#Demo2012: Students Threaten To Break From 'Tame' NUS Protest And March On Parliament

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A group of students is dismissing plans for a peaceful protest and threatening to march on parliament, after describing the #Demo2012 rally as "too tame".

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) is calling for a "feeder march" for the national demonstration, which takes place on Wednesday and has been planned specifically to avoid Westminster.

The current route, which was devised collaboratively by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the police, begins in Temple Place at 11am and culminates in a rally at Kennington at 2pm.

nus student demo route

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

When the route was released in October, the NCAFC voiced its disagreement, tweeting:


Against Fees & Cuts
: we need a different route. Rally at parliament, not Oval Cricket ground!

Liam Burns, president of the NUS, has already defended the planned path, saying it was engineered to avoid the Conservative headquarters at Millbank, which saw some of the worst violence during the 2010 protest.

"I think we’ve done everything we can to negate violence," he said in an interview earlier this month. "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."

demo2012

Charlie Gilmour, son of Pink Floyd guitarist David, became a figurehead for the 2010 march, which erupted in violence

Michael Chessum, organiser of the NCAFC, released a statement revealing the group's plans and students' dissatisfaction at the official route.

"Many thousands of students and activists across the country are dissatisfied with the route of the NUS demonstration, which fails to meaningfully pass the centres of power which are attacking students and ordinary people," he said. "If the only right to protest that students are being offered is in irrelevant locations, that is no right to protest at all.

"It is essential that we remain strong and concerted in the face of this attempt to stifle the freedom to demonstrate. It is our right to express dissent.

"The power of any social movement is in the streets. We want to march on parliament on Wednesday: we urge students to join us, and we urge the police to allow us."

Chessum claimed the group had met with police, who were threatening to ban the students from marching through Parliament Square.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told the Huffington Post UK:

"We are aware of the [NCAFC's] plan to march but we have not banned anyone from protesting in parliament square. Obviously there will be an appropriate police force present."

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