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Students protest against Budget cuts
Students protest at the Murray Street mall. Pictures: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Thousands of students across Australia have protested against Federal Budget cuts to higher education.

Angry chanting was heard in the Murray Street mall where hundreds of protesters gathered.

Most of Perth’s universities were represented at the rally.

Young students afraid they will not be able afford an education in the future also joined in the protest.

Anger was directed at Education Minister Christopher Pyne and students called for his resignation.

On the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne scuffles broke out as protesters clashed with police.

Officers tried to hold back the demonstrators who charged at the police line, before they returned to peacefully protesting.

After the rally broke up, a group of 20 people staged a sit-in at the intersection blocking trams and traffic.

They were ringed by dozens of uniformed and mounted police, who systematically removed the protesters.

At least 2000 people rallied outside the State Library, many then marched through the city chanting slogans including “no cuts, no fees, no corporate universities” and “no ifs, no buts, no education cuts” as they marched.

In Sydney an activist was arrested for picking up a flare as thousands of angry protesters brought the CBD to a standstill.

The man picked up a lit orange flare off the ground and held it aloft before being swarmed by about six police officers, who pushed him against a wall and handcuffed him.

Hundreds of angry protesters surrounded the group and chanted “let him go, let him go” before mounted police moved in and dispersed the crowd.

Students and their supporters had gathered earlier at the University of Technology Sydney in Ultimo, before marching through the city.

The group chanted “F*** you Tony Abbott, f*** you” and waved placards reading “Pyne you shameful grub” - a reference to Mr Pyne.

The students are protesting the Federal Government’s Budget cuts and fears that university prices will rocket under the Abbott Government.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Mr Pyne cancelled a visit to Victoria’s Deakin University today on the advice of police.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Mr Pyne and ex-Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella have all been targeted by protesting university students since the Budget was handed down.

The West Australian

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