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Students march on Bournemouth in protest
A noisy march brought Bournemouth town centre to a standstill as students vented their anger over the proposed hike in university tuition fees.
Waving banners and chanting, around 500 young people turned out to support a national protest.
They wasted no time in voicing their opinions with a highly vocal march from Meyrick Park to Bournemouth town hall.
An overview of the demo
A small minority threatened to push down barriers placed at the end of Braidley Road and police brought in reinforcements, bringing their number to around 70.
Officers were forced to temp-orarily close off the town centre to traffic when students staged a sit-in on Commercial Road.
But the protest was largely good-humoured and peaceful and ended after two-and-a-half hours.
Inspector Wayne Knock said: “You have to strike a balance between people’s right to protest and keeping order without overreacting and I think we achieved that.”
Voices from the demonstration
Sixth formers from a number of schools and colleges, including St Peter’s, Twynham, Brockenhurst, Bournemouth School for Girls, Bournemouth and Poole College, Bournemouth School and Burgate, walked out of lessons to take part.
They were supported by students from Bournemouth University and the Arts Univer-sity College Bournemouth, as well as members of the public.
Students were protesting about proposals to raise university fees from £3,250 per year to £9,000 and also against cuts to university funding.
Alison North, 16, from Burgate School said: “The fees are appalling – I want to go to university but I will be left with enormous debts.”
Some of the signs
Bournemouth and Poole college student Paul Packer, 17, said: “When I finish college, I will not be able to afford to go to university” and Hollie Bligh, who completed A levels at Poole High School said: “I am trying to save money to go to university but I think places should be given based on exam grades, not on how much money you’ve got.”
Dozens of protests were held across the UK with thousands joining a rally in London and others staging occupations at university buildings.
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