High School Students in Chile march for free Education

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Riot Police confronting the School Children

10,000 high school students marched in Chile on Wednesday to demand free education and an end to privatisation

The students - many in school uniforms - took to the streets in Santiago and were met by riot police with water cannon and shields. Dozens of the young people - who were protesting peacefully were detained by the police. The student movement in Chile has been at the forefront of the fight against the neo-liberal policies of the right wing president Sebastian Pinera. Chile was the first country where policies like school vouchers, privatisation and decentralisation of schools were introduced in the 1970s and they have never really been dismantled.

Up to now although the struggle has been led by university students, school children have occupied up to 500 schools and now they are taking to the streets. The next march, called by the  students' unions, is scheduled for June 28th. One of the student leaders said: “The students of Chile are tired of watching entrepreneurs behave like felons, filling up their own pockets, and profiting by destroying our dreams,"  according to the website Commondreams.

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