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Britain’s Tuition-Fee Protests Turn Violent

January 31, 2011

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A rioter winds up to kick a smoke grenade back...

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Protests turned violent in London Wednesday, as nearly 100 students occupied Britain’s Conservative Party Headquarters, leading to a standoff with police over the U.K.’s proposal to increase fees and cut government funding of higher education in England.
Around 50,000 students and teachers traveled to London for a march and rally in Westminster against the Government’s plans to raise yearly fees from $5,300 to $14,500. What started out as a peaceful protest in the capital early in the day suddenly turned violent. A small minority headed to the Tory Headquarters where placards were set on fire, smoke bombs and missiles were thrown at police and windows were smashed by rioters, reports the BBC. Within two hours, the entire lobby of the Conservative Party was destroyed, followed by riot police entering to regain control and evacuate the building.
Police blamed the riots on that small minority of protesters.

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