Indigenous groups demand return of lands, decry government mistreatment in anti-Columbus Day protest in ChileOctober 13, 2013
Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.
Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.
More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.
While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times.
A press release by the group complained of mistreatment by the state, particularly against Mapuche political prisoners, and on-going land disputes in the south.
On Wednesday, a major police operation cleared indigenous occupants from disputed land in Ercilla, in southern Chile, and eight Mapuche activists were arrested. Witnesses said the police response was aggressive and unprovoked, the Santiago Times reported.
The Mapuche people have been fighting to accelerate the process of repatriation of traditional lands. The government has said it will return some of the land, but the process has been slow and the perceived inaction has been met with demonstrations and occasional violence.
Mapuche protesters have been treated as ‘terrorists’ by the Chilean government — which uses an anti-terrorism law against them. Thousands of Mapuche and their supporters demanded an end to the application of this law on Mapuche land activists in peaceful marches Saturday.
The U.N. urged Chile to stop applying the anti-terrorism law against the Mapuche in July.
“The anti-terrorism law has been used in a manner that discriminates against the Mapuche,” U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson said in a press release. “It has been applied in a confused and arbitrary fashion that has resulted in real injustice, has undermined the right to a fair trial, and has been perceived as stigmatizing and de-legitimizing the Mapuche land claims and protests.”
Though the Mapuche resisted Spanish conquest for 300 years and wish to be autonomous, in the late 19th century they were defeated militarily and forced into Araucania, south of the Bio-Bio river — about 350 miles south of Santiago. Most live in poverty on the fringes of timber companies or ranches owned by the descendants of those who arrived to the region in the late 1800s from Europe.
Another anti-Columbus Day protest took place Saturday in Mexico City, where people from various indigenous groups marched peacefully to observe “Dia de la Raza,” or Indigenous People’s Day, as Columbus Day is called in Mexico.
“Indigenous people are in resistance because we are survivors after 500 years of the European invasion,” Leonico Macuixle, a demonstrator, told The Associated Press. “They came to take from us our culture, our language, they built Catholic churches in our sacred places.”
Source

Indigenous groups demand return of lands, decry government mistreatment in anti-Columbus Day protest in Chile
October 13, 2013

Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.

More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.

While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times.

A press release by the group complained of mistreatment by the state, particularly against Mapuche political prisoners, and on-going land disputes in the south.

On Wednesday, a major police operation cleared indigenous occupants from disputed land in Ercilla, in southern Chile, and eight Mapuche activists were arrested. Witnesses said the police response was aggressive and unprovoked, the Santiago Times reported.

The Mapuche people have been fighting to accelerate the process of repatriation of traditional lands. The government has said it will return some of the land, but the process has been slow and the perceived inaction has been met with demonstrations and occasional violence.

Mapuche protesters have been treated as ‘terrorists’ by the Chilean government — which uses an anti-terrorism law against them. Thousands of Mapuche and their supporters demanded an end to the application of this law on Mapuche land activists in peaceful marches Saturday.

The U.N. urged Chile to stop applying the anti-terrorism law against the Mapuche in July.

“The anti-terrorism law has been used in a manner that discriminates against the Mapuche,” U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson said in a press release. “It has been applied in a confused and arbitrary fashion that has resulted in real injustice, has undermined the right to a fair trial, and has been perceived as stigmatizing and de-legitimizing the Mapuche land claims and protests.”

Though the Mapuche resisted Spanish conquest for 300 years and wish to be autonomous, in the late 19th century they were defeated militarily and forced into Araucania, south of the Bio-Bio river — about 350 miles south of Santiago. Most live in poverty on the fringes of timber companies or ranches owned by the descendants of those who arrived to the region in the late 1800s from Europe.

Another anti-Columbus Day protest took place Saturday in Mexico City, where people from various indigenous groups marched peacefully to observe “Dia de la Raza,” or Indigenous People’s Day, as Columbus Day is called in Mexico.

