A student union building has been vandalised by protesters following a trouble-free march through Liverpool city centre today, opposing Government plans to raise the cost of higher education.
The scenes at Liverpool Guild of Students (LGOS) on Brownlow Hill marred what was otherwise a peaceful protest by students opposed to the rise in tuition fees. Protesters gathered on the roof of the building at around 4pm, with some setting off flares and allegedly throwing eggs at onlookers.
A fire extinguisher was reportedly thrown down some stairs inside
LGOS and the building is now closed until further notice.
Vice President of LGOS, Tara Hewitt, voiced her anger on Twitter.
She tweeted: “Some of us have been working hard for students
not smashing up student building, basically burning student
money. Hope people who damaged building are caught and dealt
Roughly 500 students outside the entrance at Mountford Hall were
urged to keep pressuring the Government and get support from
lecturers and university representatives, as a fire alarm instructed
staff and students inside the building to evacuate.
Approximately 2,000 or 3,000 people had marched into the city
from LGOS at noon, stopping traffic on some of the busiest streets and staging sit-down protests on Lime Street before a heavy police presence met them at the Town Hall.
Local Labour Councillor Nick Small, Group Spokesperson for Education, congratulated the procession on rallying against the coalition Government's Spending Review that could see tuition fees doubling from 2012 to £6,000 per year, but urged protesters to "disperse peacefully".
Josh Wright, President of LGOS, said: "About 500 students stormed the Guild and partially trashed the place. There wasn't too much damage but it was quite intimidating. Up until that point it had been peaceful and had gone well.
"It was part of a wider movement nationally that helps the lobbying effect. I will stress that peacful protest is the way forward but you cannot account for idiots."
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “Officers will not tolerate criminal behaviour, disorder or anti-social behaviour during any demonstrations or within Merseyside.”
By Chris Bradley, Chief Reporter
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Students' protest pictures
Some staged a rooftop protest at the Liverpool Guild after storming into the building Pictures: Lee Boyle