Movement, United Kingdom

From the lens… The biggest protest to date against David Cameron

It happened several days ago now. However, the images will never become any less relevant primarily because it is something that will happen again and not just in one city, but all over the country and across Europe. It was the 10th November.

Photos and text: Edith Tacusi-Oblitas

Thousands of students, teachers and lecturers from colleges and universities across the United Kingdom came out in unison to voice to their discontent with the British government’s plans to treble university tuition fees.

I would argue justifiably so. The coalition government plans to cut £900 million pounds of public spending which goes to universities every year, to help ease the budget deficit, which has reached 11% of GDP in the wake of the global financial crisis. We are talking about the largest protest to date against the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, which came to power in May.

Among the multitude of students and teachers who vented their anger at the program of public spending cuts implemented by the British government, several banners stood out with the slogans: ‘Stop the Education cuts!’, ‘Free Education for all!’, ‘ They say cut, we say fight back!’

The violence broke out when a group of youngsters that had smashed up shop doors and windows, confronted the police and set off a fire opposite the building, a short distance from the Houses of Parliament.

Events came to a head when twenty students briefly broke into Conservative party headquarters. Some students with their faces hidden occupied the reception at the symbolic Millbank Tower, in the heart of Westminster, where several windows were smashed.

The students burned the doors of the tower, while some clambered up onto the roof, prompting the evacuation of 100 people from the building, after the fire alarm sounded. The Prime Minister maintained that reform is necessary to avoid a culture of dependency.

(Translated by Matthew Dunford – matt_dunford@hotmail.com)

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