Thursday, December 9, 2010

U.K. parliament votes for student fee rise starts Clashes

After the vote, demonstrators broke down a door into Britain’s Treasury (finance ministry) and fought with police who were inside the building, a Reuters witness said. They chanted “we want our money back” as they clashed with officers before being driven back.

The lower house of parliament approved the plan by a majority of 21 votes, with 27 members of the coalition parties voting against and a handful abstaining.
“It’s the lowest government majority of 2010 and lower than you have thought a couple of weeks ago,” said Philip Cowley, professor of parliamentary government at the University of Nottingham.
“It’s not the first revolt and it certainly won’t be the last.”
While a break up of the coalition looks unlikely, analysts say further divisions over spending cuts will make the life in government increasingly difficult for the Lib Dems.
Some demonstrators attacked police in the square in front of parliament. Mounted police then tried to break up the crowd in chaotic scenes which continued into the night.
At least nine people were arrested and eight policemen suffered injuries.
“I’m a public sector worker and I think it’s about more than just tuition fees; it’s about showing people are angry with the way the government are going about reducing the deficit,” said Henry Trew, one of the protesters.
Some accused the police of being heavy handed.
“The police have been antagonistic in their approach to the demo. Everyone knows that if you compress a group of people they get nervous and a lot of people are frightened,” said Elizia Volkmann, 39, an artist from London.

U.K. parliament votes for student fee rise starts Clashes

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