“Indigenous people are in resistance because we are survivors after 500 years of the European invasion,” Leonico Macuixle, a demonstrator, told The Associated Press. “They came to take from us our culture, our language, they built Catholic churches in our sacred places.”

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revolutionaryriots

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Santiago de Chile: Dozens of protesters were arrested after clashes with police on Sept. 11, the 40th anniversary of the 1973 U.S.-backed military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet that deposed democratically-elected President Salvador Allende.

Some 1,210 people lay down on the sidewalk along Alameda, a main avenue in Santiago. The action was held to commemorate the people who “disappeared” under Pinochet.

fuckyeahmarxismleninism
fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

September 11, 1973: U.S.-backed military coup in Chile overthrows the elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. At least 60,000 people were killed in the ensuing fascist terror under General Augusto Pinochet.
Above: Stamp issued by the German Democratic Republic (socialist East Germany) in honor of Allende and the Chilean people’s resistance. The GDR granted asylum to many Chilean political refugees after the coup.

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

September 11, 1973: U.S.-backed military coup in Chile overthrows the elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. At least 60,000 people were killed in the ensuing fascist terror under General Augusto Pinochet.

Above: Stamp issued by the German Democratic Republic (socialist East Germany) in honor of Allende and the Chilean people’s resistance. The GDR granted asylum to many Chilean political refugees after the coup.

Chile education protests continue to rage on for the third day as 110,000 students & supporters marched throughout Santiago demanding education reform. Encapuchados (“hooded ones”) threw molotov cocktails & rocks at riot police as violence ensued.

40 people were arrested included a number of human rights observers. Protests took place around the country today resulting in 227 arrests. 

Following the march, Carabineros, Chile’s uniformed police, entered into the central campus of Universidad de Chile which — alongside 25 other university buildings — has been occupied by students sympathetic to the march’s demands. The police intrusion — captured here in an eyewitnesses video— drew fierce condemnation from university chancellor Víctor Pérez.

“Carabineros entered into the central campus without permission, dispersed tear gas inside and hit students with batons. More than 20 students are injured,” said Pérez. “This is unacceptable and we condemn it and call on authorities to put an end to the aggression suffered [here].”

Student leaders rejected recent promises made in this week’s presidential debates, after many left-leaning candidates promised to reform education and address the inequality which protesters allege is rife in the current system.

FECH Andrés Fielbaum said rhetoric of change is completely undermined by a lack of action on the part of the left-leaning Concertación opposition coalition.

“Now we see that all the [presidential] candidates are adopting our plans and copying our position without this having any correlation to what they do in parliament or what the political parties propose,” Fielbaum told The Santiago Times. “On one hand, the Concertación is promising free education and an end to profit, while at the same time they are discussing policies which allow profit making in education.”

MESUP spokesman Manuel Erazo was equally unimpressed by the recent promises of Concertación candidates.

“We don’t believe any presidential candidates, no one responds to the needs of the people,” said Erazo.

Source
Photos

Power to the students!

In April, education movements are gaining full steam
April 20, 2013

Fighting against austerity measures and racist educational policies, the political pushback led by students and teachers has reached new levels of resistance this April. Global student movements are in full bloom, from Indiana University to the streets of Santiago, Chile, where students are exerting their power against the barriers that stand between them and their future.

Thousands flood Chile for free education

As many as 100,000 protesters filled Santiago, Chile last week demanding fair and free education for all, in what was the first nationwide protest of the year. Police officers responded with water cannons and tear gas as they detained more than 100 protesters.

Under-funded schools have forced poor and working class students into shanty schools after massive privatization efforts. Students who are fortunate enough to attend private universities are fighting against tuition hikes and the poor quality of education they receive. Chile’s education system is known to be one of the best in Latin America, but it is also among the most expensive, making it available to only a select percentage of students.

“Education should be equal for everyone, it should be free — we all have the same rights,” said Valentina Ibañez, a first-year student at Universidad Alberto Hurtado. The two-year struggle for education reform has gained momentum in recent weeks with revitalized protests and even larger turnouts than previous years.

