Ipswich: Irate students join fee hike protests

IPSWICH: Students at Suffolk New College joined national protests against rising tuition fees today.

A group of demonstrators gathered outside the college entrance in Ipswich to make their objections clear.

They were quickly told by college staff to take down abusive placards referring to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

The group gradually swelled in number as more angry students joined the action against plans to raise fees in England to up to �9,000 a year from 2012 and cut budgets.

The government also announced the educational maintenance allowance (EMA), used by students from low income families, is being axed from January.

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Art and design student Robert French, speaking on behalf of the protesters, said: “We’re here to stand in solidarity. Our futures are at stake.

“We think there should be fair access to education. But scrapping the EMA will restrict access for a lot of people from poorer backgrounds.”

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A fresh wave of protests began across the country following demonstrations a fortnight ago which descended into violence with 50,000 people marching through the streets of Westminster.

Protesters this time attacked a police van in central London. A group of young men leapt on to the roof, smashed the windscreen, daubed it with a slogan and hurled sticks at the vehicle which was parked in the middle of Whitehall.

There were also clashes at a bottleneck entrance to King Charles Street, close to the Foreign Office, where metal barriers were thrown at police. One injured police officer could be seen being dragged away by a colleague brandishing a metal baton.

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