Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mass protests in Chile: Tens of thousands demanding better education

In many cities in Chile tens of thousands have demonstrated against the education system. Students, teachers and students gathered for peaceful protests - but again, there were riots. Masked men set fire to barricades and looted shops. The police responded with tear gas. Santiago de Chile - The protesters carried a huge flag in the city Valparaiso: Like tens of thousands of people all over Chile, they called for better and free education for the country.

Also in Santiago de Chile, the protests flared up again. According to a student representative in the capital, attracted up to 150,000 people peacefully through the streets. The police spoke of 70,000 participants. In addition to students and school officials and workers also demonstrated the economically important copper industry.

The protesters rejected a 21-point plan of President Sebastián Piñera for reforming schools and universities, demanding a new proposal. In Chile it is for weeks because of problems in education for strikes and demonstrations. Student leader Giorgio Jackson said on Tuesday that the situation will become increasingly critical.

About 40 students who had begun a hunger strike, could not hold out long. In addition, many students were threatening to lose a year of teaching. Last Thursday, the protests were escalating, police and protesters fought violent clashes. Many policemen were injured, more than 800 people were taken into custody.

Also in Santiago de Chile on Tuesday, there were riots again. The students set up by security agencies tried to keep violent youths in check - but that did not help. Masked protesters set fire to cars and barricades, looted shops and stoned policemen with furniture. The police used tear gas and water cannons.

Already in the morning protesters had erected at several intersections of the city with burning barricades Autifen, leading to traffic jams during rush hour. Nationwide, during the protests on Tuesday, according to Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla 273 people arrested, 72 of them in the capital.

23 police officers were injured in Santiago de Chile.

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