Indiana students and teachers go on strike

Students at Indiana University launched a university-wide strike on April 11. Their demands include eliminating fees, reducing tuition, ending privatization and prioritizing raising enrollment of black students to at least 8 percent. The collective strike began at the Board of Trustees meeting where students presented their demands. The protest has also recently extended into an energy strike as students rally against the university’s dependence on natural gas and fossil fuels.

Students are currently holding weekly assemblies to gather more support and participants, as well as to create an open forum for ideas to further the student movement. Other students from Wisconsin to Michigan have hung banners in solidarity with the Indiana University strike.

Campaign to save ethnic studies takes off in Texas

A resistance movement to preserve Latino and African American studies in Texas is growing in opposition to the legislation SB1128 and twin bill 1938, proposed by State Representative Giovanni Capriglione and Senator Dan Patrick.

The bill is in response to a study on two Texas universities, Texas A&M University and University of Texas at Austin, done by the National Association of Scholars, which concluded “all too often the course readings gave strong emphasis to race, class or gender.” The bill would prevent credits from ethnic studies classes from transferring to other universities and from counting toward advanced credits.

State-wide actions are already planned for the week of April 26, from El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley. Librotraficantes, a group of activists that emerged with the ethnic studies ban in Arizona to smuggle Latino history and literature books back into the state, has also planned to travel to Austin to protest the bill.

Mexican educators rally for free public education

Mexican teachers marched throughout Guerrero and Oaxaca on April 4 to oppose educational reforms by President Enrique Pena Nieto. Educators say the new provisions leave no guarantees for free public education and that privatization will soon threaten availability of schools in many areas.

The National Union of Education Workers in Oaxaca blocked entrances to shopping malls as tens of thousands of protesters declared that the reforms were a privatization attack on education, as control over the school system was shifted from teachers’ unions to the federal government. Teachers are currently planning to occupy several public spaces and universities to continue the protest.

The movement is also in an effort to expand higher educational opportunities to students in a country where only 13 percent of students earn a degree and only 2 percent earn their Master’s degree.

Chicago Teachers Union declare political fight against school closures

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis vowed to begin a “comprehensive and aggressive political action campaign” to defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city officials who are leading the way to 54 school closures.

One initiative the union will begin working on involves getting more than 100,000 new voters to the polls before the May 22 vote. Union members will go door to door in areas most affected by the school closures, in an attempt to oust officials who are supportive of the plan.

The closure initiative will shut down schools in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods and most likely overcrowd existing schools where students will transfer. Parents and educators are also worried that if students are forced to travel longer distances to schools in unknown neighborhoods, violence and crime rates could rise.

- Graciela

I just love these photos, too: "Another Chile is possible", awesome IU strike banners, Librotraficantes (book smugglers) in Austin, masked educators in Chilpancingo, Mexico, & Karen Lewis at a rally for schools last year.

Taking a cue from IU striking students:

Raise hell, not tuition!

Chilean students rise again: Protests mark start of school yearMarch 7, 2013
An estimated 300 people assembled in downtown Santiago on Thursday for the academic year’s first student protest, which quickly turned into a violent confrontation between demonstrators and Chile’s national police force, the Carabineros.
The protest was not authorized by the metropolitan government nor the Carabineros and unlike many student marches, was not organized by the umbrella student organization Confech. Simultaneous demonstrations also took place in Concepción, Valparaíso and Valdivia.Soon after the protest commenced, police urged the demonstrators through megaphones to disperse from near the Manuel Rodríguez monument in Plaza Baquedano. However, a minority of hooded youths, nicknamed “encapuchados” in Chile, forced the amassed Carabineros into action by throwing rocks and other missiles. The chaos that followed saw student groups fleeing from the resulting tear gas, paintballs and water cannons released from surrounding armored police vehicles.The retreating students chanted in unison “Chilean education is not for sale” and “the education system of Pinochet will fall,” in reference to the defunct dictator who established the current educational framework.In a bizarre confrontation, musicians playing saxophones and clarinets, accompanied by several female belly dancers, performed just feet away from the assembled riot police in an act of defiance that was met with amusement from the surrounding hordes of students.The gathered demonstrators lashed out at the highly privatized Chilean higher education system and its inaccessibility for poorer students.“What we want is an end to profits and free access to high quality education,” said one participant.Another young protester, Iván, went further and argued that the ongoing demonstrations reflected a wider discontent regarding Chile’s deep-seated “financial inequality between rich and poor.”Official figures released by Carabineros claim that 30 students were arrested during the protests. Unknown demonstrators also reportedly threw stones and left graffiti on the office of conservative presidential candidate Laurence Golborne.Chile’s education system has long been criticized for its high costs, long duration and low levels of public funding, which leaves many graduates with crippling debts. Wednesday’s demonstration is just the most recent within a student movement that sprung to life in 2011, demanding a fairer and more accessible education framework in the country.
Source

