Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Education: Students in Chile stage mass protest

This falls into the "Another brick in the wall category."

Nearly 600,000 public high school students in Chile took part in a stoppage to demand reforms in Chile's education law, including a federal takeover to reduce inequality between rich and poor schools. The protest was supported by many teachers, parents and politicians.

However, as is so often the case in situations like this, trouble broke out when hundreds of students attempted to march downtown. Masked young men threw rocks and erected barricades at some key intersections, and police responded with water cannons and tear gas

Government sources said at least 12 people were injured in the clashes, including two police officers and three reporters, and nearly 400 demonstrators were arrested.

The protest marks the first major conflict faced by the government of Socialist Bachelet.