LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday in a new wave of protests against government plans to hike university tuition fees and scrap education grants. The protests in London and Manchester are the first major demonstrations since late last year when students laid siege to Londons government district and attacked a limousine carrying heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and his wife. Saturdays protests were largely peaceful. Holding banners marked What Parliament does, the streets can undo about 3,000 noisy but good-humoured protesters marched through central London to Westminster. Ciara Squires, 18, from Portsmouth, at Queen Mary said she was marching for her 16-year-old sister: Education should be free. My little sister is going to lose her EMA (grant) and drop out of college, and then she might not be able to go to university, Squires said. Parliament is not listening to us and most of the people in college cant vote, so we should be out here (marching), thats the only way we can express our opinions, she added. Chanting London - Cairo, unite and fight the march then moved on to the Egyptian embassy, where a demonstration calling for Egypts President Hosni Mubarak to step down was being held. In Manchester some of the biggest trade unions joined forces with students as anger about the governments austerity cuts boiled over into wider sectors of society. Media reports said six people had been arrested following a minor scuffle. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), told protestors that the coalitions cuts unfairly targeted young people. From sacking lollipop ladies and closing youth clubs, to axing college grants and trebling tuition fees, this is a government at war with our young people and therefore at war with our future, Hunt said. The government plans to cut 2.9 billion pounds of state support a year for universities to help tackle a budget deficit now at about 11 percent of national output following the global financial crisis. The government says the higher student fees will be fairer than the present system, and that it will give poorer students more financial support.