Written by Student Rights on 11 November 2010 at 12pm

An absolute disgrace.

article-1328385-0C00CDED000005DC-645_634x455Yesterday, while a large number of students took to the streets of Westminster to protest against the move by the government to raise the bar on tuition fees, a few hundred political extremists caused havoc and massive damage to private property. This is completely unacceptable.

A protest led by the National Union of Students and the Universities and College Union turned nasty yesterday as student-cum-rioters broke windows, injured police and hurled objects from nearly 100ft in the air in what looked like an attempt to seriously maim or kill police below the Millbank Tower.

There are two points Student Rights wishes to make around these events:

1) Political extremism in any form often if not always results in this kind of mass violence, destruction of property, vandalism and serious injuries. It must be opposed and exposed by all sides. article-1328385-0C00FA98000005DC-190_634x405

2) The organisers of the event must take full responsibility for lack of organisation, lack of knowledge about their own 'protestors' and damages caused during the rioting. The National Union of Students and the University and College Union are complicit in the damage and harm that took place yesterday and those in charge of the demonstrations within these organisations should consider their positions. "People may have been killed. This is evident to anyone."

In the meantime, we must mourn for those who wanted to bring the issue of student tuition fees to the forefront of the national debate on government spending. The cause has now been irrevocably harmed and tarnished. article-1328665-0C00F16E000005DC-402_634x388 It would be no surprise if government ministers shut out members of the National Union of Students and University and College Union for a serious length of time - although this is not wholly necessary. A reprimand of these organisations needs to take place immediately from within and externally. Lastly, it's clear the Metropolitan Police were both completely underinformed on the event and grossly negligent in putting together a decent response once the violence broke out.

Student protest and activism is a tradition. Violence, vandalism and criminal behaviour is not.