Tens of thousands of students are expected to join the national demonstration, organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts to defend education against corporate greed

TV footage showed massive crowds of students thronging streets and marching towards the City of London, where they will be joined by electricians, plumbers, engineers and construction workers as well as others from all walks of life.

Earlier, thousands of construction workers staged a demonstration in an escalating row over pay and skills in the industry. Some minor skirmishes were reported between police and workers but police said they have made no arrests.

Electricians, plumbers and engineers from across the country joined a rally at the site of construction work at Blackfriars Underground station in London.

The Metropolitan Police announced earlier on Tuesday that it has authorized its forces to fire rubber bullets on protesters, and Scotland Yard said its forces have been equipped with baton rounds to launch an all-out crackdown on protesters to prevent a repeat of the unrests that rocked the country in August this year.

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