Manchester: Police Warn Potential Troublemakers Ahead Of National Student’s Demo Against Education Cuts

29 Jan

Police in Manchester have warned protesters taking part in today’s national demonstration against education cuts that they will “act very robustly” towards troublemakers.

Manchester Police Warn Student Troublemakers Enlarge photo
An estimated 6,000 to 12,000 people will take part in protests, with many due to arrive in the North-West on specially chartered coaches from around the UK.

Assistant chief constable Neil Wain said that Greater Manchester Police had met Metropolitan Police colleagues to “learn the lessons” from previous student demonstrations in London.

He said that although trouble was not expected – it would be dealt with firmly if it erupted.

“We have worked really hard with the organisers of the demonstration and march to ensure that they are peaceful,” Mr. Wain said.

“If anybody turns up who intends to cause any trouble whatsoever, or any form of violence or disorder then we will act very robustly.”

The event is due to start close to the city centre with a student protest march before demonstrators join a trade union rally at a nearby park for speeches from leaders of the TUC and education unions.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, is expected to accuse ministers of prioritising billions of pounds in tax breaks for business as they triple the cost of university, and axe funding for college students and help for the unemployed.

National Union of Students president Aaron Porter said: “Mobilising for both these mass protests and rallies will act to both highlight and build upon the widespread popular opposition to the cuts agenda.”

He added that “savage cuts” in higher education were profoundly unfair and badly thought out.

Police say that the controversial practise of containment known as “kettling” is just one of the tactics that they would be prepared to use if necessary.

It is estimated that the policing operation in the North-West will cost £100,000.

:: A march and rally will also be held in London against spending cuts and higher tuition fees.

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