King’s Join Thousands to March for Free Education

Hundreds of King’s students joined with thousands of protesters to march for free education in central London today.

An estimated 10,000 people took part in the demo calling for free education and opposing the Conservative government’s plans to scrap maintenance grants in favour of more loans.

Image by Miguel Ignacio Rodriguez

The march, organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, began in Malet Street in Bloomsbury before progressing to Westminster via Trafalgar Square.

Skirmishes broke out between police and protesters near the Business, Innovation and Skills Building in Westminster as a group tried to force their way into the building.

Police denied that a kettle was put in place, describing it in an official statement as a ‘cordon’.

A heavy police presence remained in place throughout the rest of the protest, and the Metropolitan Police said they had made 12 arrests for ‘public order offences’, including eggs and paint being thrown at officers.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell had addressed the crowds gathered at Malet Street before the march began, telling them: “Education is a basic human right, not something to be bought or sold.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had also pledged his support for the demonstration.

Plans to get rid of maintenance grants for lower income students were revealed in the July 2015 budget.

Image by Miguel Ignacio Rodriguez

Chancellor George Osborne is set to replace them with loans as of September 2016, which would be worth more but leave students with a larger amount of debt.

A further day of action has been called for on 17th November to focus on treatment of international students, migrants and refugees.

Additional reporting by Areeb Ullah