The president of the National Union of Students has revealed his concern that this year's student protests will echo the violence of 2010, when angry crowds went on a rampage through London.

Liam Burns said violence could overshadow the main focuses of the demonstration, which are education, employment and empowerment, in an interview with student newspaper The Mancunion.

"One of the things I can’t do is stop any arsehole from coming along on the day, and that’s true of any action we have in London," he said. "I’m not naïve enough to think, though, that we shouldn’t mitigate the chance of risk."

And, true to his words, the #Demo2012 route has been engineered to miss out the Conservative headquarters at Millbank, which saw some of the worst violence during the 2010 protest.

nus student demo route

The demonstration route will see students marching from Temple tube station to Kennington

"I think we’ve done everything we can to negate violence," Burns added. "All of our students' unions are quite clear about this being a peaceful demonstration. I think we've set the tone right."

"For me the reason that violence will never form a part of this campaign is that it doesn’t make sense tactically. You want public sympathy on your side; violence is not going to engender public sympathy."

Presumably, Burns is hoping to replicate the success of last year's demonstration, where there were few, if any, occasions of violence, despite concerns over police threats to use rubber bullets.

Burns is highly critical of the violence used in the protest two years ago, saying the NUS' national executive committee has agreed it will not be supporting "any form of violence".

"One of the things that I’ve always said about Millbank is that I don’t think the act of peacefully occupying a locus of power, when you consider the trebling of tuition fees, was in any way disproportionate."

"But when you start smashing windows, causing vandalism and harassing people, it’s not Nick Clegg or David Cameron who’s going to come down and clean that up. It’s cleaners that work in the building and we’re trying to claim that we’re fighting to get their kids into uni."

The protest, which takes place on 21 November, will see students travelling to London from around the UK, with some coming from as far afield as Aberdeen.

Although Burns does admit "it would be stupid to say I wasn’t [concerned]," in the eventuality of any violence, he seems to be fully capable of coping.

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  • In this Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 photo a protestor kicks at the window glass of the Topshop store on Oxford Street, as part of a break away group from the main protest against the increase in university tuition fees, in London. British lawmakers on Thursday approved a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees with a narrow margin as some government legislators rebelled amid violent protests outside Parliament

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 photo, photographers take pictures of sheeting attached to a metal barrier surrounding the Norwegian Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, London that was set on fire by protestors as part of a break away group from the main protest against the increase in university tuition fees.

  • Charlie Gilmour, the son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, is seen participating in a demonstration in central London against government plans to triple tuition fees. Police filed charges against Gilmour on Thursday Jan. 27, 2011 for his role in last month's violent protest against the British government's decision to raise university tuition fees.

  • British students light up flares during a protest in central London against government plans to triple tuition fees

  • Police officers form a line during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Police clashed with protesters marching to London's Parliament Square as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England

  • Police stand guard of the Norwegian Christmas tree, in Trafalgar Square, London

  • Mounted police officers clash with protesters a students demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London in a protest against increase in tuition fees

  • British police officers in riot gear charge students as they push them back during a protest in central London against government plans to triple tuition fees

  • British police officers try to hold a line during scuffles during a protest by students against government plans to triple tuition fees, in central London

  • A flare is thrown at police during a student protest against the increase in tuition fees, in London, Thursday Dec. 9, 2010. British lawmakers on Thursday approved a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees with a narrow margin as some government legislators rebelled amid violent protests outside Parliament

  • Protesters and police officers clash during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Police clashed with protesters marching to London's Parliament Square as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England.

  • Protesters and police officers clash during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Police clashed with protesters marching to London's Parliament Square as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England.

  • A demonstrator breaks a window at the Treasury in central London following a protest by several thousand British students against government plans to triple tuition fees,Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.

  • Protesters and police officers on horseback clash during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Police clashed with protesters marching to London's Parliament Square as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England.

  • British police medics carry an injured protester away, as thousands of students demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London Thursday Dec. 9, 2010, during a protest against an increase in university tuition fees

  • A mounted police officer pushes protesters back during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Police clashed with protesters marching to London's Parliament Square as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England.

  • A police officers kicks a demonstrator during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Police clashed with protesters marching to London's Parliament Square as lawmakers debated a controversial plan to triple university tuition fees in England.

  • A protester kicks the window as some thousands of students gather outside the Conservative Party headquarters in London, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, during a protest against plans to increase student tuition fees and cut university funding.

  • A demonstrator kicks in a window of Millbank Tower, housing the headquarters of the Conservative Party, during a protest in London Wednesday Nov. 10, 2010, against an increase in university tuition fees.

  • A protester smashes the windscreen of a stranded police vehicle, as thousands of students protest against a rise in university tuition fees in Whitehall, London, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. Several thousand students protested against government plans to triple tuition fees, two weeks after a similar demonstration sparked a small riot. College and university students across the country held marches and sit-ins to oppose the decision to increase university fees to 9,000 pounds a year, a key plank in the government's deficit-cutting austerity measures.

  • Protesters dance as they burn their placards as thousands of student protest against tuition fees at Whitehall in London, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. Thousands of British students protested Wednesday against government plans to triple tuition fees, two weeks after a similar demonstration sparked a small riot.

  • A protester poses for pictures next to a fire set by other protesters following a march by thousands of students protesting against tuition fees in central London, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. Thousands of British students protested Wednesday against government plans to triple university tuition fees, and there were sporadic scuffles with police, two weeks after a similar demonstration sparked a small riot.