The latest in a series of large-scale student protests against tuition fee increases is expected to take place tomorrow, Wednesday, 9th November. Some estimate that as many as 10,000 students & supporters may take part in the march through Central London, and there will be around 4,000 police officers on hand as well.
It should be noted that, in a somewhat controversial turn, police have been authorized to user rubber bullets if deemed necessary. This of course does not mean that violence is inevitable, but it does underscore the huge need for caution surrounding these kinds of events.
Also worthy of note, according to a Met Police statement:
There are a range of tactics available if there is criminality and violence associated with the event. One of these is the authority to deploy baton rounds in extreme circumstances. These are carried by a small number of trained officers and are not held and used by those officers policing the route on Wednesday.
We fully recognize that as adults, the choice to participate in or ignore a protest such as tomorrow’s lies solely with you. However, we believe that our students would be wise to monitor this event from afar. As with any large-scale event where people passionately (though peacefully) argue for their cause, there exists a possibility that safety can deteriorate rapidly.
We do recommend that you learn more about all sides of this issue to better understand why your UK-student peers are demonstrating. Below are some resources:
- The National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts: the organizer of Wednesday’s protest
- Guardian article outlining tomorrow’s action
- BBC backgrounder on the tuition fee issue in the UK
Please be safe tomorrow.