300,000 Chileans Protest for Education Reform

15 Jul
On June 30, high school and university students, along with academics and workers, held a march for education in Santiago that drew over 150,000 people in the capital, and just as many in other regions of the country.

This is the largest demonstration in Chile since the marches against Pinochet at the end of the dictatorship, more than twenty years ago. It confirms that this is a moment of intense social mobilization and anger over the precarity of the system, the high levels of student debt, the low performance of the most lucrative private universities and the constant defunding of public education. More than two hundred high schools are still occupied and the country’s most important universities find themselves totally paralyzed with many of their departments also occupied.

The movement has gone beyond the area of student demands, questioning the “democracy” of the post-dictatorship and its institutional and economic legacy in the current system. Along with the traditional forms of protesting, there has been a call for artistic activities, giving the demonstrations a carnivalesque richness. Also today, students occupied the headquarters of the most important political parties. The cry is for a true democracy and the empowerment of the multitude.

The government’s response has been the same as always, repression without an answer. The fear in the faces of the politicians and the market, however, is already beginning to show themselves.

Source: http://www.edu-factory.org/wp/huge-protests-in-chile/

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