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MILBANKDanKitwood:Getty

It's all so 198os. The first protests against the Cameron government's austerity measures are beginning. From the Conservative Party headquarters in London, vicious violence to protest rises in tuition fees at universities:

Rocks, wooden banners, eggs, rotten fruit and shards of glass were thrown at police officers trying to beat back the crowd with metal batons and riot shields. Inside the building, windows were kicked in, desks and chairs were overturned and the walls were daubed with anarchist graffiti.

Protesters set off fire extinguishers, overturned filing cabinets and threw office paperwork and business cards from the smashed windows. Dozens swarmed onto the roof where they hurled fire extinguishers, burning banners, bottles and cans into the crowd. Several people were knocked unconscious and some were seen with their faces streaming blood after being hit by missiles thrown by protesters.

I can't imagine this will help the students' case. More photos here. 50,000 students turned up, apparently. The BBC's Mike Sergeant is on the scene:

The police seem to have a measure of control over the building now. The line of riot police is holding firm and stopping anyone else from entering the building. It still seems there are some protesters on the roof and in other parts of the building.

Some of the students are dispersing, but in the last hour people have been turning up who are not necessarily part of the original protest. They're wearing hoods covering their faces, and arriving with cricket bats and other improvised weapons.

It's calmer than it was, but objects are still being thrown, and there are hundreds if not thousands of students observing events.

The police presence in the building has certainly increased, and they're better equipped, with helmets and riot shields, than they were initially.

(Photo: Student protesters smash windows as they clash with police after entering Millbank Tower home of Conservative Party headquaters on November 10, 2010 in London, England. Student groups are protesting against the government's proposed funding cuts to education and an increase in tuition fees. By Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.)

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