Today sees another demonstration against cuts and the rising tuition fees. Students from over the UK rose early, taking coaches to make it to ULU for the start of the march. The “sparks protest” organised by electricians started two hours before the march from ULU and had over 500 participants. March from ULU started 40 minutes behind schedule at 12:40pm.
A heavy police presence across London at starting points and high profile area (e.g. LSX and banks). The police led the march controlling pace and direction. Met Police has reported that if student deviate from the route defined or do not disperse from violence then they will be arrested (s12 of the Public Order Act and s60 and 60aa of PACE) [N9admin note: it’s s60 and S60aa of Criminal Justice and Public Order Act]. @Eastlondonlines confirmed that “There is no intention of water cannons being used today”.
Police have made 20 arrests so far. One involved possession of an offensive weapon. London Wall remains the only road to be closed and at precisely 5:41pm protesters will be made to leave under a dispersal order.
The front of the march has reached Moorgate and is now being spoke to by Mark Berkfield on how “we are fighting for another world”. Police are repeating warnings that you must leave within two hours.
Protesters are being controlled at London Wall. Described as kettling but protesters are being allowed to move to Moorgate in groups of 10-20 people.
After a pause at Fleet Street, the protest has continued slow and steady. A few missiles were thrown and police have changed to riot helmets for protection. The march has avoided St Pauls, a potential flashpoint, passing the Museum of London and London Wall. The march is coming close to the end (Moorgate) and then protesters will be able to reside for up to 2 hours before dispersing.
The protest is currently being held at Fleet Street while Police wait for back of march to catch up. Police are keen for protesters to continue original route. This will pass via St Pauls and subsequently the Occupation.
The BBC is reporting that the atmosphere is “jovial” yet due to the significantly high police presence, it is not surprising that large scale violence has occurred. The Strand has been closed by Police with the support of several vans, horses and a police dog section.