For my sins, I tend to agree with the idea that University should be free. But at the same time the numbers going to university should reduce. I can only think that society is being decidedly dense not thinking of alternative funding routes similarly in line with the latest web based pricing structures (see Freemium for example).
The reality of now though is disgusting and shameful. The pictures below are from Total Politics, but a whole host of alternative sources could have been used. There is nothing that is achieved by this, in fact, it sets back the cause that was being promoted by the protests.
The understanding that I have here is that people - and young people acutely - have no concept on how they can be involved in politics, or indeed, how they can support a group or party in defending their own interests (which incidentally they don't know themselves). The available narratives of Left vs Right just don't ring true, but at the same time its hard for people to search for real alternatives. Academic politics has failed in this respect. There are no alternatives, so people feel the need to turn to either apathy or the extremities. The protests below are a example of the latter and the beginnings - I fear - of a wave of violent protests that will begin again to sweep the country.
Some unseen images from the student protest:
All photos taken by Jon Stone.