Students march against tuition fee rises

Merrill Lynch is boarded up and guarded by police with riot shieldsTens of thousands of students marched from ULU through central London to the City to protest against the rise in tuition fees and withdrawal of EMA.

There were some scuffles with police on the march, but there was not vandalism and destruction like that seen at Milbank the year previously.

One breakaway group of protesters setup more than dozen pop-up tents in Trafalgar Square in an attempt to occupy it, similar to the current occupations of St Pauls cathedral, Finsbury Square and Wall Street.

Photos: Students march against tuition fee rises

Tens of thousands march to save public sector pensions

Tens of thousands of protesters marched through central London as members of the PCS, UCU, NUT and ATL unions took part in a 24 hour strike over pensions.

The government is proposing to increase the retirement age to 68 for public sector workers as well as numerous other changes that would reduce the size of the pension whilst making employees contribute more.

The march passed off peacefully, however after the main march had finished there were scuffles with police as a group of protesters marched back up Whitehall.

Photos: Tens of thousands march to save public sector pensions

Protesters march to Save the NHS

Thousands of people, including healthcare professionals, marched through central London from outside University College Hospital to the Department of Health on Whitehall.

Protesters called for the health secretary’s plans to reform the NHS to be scrapped and the prime minister to sack him from his role.

Photos: Protesters march to Save the NHS

March for the Alternative – A brief thank you

My bloodied and broken glasses Covering the TUC March for the Alternative yesterday I was hit above my left eye, just below the brim of my helmet, by a rock thrown by a protester as it ricocheted off a police van. I was photographing a group of protesters who’d broken away from the main march and had attacked a branch of HSBC in Cambridge Circus.

The wound needed 9 stitches and my glasses are broken beyond repair. I just wanted to offer some thanks to everyone who helped me yesterday:

Thank you to the two photographers who got me away to safety and to a nearby fire station for first aid.

Thank you to the firemen who let me into their station, cleaned and bandaged me up.

Thank you to my friend and colleague Marc Vallée who got me to A&E, waited with me and made sure I got on the train home safely.

Thank you to the doctors and nurses at A&E who looked after me and the maxillofacial surgeon who stitched me back up again.

Thank you to my Dad who gave me a lift home.

Thank you to my housemate Ellie for keeping an eye on me for the last 24hrs.

And thank you to everyone who rang, text and sent messages via Twitter & Facebook.

Heathrow airport targeted by VAT protests

A protest group calling itself ‘TakeVAT’ were chased by police around Heathrow airport as they attempted to get inside terminal 3.

The group targeted the airport because they claim the aviation industry pays no VAT on fuel or aircraft, avoiding £9 billion in VAT.

The protests come after a similar group called UK Uncut protested outside shops that they say avoid paying taxes such as Vodafone and Topshop, temporarily shutting down hundreds of retail stores across the country. Both groups say that if big businesses paid more tax then there would be no need for the coalition governments proposed cuts to public services.

Police eventually managed to contain the protesters in a stairway in the arrivals lounge of terminal 3 and escorted them away to the train station.

Photos: Heathrow airport targeted by VAT protests

Civil Unrest: A Landscape of Political Dissent & Social Disorder

My photos of political protest have been included in the Civil Unrest project curated by Spike Laurie at the Old Vic New Voices and is part of the Coming Up festival.

It includes photographs by:

  • Brian David Stevens
  • Guy Smallman
  • Marc Vallée
  • Fil Kaler
  • John Godwin
  • Jonathan Warren
  • kennardphillips

It will also feature theatre Unrestless by award winning playwright Ben Ellis

The show is on March the 2nd, 3rd and 4th only at Debut London Bridge.

Unfortunately all of the free tickets have sold out already, but paid tickets are still available and include a meal devised by Mark Jankel.

Student protests spread over London

A police evidence gatherer punches a protester who is blocking a police van

Thousands of student protesters took to the streets to protests against the Governments plans to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and increase in university tuition fees.

The protest split into smaller groups throughout the day, with some blockading Topshop on Oxford Street and others joining the protest outside the Egyptian embassy.

A similar protest was held in Manchester on the same day, backed by the National Union of Students and the TUC. NUS president Aaron Porter was targeted by protesters there calling him a ‘Tory too’ and had to be protected by police.

Photos: Student protests spread over London

Vigil for the BBC World Service

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear addresses the crowd of protesters and workers outside Bush House

BBC employees and NUJ members held a vigil for the World Service outside Bush House where it is based after it was announced that 650 jobs would be cut as well as ending the Azeri, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish for Cuba, Turkish, Vietnamese and Ukrainian language services.

General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists Jeremy Dear said “We do not accept that there needs to be a single job or service cut” adding that the union was prepared to ballot for industrial action over the proposed cuts and job losses.

Photos: Vigil for the BBC World Service

Live: Student Tuition Fees

Thousands of students are held back by police on Whitehall
Thousands of students are held back by police on Whitehall

I’ll be live blogging the events over the next day or two, leading up to the vote and protests against a rise in student tuition fees. This page will update automatically, no need to refresh.