Po-Po Overload

Lily Cole joined Cambridge activists in yesterday’s protests, despite an “excessive” police presence.

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Cantab Lily Cole added a touch of glamour to yesterday’s anti-cuts demonstration in London, amid accusations of excessive force from police.

Cole was joined by 140 Cambridge students who travelled on coaches provided by CUSU.

And she wasn’t the only celeb offering support. Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker joined 2,500 protestors, showing solidarity with the “common people.”

Cantab Lily Cole protesting

But critics slammed police for an “excessive” and “patronising” presence with over 4,000 rozzers in attendance.

Police were accused of trying to intimidate protesters by announcing that rubber bullets had been authorised for use against marchers before the protest even began.

NUS president Liam Burns slammed the cops, saying: “Talk of rubber bullets and direct mailings to students who attended past protests is dangerously close to a clear agenda of… discouraging peaceful, legitimate protest.”

Cambridge protesters out in force

Becky King, a third year English student at Newnham said: “People were scared. Parents were concerned, calling them up and asking them not to go because they thought it was dangerous.”

A spokesman for Cambridge Defend Education told The Tab the police presence was “frustrating; but it did indicate the extent to which the Government is taking the protests as a threat.”

Police hold back rows of protesters

Despite these issues, the protest was generally hailed as a success, with CUSU President Gerard Tully describing it as “peaceful and energetic,” adding: “we made our point.