Student protests day 2: university building still occupied and schoolchildren arrested (From The Argus)
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Student protests day 2: university building still occupied and schoolchildren arrested
8:38am Thursday 25th November 2010 in News
Five schoolchildren and one adult have been arrested after yesterday's student protests and a Brighton University building remains occupied this morning.
Yesterday's demonstration against a hike in tuition fees saw an estimated 2,500 people, mostly students, take to the streets.
The protest was largely peaceful, but later on Vodafone and Poundland were stormed by a hardcore of demonstrators.
During the course of the afternoon, council and university buildings were occupied.
One of these was Brighton University's building in Pavilion Parade, where students spent the night and remain this morning.
One of the occupiers, Jade Taafe, reports on Twitter that today's lectures have been cancelled as a result - although the university said this was only the case for one lecture hall.
And a Sussex University source has told The Argus authorities there are taking steps to prevent any occupation of the vice chancellor's offices.
Professor Stuart Laing, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said a small number of students, somewhere between 15 and 30, were continuing to hold meetings in one lecture theatre in the building.
He said: “A small number of students, about 50, are affected by this disruption but their lectures are either being postponed or rescheduled for other rooms."
“Apart from this minor disruption, the university is functioning as normal.
“The students have told us they have no desire to disrupt lectures and seminars for their fellow students and we are expecting to resume a normal timetable later tomorrow (Friday).”
Yesterday, hundreds of people were kettled in Bartholemew Square. There were also scuffles in Black Lion Street, North Street, Bond Street and by the John Street police station.
The demonstration ended at around 8pm after about 50 protesters were released one by one from a kettle next to the Palace Pier.
Five teenagers and one adult have now been bailed without charge while police enquiries continue.
Police also say they are investigating allegations of theft from Poundland and have invited witnesses to come forward.
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 joined the planned march at Dyke Road Park and peacefully followed the agreed route, causing minimal disruption to the surrounding area. The organisers complied with police and used appointed stewards to direct protesters towards Victoria Gardens.
"Unfortunately a group of protesters who were unconnected with the original march seemed to have hijacked the protest at this point and as a result groups of protesters broke away and caused disorder, criminal damage and disruption to the city. He added: "We anticipate more arrests over the coming days and weeks as the investigations continue."
- A 15-year old Brighton boy was arrested in Bartholomews for breach of the peace, and was bailed to December 2.
- A 15-year old Brighton boy was arrested in Carlton Hill for assault on police and obstructing police, and was bailed to December 4.
- A 15-year old Worthing girl was arrested in Madeira Drive for assault on police, obstructing police, and causing harassment and alarm and was bailed to December 17.
- A 16-year old Burgess Hill boy was arrested in Madeira Drive for causing harassment and alarm, and was bailed to December 17.
- A 16-year old Brighton boy was arrested in Madeira Drive for breach of the peace and bailed to 12 December.
- A 41-year old Brighton man was arrested in Prince Albert Street for assault on police and obstructing police, and was bailed to 17 December.
Click on play below to view a liveblog of the march: