Greater Manchester Police have shared intelligence with other forces to identify potential troublemakers before the march in Manchester city centre on Saturday. Police fear extremists could hijack the protest over government education cuts.
Rest days for officers have been cancelled and police promise ‘a significant presence’.
As well as officers on the streets, the force will use horses and surveillance equipment including the GMP helicopter. There will be dogs and handlers on stand-by and senior officers have not ruled out ‘kettling’ protesters – forcing them into a confined space – saying the force had a ‘number of containment options’ as a last resort.
Major roads are also likely to be closed.
Assistant Chief Constable Neil Wain said: "Over the last few months, we have facilitated a number of student protests across the force area, and I would like to take this opportunity to praise those who have taken part as they have passed peacefully.
"We are now anticipating our largest protest to date and the talks between ourselves and the organisers have been extremely constructive, and we fully expect that positive spirit to continue.
"Our primary aim is to ensure the demonstration passes as safely as possible both for those taking part and, just as importantly, for the residential and business communities who will be affected.
"However, I want to stress with absolute certainty that anyone who is coming with the sole intention of exploiting these demonstrations to intimidate our communities or incite violence that we will take swift and positive action."
The demonstration, organised by the National Union of Students and University and College Union, will start from 10.30am outside the Manchester Museum on Oxford Road.
Protesters will then march down Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road to Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield for a rally organised by the TUC.
Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road are likely to be closed from outside Manchester Museum to the junction with Moseley Road in Fallowfield.
January 27, 2011