The third national day of action in as many weeks against the British government’s plans for massive student fee increases and higher education cuts is underway. The BBC has an overview of the day’s plans up here, while The Guardian is liveblogging. Twitter hashtags include #solidarity, #demo2010, and #dayx2.
A number of university occupations started last week are still ongoing, and one new one — at Nottingham University — was launched this morning. Their blog is here.
At last week’s London demonstration police used a tactic called “kettling” to bottle up demonstrators in confined spaces, often holding them for hours without charge. Journalist and blogger Laurie Penny, tweeting from the scene as @PennyRed, says today’s demonstrators are on the move — “running at full pelt” without leaders or direction, flummoxing the cops: “These kids just want to run, police can’t keep up.”
I’ll be liveblogging events as they unfold.
2:30 pm UK time | The Guardian is reporting that London’s protesters seem to be scattered throughout the city center, while it raises questions about the legality of the police kettling tactic.
2:50 pm | Tweeter @reallyopenuni reports from the University of Leeds that the campus’s Ziff Building — which houses “student administrative services” — was occupied about half an hour ago. A factional dispute appears to have arisen among the occupiers, with Socialist Workers Party representatives on one side and “everyday students” — including local schoolkids — on the other.
3:20 pm | A new BBC roundup page reports on demonstrations in Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool. Reports on Twitter of additional demonstrations in Newcastle, Brighton, Nottingham, Bristol, Oxford, Exeter, others.
3:30 pm | Huge kettle reported at Trafalgar Square.
3:50 pm | Protests at Belfast, Edinburgh, Warwick as well.
4:30 pm | The Welsh government has announced that it will be absorbing the costs of any tuition increases for all Welsh students next year, wherever they study in the UK. Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews says that with the new policy, Wales is “preserving the principle that the state will subsidise higher education and maintain opportunities for all.”
4:50 pm | Word from Twitter is that the kettle at Trafalgar has ended, and the crowd has mostly dispersed.