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FACTBOX-Britain's year of protests

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 18 Nov 2011 16:40 GMT
Author: Reuters
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Nov 18 (Reuters) - British anti-capitalist protesters occupied a third location in London on Friday, "repossessing" a large empty office block owned by Swiss banking giant UBS .

* NOVEMBER 2010 - About 55,000 students took part in a Nov. 10 demonstration in central London against government plans to raise university tuition fees.

- A small group attacked the building housing the headquarters of the ruling Conservative Party, smashing windows and spraying graffiti in the foyer. A student was jailed for throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof of the tower block.

* DECEMBER 2010 - Protesters attacked government buildings and damaged a car carrying heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles after parliament voted on Dec. 9 to raise fees paid by university students.

* MARCH 2011 - Hundreds of thousands of protesters joined a rally on March 26 against the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition's austerity plans.

- Police arrested 201 people after groups of youths broke away from the union-organised march, fighting running battles with riot police and attacking banks and luxury stores in the West End shopping and theatre district.

* AUGUST 2011 - More than 2,800 people were arrested after a protest over a fatal shooting by police on Aug. 4 prompted rioting and looting in the poor London district of Tottenham.

- The violence spread through London, to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and other English cities. The riots, in which five people were killed, badly damaged Britain's reputation for stability less than a year before London hosts the 2012 Olympics.

* OCTOBER 2011 - Anti-capitalist protesters set up some 200 tents at St Paul's Cathedral, forcing its temporary closure, after they were blocked from the nearby London Stock Exchange. London city authorities will resume legal action in the High Court after the protesters defied a deadline for them to leave by Nov. 18.

* NOVEMBER 2011 - British trade unions welcomed the government's revised offer in a long-running row over public sector pensions on Nov. 2 but said planned strike action on Nov. 30 would go ahead unless real progress was made in negotiations.

- British police arrested 20 people when thousands of students marched through London on Nov. 9 to protest against the government's austerity measures. The arrests came after a group split away and pitched more than 20 pop-up tents in Trafalgar Square.

- Protesters occupied another location in London on Friday, "repossessing" a large empty office block owned by Swiss banking giant UBS. (Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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