Barkingside tuition fees protester in police ‘kettle’
PUBLISHED: 17:48 09 December 2010
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A BARKINGSIDE resident protesting against increases to tuition fees is trapped inside a controversial police “kettle” as mounted police fight back crowds.
As the coalition Government wins the vote to increase tuition fees to £9,000 a year Jonathan Buckner, 23, the Green Party’s London Youth and Students Officer, has spoken to The Recorder from inside a crowd behind police lines in Parliament Square.
He said: “I don’t know when the kettle started, I was in the middle of the crowd, it’s hard to see what’s going on around you at a protest when you’re at ground level.
“We are quite safe at the moment, it’s peaceful, but they have taken off their hi-vis jackets. I don’t know why that is, unless they don’t want us to see them.”
As Mr Buckner spoke to The Recorder, chants of “Let us out” could be heard and protesters ran through the police lines.
Minutes later, speaking from near the Cenotaph, he said: “They are riding horses into us. They are riding them right into the crowd.
“People are putting barricades in the way, it’s really quite scary, I’m helping people to move metal for the barricades, near the front of the crowd.”
“They were riding quite fast into people at times, it’s really scary to see horses right in front of you. As far as I can see no one has been hurt yet, but it could cause a stampede.
Earlier he had said: “It’s been very calm and very peaceful, people are angry about having to pay more fees but I haven’t seen any violence, only a bit of graffiti.”
Around 20,000 demonstrators are expected by police and there have been clashes between protesters and officers.
Seven people have been arrested.
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