Thousands take part in Bristol student fees protest

About 2,000 people gathered in Bristol to protest against plans to increase university tuition fees.

The demonstrators assembled outside Bristol University's Senate House in Clifton as part of nationwide action.

They then marched on to the Wills Memorial Building. Roads in the area were blocked by police and diversions were put in place.

A police spokesman said four people had been arrested in connection with public order offences.

Those present included students from the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.

Police said there were about 2,000 people at the demonstration.

Students from City of Bristol College were also there, along with pupils from St Brendan's Sixth Form College and Bristol Grammar School.

Representatives from Unison, the National Union of Teachers and Unite also joined the protests.

Mounted police

The students marched to the University of Bristol's Wills Memorial Building at about 1315 GMT.

Police blocked roads in the area including Park Street and Park Row and diversions were put in place.

Widespread congestion and traffic queues were reported in the city centre.

At 1430 GMT one group of protesters was assembled outside the Wills Memorial Building while another group marched up the Triangle, waving placards.

Others were gathered at College Green.

Mounted police officers followed the protesters' movements.

At 1700 GMT the roads had reopened, but tailbacks continued in the city centre.

Avon and Somerset Police said the demonstration had been "largely peaceful".

Ch Insp Mark Jackson said: "The majority of people taking part were well behaved and caused minimal disruption.

"I would like to thank traders and motorists for their co-operation."

The students were protesting as part of a national demonstration against plans to increase tuition fees in England to up to £9,000 a year and to withdraw public funding for university teaching budgets for many subjects.

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