Thousands of teachers took to the streets in towns across Chile on Thursday, including in the capital, Santiago. The teachers are demanding that the government properly fund education and alter its course from the present one which is designed to benefit the market.

Many protesters wore T shirts with the legend: 'Nos roban educacion!' (they are stealing education from us). Banners had slogans like: "we are educating for life, not training for the market.'

Teachers say the reforms proposed by the government of Michelle Bachelet do not even begin to solve the problems of underfunding and inequality in education in the country, which has been the scene of over public eduation by both teachers and students. Chile was the proving ground for the kind of privatising, pro-business education which has spread like a virus around the world. This was a direct result of the bloody military coup in 1973, which ousted the democratically elected government and used the resulting shock and terror to completely restructure public services on neo-liberal lines.

Teachers on the streets on Thursday, received support from students. The Bachelet reforms will leave thousands of teachers with unpaid salaries. Teachers' leaders said that the government had to understand that 'social transformation is achieved with social movements.'