Sheffield students have marched on the City Hall to protest against increased tuition fees as part of the National Union of Students’ ‘Come Clean’ day of action. The protest was attended by approximately fifty people.
Thirty-five of the protesters were students who had gathered on Devonshire Green at around 11:15 this morning. They were largely from socialist societies at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
There were also some students present from The Sheffield College.
The students began marching down Division Street at 11:40 this morning, chanting: “No ifs! No buts! No Education cuts!’, ‘Education for the masses! Not just for the ruling classes!’, and ‘We hate Tories and we are the Tory haters!”
There were six police officers in the area, and the march was flanked by two officers on bicycles. The students marched to the bottom of Fargate and back, reaching the City Hall at around 12:00.
One of the protesters was University of Sheffield PhD student Mark Seddon. He commented: “I think the cuts increase the privatisation of education.
“We want people from all backgrounds to have access to education.”
Amongst the speakers at the City Hall was the further education vice-president of the National Union of Students, Toni Pearce. On the increased tuition fees she said: “This is the first generation ever to be worse off than their parents.”
She added: “£9000 is extortionate.”
Also speaking was the vice-president of the Young Socialist Students Society, Paul Lepper. He called for students nationwide to occupy their universities in protest of increased student fees:
“We should occupy universities and refuse to pay any fees at all,” he said.
“If the NUS won’t do it, we’ll do it.”