Despite warnings issued by the Chilean government that labeled protests as “illegal”, hundreds and hundreds of students along with their teachers attempted to march to the capital of Santiago and rally in the center of the city (Plaza Italia) and other cities to demand reform in Chile’s educational system.
However authorities nabbed and detained several dozen protesters on their way to Santiago.
Meanwhile, in the city of Santiago, riot police assembled to face the growing crowds of student protesters and utilized water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Riot police also clashed with some groups of student protesters leaving at least 90 injured and hospitalized.
This latest incident comes after two months of rallies held by students, teachers and activist groups who say that the public educational system, supported by a below-minimal 4.4% of Chile’s gross national product, is outdated, poorly funded and poorly balanced.
Although government representatives including Chile’s President Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique promised to deliver more funding, reviews, programs and other solutions for the educational system, leaders of the protests rejected the offers claiming that it wasn’t enough.
Earlier, the Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter of the Interior Ministry of Chile warned protesters that they would be dealt with “necessary force”.
In the end, approximately 874 people, those who supported the students or who were students, were arrested from around the country including the cities of Santiago, Valparaiso, Concepcion and Iquique.