Thousands of Chilean students took the streets of Santiago on Thursday to say, “we believe that education is a social right, not a commodity,” in a call for greater access to affordable university education, reprising the protests which swept the nation in 2011-2012.
“Today we are marching because we believe that there is a root to the problem here, it’s a structural problem in the system,” said Elosia Gonzalez, spokesperson for the Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students (ACES), in a statement reported by Press TV. The protests target Chile’s education system which is viewed as “profoundly unfair.”
Reports say that Special Forces units hammered the students with tear gas, water cannons and dogs after a dispute between organizers and authorities over the marchers’ proposed route. Students allegedly responded by throwing rocks and other projectiles. According to BBC, a total of 60 people were arrested.