Protesters in Westminster, London reportedly attacked police horses with missiles, firecrackers, sticks and metal bars during yesterday’s (9 December) demonstration against an increase to student fees.
National papers have reported that missiles included metal bolts, concrete and heavy-based traffic cones. The sticks came from placards and the iron bars from dismantled barriers.
Skirmishes between police and a minority of protesters began at 2pm, ahead of MPs voting by a majority of 21 to raise maximum annual tuition fees to £9,000.
As attacks by protestors escalated, mounted police charged.
No horse was seriously hurt, according to initial reports. All were wearing plastic eye shields, leg armour and nose guards.
One mounted officer, however, according to reports, suffered severe neck injuries after being pulled from his horse, and another’s legs were trampled.
At least one rider was thrown when a protestor’s firework spooked a horse. Mostly though the well-trained horses remained steadfast under a barrage of loud noises, flashes and projectiles.
In all, nine officers and 22 protesters were hurt in the clashes in and around Parliament Square.
The Metropolitan Police Service was unavailable for comment this morning.