Irish Republican News · December 9, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Royal convoy attacked as English students revolt

A vehicle carrying ‘Prince of Wales’ Charles Windsor and his wife, ‘Duchess of Cornwall’ Camilla Parker-Bowles, was attacked by student protesters in London amid heavy rioting in the city.

The royals were travelling to a high-profile caberet event in the London Palladium tonight when they were targeted by protesters demonstrating against the rise in tuition fees and other austerity measures by the Tory-led British government.

A spokeswoman for the royal family said the pair were unharmed, but their Rolls-Royce limousine was left with a badly-cracked passenger-side rear window and was spattered with paint. A second vehicle carrying aides and courtiers was also damaged in the attack.

Police in London said the student protests involved “increasing levels of violence” following the vote in the Westminster parliament to increase general student fees to up to 9,000 pounds (10,700 euro) per annum, almost treble the current limit.

Earlier today, thousands of protestors were trapped by riot police in Parliament Square as the debate on the new measures was taking place in the House of Commons.

As confrontations intensified between protestors and police, members of the Metropolitan Police horseback unit rushed the crowds, resulting in a number of student injuries.

At various times through the afternoon’s protests, which saw thousands of students from universities across England descend upon central London, riot police could be seen on live television assaulting, clubbing, taunting, and riding horses into students.

Scores of protesters were injured in the violence, as well as ten police, according to Scotland Yard.

After the vote, demonstrators broke down a door into Britain’s Treasury (finance ministry) and fought with police who were inside the building, a witness said. They chanted “we want our money back” as they clashed with officers before being driven back.

The measure to increase a cap on tuition fees is the first test of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s ability to push through painful austerity cuts as it seeks to eliminate a record budget deficit.

British public anger at the Tory cuts have quickly surpassed Irish levels, but it is unclear if it will escalate to levels seen in crisis-hit Greece earlier this year.

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