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Liveblog: 1,500 students join Brighton march against education cuts
11:40am Wednesday 24th November 2010 in News
Students protesting in Brighton today occupied a council building, and stormed a university building, Vodafone and Poundland.
About 1,500 students marched through the city in protest at the steep rise in tuition fees.
At about 3pm, a group of them approached Brighton Town Hall in Bartholemew Square, and shortly afterwards occupied Priory House nearby.
Another group entered the Brighton University building in Grand Parade.
Police kettled hundreds of students in Bartholemew Square, but through the afternoon there were further scuffles in Black Lion Street, Churchill Square, North Street, Bond Street and by the police station in John Street.
At one point, about 40 protesters stormed the Vodafone store in Western Road. When riot police ejected them, they then moved onto Poundland, where a small amount of damage was caused.
Click on play below to view a liveblog of the march:
Students from universities and colleges across the city first gathered in Dyke Road Park, near Brighton and Hove Sixth Form College (BHASVIC), in Duke Road, Hove, at 2pm.
They then marched through the city to Churchill Square, and made their way to Victoria Gardens.
Students from University of Sussex also met in Library Square on the Falmer campus at 12pm.
The Argus understands that pupils from BHASVIC, Dorothy Stringer School, in Loder Road, Brighton, Longhill High School in Falmer Road, Rottingdean and Blatchington Mill School in Nevill Avenue, Hove, are all joining the 2pm march.
They are protesting against Government proposals to cut the teaching budget and raise the cap on tuition fees to £9,000 a year.
One 17-year-old Vardean student said: “By marching today we hope to show our opposition to the proposed cuts to higher education, which are going to affect our future drastically.”
Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett said: "People have a genuine grievance and we are happy to help them air their discontent. We liaised closely with the organisers of the march to help plan for a safe and secure environment for both protesters and local residents and to prevent crime and disorder.
"Protesters of the planned march were co-operative and followed the agreed route, peacefully marching from Dyke Road to the city centre, causing minimum disruption to the area. Unfortunately a small group broke away from the organised march, causing minor disorder, criminal damage and disruption.
"A small number of buildings in the city centre have been closed for the safety of protesters and those occupying the buildings, including a university building. Sussex Police has been working with the universities to keep their buildings open, but unfortunately some criminal trespass has been taking place.
"There have been protesters outside the Town Hall and a small number managed to get in, but were soon ejected with no damage caused. Protesters have also been in various other parts of the city centre including outside the police station and there are sufficient resources to deal with any crime and disorder that the minority are committing."