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Students' vandalism 'drop in the ocean' - Sussex union

12 November 10 09:04
A Demonstrator holds a placard next to a broken window at 30 Millbank

The University of Sussex Students' Union has refused to condemn violence at Wednesday's tuition fees protest.

Dozens were injured and 50 people were arrested when thousands protested in London, with some breaking into and damaging the Conservative Party's HQ.

Five hundred students from Sussex University joined the march.

Their union said the damage was "a drop in the ocean compared to the true violence and vandalism" applied to the education system by the government.

Public sympathy

In a statement, it said students felt "disempowered, disenfranchised and oppressed".

National Union of Students president Aaron Porter said the students who behaved violently had lost public sympathy and undermined their case.

The violence was sparked during a peaceful march involving around 50,000 students and lecturers protesting against a proposed fee hike and university funding cuts.

The Metropolitan Police has announced an inquiry into the handling of the student march.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the protests "unacceptable" and said there had not been enough officers to control the crowds.

He called for the "full force of the law" to be used against those who had been violent.

Those arrested - mostly for criminal damage and aggravated trespass - have been released on police bail until February.

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