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Students Protest Fees In London

Students Protest Fees In London - A car containing Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, was attacked tonight as a wave of protest swept through central London in the wake of a Commons vote to force through a trebling of university tuition fees for students in England.

Twenty-one Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the plans and five abstained, refusing to follow their leader, Nick Clegg, and other Lib Dem ministers in favour of a new upper limit for fees of £9,000 from 2012, the culmination of an agonising few weeks for the junior party in the coalition.

Outside parliament, an initially peaceful demonstration rapidly deteriorated, with fires lit in Parliament Square, rocks thrown at the police, attempts to smash into the Treasury and the supreme court and a surge into the National Gallery's impressionist rooms.

Students Protest Fees In London

In freezing temperatures, an attempt to burn down the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was thwarted, and some Christmas shoppers had to flee the trashing of shop windows. The violence, at the end of the third in a series of demonstrations against the fee rise, was condemned by the National Union of Students.

The police again penned in demonstrators saying they were dealing with a crime scene. At least eight police officers were injured including one seriously.

The car containing Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall was attacked in Argyll Street by protesters who threw paint and cracked a window of the car when they were on their way to the Royal Variety performance at the London Palladium. The prince's spokesman said they were unharmed.

Witnesses questioned the decision of the driver of the prince's car to pass through crowds of angry protesters. One, Ben Kelsey, said: "There were 400 to 500 protesters there. It was fairly obvious who was in the car. It was very well lit up.

"Charles and Camilla looked quite relaxed at first but when they saw how many people there were they began to get worried. A few seconds later the area was packed with police. It was complete chaos."

Students Protest Fees In London

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