A PEACEFUL demonstration at Cirencester College against university tuition fee increases turned into a march through the town at lunch time today.

Despite warnings from police that protestors would be breaking the law if they marched today, more than 200 students left the College and walked through the town.

Police were waiting outside the College for students and removed placards from demonstrators.

Protestors gathered outside Cirencester police station, chanting "no ifs, no buts, no education cuts" and then walked down Cricklade Street towards the Parish Church, returning to College through Cirencester Park.

Prior to the march, organisers from Cirencester College Students' Union and Cotswolds Liberal Youth, used a megaphone to urge students to remain on campus.

Joe Harris, from Cotswolds Liberal Youth, who organised the demonstration along with Cirencester College Students' Union, said: "The march was largely peaceful. As far as we are concerned it wasn't organised but I have to say fair play to them for standing up for their rights. It shows the strength of feeling in Cirencester and the Cotswolds. It is great that students sho they will not just lie down and take it."

Nigel Robbins, Cirencester College principal, said that he did not believe the police were interfering with local freedom of speech when they asked students to defer the march.

"I believe they were bowing to local pressure because there was a concern that it would affect the German market, even though students were not going to take that route," he said.

A police spokesman said:"The organised protest on the college grounds passed peacefully and without incident.

"A number of students chose to continue their protest by walking from the college into the town centre. This caused traffic in the town centre to be delayed for a short while before the students returned to the college."

One protestor, not believed to be a Cirencester College student, was arrested for committing disorderly conduct. He was taken to Cirencester Police Station where he was advised about his behaviour and the associated legislation, before being released.

The spokesman added: "Officers received one report of assault from a member of the public who was shopping in the town with a child at the time of the protest and alleges that one protester pushed the child. This is being investigated."