As many as 25,000 protesters flocked to the streets of Britain on the 8th of December to oppose the rise in University fees. 10,000 of these were in London and students targeted areas such as Whitehall, the Foreign Office and Downing Street.
Scotland Yard had ensured that hundreds of police officers would meet these rioters, but they quickly reinforced numbers as the protest got more violent. Several officers were injured including one with a broken arm and another who was knocked unconscious as the crowds surged around the Foreign Office. Six members of the public were also taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
The police used a controversial form of crowd control in an attempt to keep the violence to a minimum: 'kettling'. This involves police surrounding protestors and stopping them leaving. However, this sparked some criticism after many young school children were left trapped in the cold conditions.
This is what one protestor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said about the rise in fees, "this is of great concern to people of my generation and it may put a lot of people off going to University. This in turn could impact society and some of my generation will be left with worse jobs."
The riot comes after MPs voted to raise tuition fees to a maximum £9,000 a year. The Coalition Government claimed a narrow victory with a majority of just 21. Some students say they have been let down by the Liberal Democrats after leader Nick Clegg pledged that he would vote against any rise in fees. A number of Lib Dem MPs stepped down from their positions in order to abstain against the rise including Edinburgh West MP Mike Crockart who claimed the rise in fees would 'seriously impact on people's choices.'
We asked a number of Year 9 students about how they feel about the rise in fees and if this would put them off going to University. Here is what one student said: "I don't think it will put me off going to Uni because I value my education and I think there are a lot of great opportunities that come out of going to University and they are too good to miss. I think that the fees are fair and you only pay the amount when you are earning."