BYRES Road, the heart of Glasgow’s West End, has seen scenes of violence and civil unrest over the past few days. Students, wearing blazers, shirts and ties have reportedly been throwing quinoa and flat-breads at police officers tasked with trying to calm the protesters.
Protests started on April 3rd, as Waitrose (Byres Road) announced it would no longer be providing free coffee without purchasing an item first. The supermarket has been a hub of student activity during exam time and essay deadlines, as students have fuelled themselves on free caffeine.
However, in a move rolled out across the UK Waitrose has put an end to this act of charity, instead offering free drinks only to its customers.
Students, who have felt entitled to free coffee for as long as they can remember were shocked at the move and staged, initially peaceful, protests.
Speaking to The Misstatement, one student said: “I simply can’t understand why I would have to pay for my coffee. It has been my right ever since I set foot in Murano to pick up a totally free, no strings attached coffee and I can’t deal with that being taken away.”
Protests turned ugly overnight, though, and police were called as students began to throw missiles into the crowd. In a statement, Police Scotland said that they would like students to “refrain” from physical violence and keep the protests peaceful.
As a Glasgow graduate, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her support for students at this difficult time.