This afternoon Northern Ireland Liberal Democrat Chair Michael Carchrie Campbell was in Belfast city centre and witnessed the student protests outside City Hall at close quarters. Speaking a short time after leaving Donegall Square, Michael said:
“Whilst I support the students’ right to have their point heard, and indeed agree with them that this tripling of tuition fees is neither fair nor progressive, I have concerns about the way I witnessed ‘protestors‘ going about it.
“I saw missiles being thrown at PSNI officers as well as chants directed at them that are not acceptable as Northern Ireland seeks to create a truly shared future.
“I thank the PSNI for their work in marshalling the protest while looking out for the wellbeing of shoppers and workers going about their business in the city centre.
“The violent scenes from the ‘protestors’ at City Hall this afternoon are totally unacceptable and put members of the police and public at risk. I condemn those who have used this protest on student fees for violent ends: they are not helping the cause of those students who need their concerns to be taken into account at Westminster today, as our MPs gather to debate and vote on this important issue.”