take to the streets
Thousands take to the streets in protest of wholesale further education cuts
Article and photographs by
The recent student demonstrations received an extensive amount of media
attention. Typically most coverage focused on London, where an outburst
of violence eclipsed the protests on Merseyside and elsewhere in the UK.
The tabloid friendly invasion of the Tory headquarters ensured a media
frenzy subsequently clouding debate surrounding the real issues.
In Liverpool, the demographic of the protesters appeared to be a mix
of university students, college students and school children. The comedy
value of homemade placards made up for their numerical modesty. One protester,
with some sense of irony, held aloft a placard that read 'I don't have
a fire extinguisher, just this sign'. Another had scribbled 'Nick Clegg
puts the 'n' in cuts'.
According to new social media websites, the march had been organised
to begin at the student union and congregate at the Conservative headquarters
in Hanover Street. However, a heavy police presence effectively prevented
access. As a result the crowd marched up Bold Street and it often felt
directionless and indecisive. Several shop owners appeared in doorways
and cheered in support. Midday shoppers appeared somewhat perplexed amid
the commotion. At times police seemed anxious due to the unpredictability
of the procession.
At the top of Bold Street, an impromptu sit down was organized and for
half an hour traffic at the junction was halted. A procession of empty
buses could be seen up Hardman street, their drivers looking as dejected
and bored as they might in any other traffic jam. Drivers looked clearly
Despite the cold, the crowd later irritated drivers further by blocking
the junction outside the Everyman theatre. Returning back to the union
to conclude the demonstration, several political speeches were announced
over a megaphone. A few other students took to the roof as the demonstration
finally reached its conclusion. Once the crowds dispersed, a 'police evidence
gatherer' could be seen getting shots of a group of protesters. Their
pose wouldn't have looked out of place on a holiday snap, perhaps epitomizing
the overall mood of the demonstration.