseholes of the day, in Glasgow they've allegedly been linking arms in front of the university administration offices to stop students forcing the door for an occupation.

no1
Nov 24 2010 15:19

In Brighton, the march has ended. Speeches were largely ignored, and over half the crowd has broken away on an unauthorised march. Cops are heavily outnumbered, with a total of over 2000 on the demo.

Mike Harman
Nov 24 2010 15:25

Twitter has completely blocked the #demo2010 hash tag - no updates in search results for the past two hours, and not in trending topics - http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23demo2010

#dayx still works though - http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23dayx

Rob Ray
Nov 24 2010 15:47

All kinds of shit could be going down in Brighton, Student union smashed up, clashes with police at the town hall and at least one incident of a copper beating up a kid in school uniform, according to the twitter feed (though some or all of this may be bullshit of course).

no1
Nov 24 2010 15:50

Brighton update : 500 besieging town hall, cops have put on riot helmets and have dogs. Spirits are high but there's danger of a kettle.

Auto
Nov 24 2010 15:51

No idea if it's true, but messages on twitter are saying that protestors have broken out of Kettles in London and Bristol.

Mike Harman
Nov 24 2010 15:54

I'm out of juice updating the main article.

Birmingham occupation - http://birminghamstudentsagainstcuts.blogspot.com/

Auto
Nov 24 2010 15:56

Can we pull together a list of all the current Occupations? There seems to be a whole load of them now.

Rob Ray
Nov 24 2010 15:57

Mike feel free to quote thgouh stuff from the Solfed article, it's got a fair bit on Liverpool and Brighton in particular now.