12 arrested in London as students rally against tuition fees

The "Free Education" march came to a stop outside the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in the city.

London: A student protest march calling for the abolition of tuition fees led to stray incidents of scuffles with police and demonstrators attempting to storm a government building here as Scotland Yard made 12 arrests in connection with the violence on Wednesday.

The "Free Education" march came to a stop outside the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in the city.

"A small group of protesters threw paint outside the Home Office and another group attempted to push their way into the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) building but were prevented by police. During this spell, a small number of smoke bombs and eggs were thrown at police outside BIS," a Metropolitan Police statement said.

Some demonstrators dressed in black and with scarves over their faces chanted and let off a blue flare.

UK shadow chancellor John McDonnell addressed the students at the start of the march.

He said: "Your generation has been betrayed by this government in increases to tuition fees, in scrapping the education maintenance allowance and cuts in education.

"Education is a gift from one generation to another, it is not a commodity to be bought and sold," he said.

The National Campaign Against Cuts and Fees says that thousands of students from campuses around the country took part in the demonstration.

It wants to remove tuition fees, currently up to 9,000 pounds per year in England, and to reverse a decision to convert means-tested maintenance grants into repayable loans.

"The government is impoverishing the poorest students for minimal gains. It is an attack on the least privileged students which doesn't save much money and causes misery," said the campaign's Callum Cant.

A further day of action has been called by the campaign for November 17, focused on the treatment of international students, migrants and refugees.

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