UPDATE [12/9/10]: Parliament is expected to vote on the tuition increase this evening. The largest protest to rally around the issue is also planned, with authorities prepared for more potential outbreaks of violence (see video below).
SECOND UPDATE [12/9/10]: The parliament passed the higher cap on tuition fees, and protests have taken a destructive turn. Several policemen have been injured and a royal car carrying Price William and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was attacked by protesters. William and Camilla are unhurt. The new measure must be approved by the House of Lords and receive the Queen’s signature before it is considered law.
American students aren’t the only ones facing an increase in education costs. The British government has taken action that will triple the cost of tuition after 2012. It’s empowering to report that approximately 50,000 people took a stand against these policies during a demonstration. Unfortunately, after only one hour of peaceful protesting, about 200 bad-apples ruined the bunch. A riot began and many people were injured during the course of it. Through the darkness of such violent acts, the light of the issue was lost.
The demonstration was organized by Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) and they have clearly stated their disapproval of the riot. NUS president, Aaron Porter tweeted, “Disgusted that the actions of a minority of idiots are trying to undermine 50,000 who came to make a peaceful protest.”
It’s suspected that the 200 or so people that started the riot may not even be students, but radical anarchists or members of extreme left-wing groups. A masked rioter said, “…I am against the Tories, but I am more against the system as a whole. It needs to be burnt down and started again from the bottom up.” The Tories? That’s interesting when you consider that the peaceful protesters were more concerned with the Liberal Democrat Party. The riot targeted the Tory Party (conservative) headquarters, but the peaceful protesters held signs reading slogans such as, “Liberal Hypocrites – Lying Pigs!” It seems as though a group of extremists were simply looking for a fight. Sadly, the NUS and their cause suffered for it. Despite the demonstration’s outcome, the ever-optimistic Porter declares, “This is just the beginning, the resistance begins here.”
Do you think it’s time we took action here in the states, too? How far will we let tuition costs raise before we fight for our right to be educated? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this but, please, keep it peaceful.
To find out more about the riot in London, please visit AOL News.
Image via thestarphoenix.com