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Thousands of students march for free education in central London

Students protest outside the Houses of Parliament. Roar News / Johnny Tam

By Ben Wilson and Zack Ferriday

THOUSANDS of students marched in London today demanding free Higher Education.

The protest saw over 200 King’s students on the streets as part of a National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) protest against widespread fees commonly up to £9,000 in universities across England.

As of 5.15pm four people had been arrested, with two arrests for affray and two for assaulting a police officer.

KCLSU President Sebastiaan Debrouwere said: “[Free Education] is long process but what we’re asking for fundamentally is a fairer future, it’s about fair taxation, free public and funded higher education.”

“It’s about ensuring young people aren’t ostracized in society, and this is the first step in that,” he added.

KCLSU President Sebastiaan Debrouwere. KingsTV / Rocio Lira

The march began on Malet Street in Bloomsbury and progressed to Westminster via the Strand.

The demo was peaceful until violent clashes took place between police and a small group of protesters who began breaking down the barriers erected around Parliament Square.

Police eventually gave up on trying to stop protesters, and instead opened the barriers leading on to Parliament Square.

While the main body of the protest rallied outside Westminster, the block which assembled on Parliament Square marched toward St. James’s Park away from the planned route.

Police shut down Parliament Square once the group assembled there dissipated.

NUS HQ vandalised with 'scabbs' - Roar News / Aggi Cantrill

There were further confrontations with police outside the Conservative Party HQ on Matthew Parker Street.

Macadam House NUS Headquarters on Gray’s Inn Road, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills were also vandalised.

The NUS controversially dropped support for the protest citing health and safety concerns, a move which NCAFC labelled “ridiculous”.

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