Chilean students rise again: Protests mark start of school year
March 7, 2013

An estimated 300 people assembled in downtown Santiago on Thursday for the academic year’s first student protest, which quickly turned into a violent confrontation between demonstrators and Chile’s national police force, the Carabineros.

The protest was not authorized by the metropolitan government nor the Carabineros and unlike many student marches, was not organized by the umbrella student organization Confech. Simultaneous demonstrations also took place in Concepción, Valparaíso and Valdivia.

Soon after the protest commenced, police urged the demonstrators through megaphones to disperse from near the Manuel Rodríguez monument in Plaza Baquedano. However, a minority of hooded youths, nicknamed “encapuchados” in Chile, forced the amassed Carabineros into action by throwing rocks and other missiles. The chaos that followed saw student groups fleeing from the resulting tear gas, paintballs and water cannons released from surrounding armored police vehicles.

The retreating students chanted in unison “Chilean education is not for sale” and “the education system of Pinochet will fall,” in reference to the defunct dictator who established the current educational framework.

In a bizarre confrontation, musicians playing saxophones and clarinets, accompanied by several female belly dancers, performed just feet away from the assembled riot police in an act of defiance that was met with amusement from the surrounding hordes of students.

The gathered demonstrators lashed out at the highly privatized Chilean higher education system and its inaccessibility for poorer students.

“What we want is an end to profits and free access to high quality education,” said one participant.

Another young protester, Iván, went further and argued that the ongoing demonstrations reflected a wider discontent regarding Chile’s deep-seated “financial inequality between rich and poor.”

Official figures released by Carabineros claim that 30 students were arrested during the protests. Unknown demonstrators also reportedly threw stones and left graffiti on the office of conservative presidential candidate Laurence Golborne.

Chile’s education system has long been criticized for its high costs, long duration and low levels of public funding, which leaves many graduates with crippling debts. Wednesday’s demonstration is just the most recent within a student movement that sprung to life in 2011, demanding a fairer and more accessible education framework in the country.

Source

Chilean government to prioritize constitutional recognition of indigenous
January 22, 2013

After the various Mapuche summits, President Piñera announced that the constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples would be a new priority of the government.

President Sebastián Piñera recently announced the reactivation of the project for a constitutional recognition of Chile’s indigenous peoples, as well as the creation of a council representing the different ethnic groups of the country.

This commitment marks an effort of the government to resolve the ongoing Mapuche conflict. The government, said the president, will declare the constitutional recognition a “legislative urgency”.  The bill has already been approved by the Senate, however, the impact of the initiative will be more symbolic than truly effective.

“I have decided to make the constitutional recognition and the creation of a council for indigenous peoples a priority. This council must be truly representative of their history, their traditions, their culture, but above all, will allow them to raise their own voices about their future,” Piñera stated.

In addition to these institutional reforms, he also emphasized that a plan would be put in place in order to encourage the economic and social development of the La Araucanía and Biobío regions. This plan, in La Araucanía, is already bearing fruit, according to the president.

“After long years of stagnation, La Araucanía has begun growing and creating jobs. Its unemployment rate has dropped to 6 percent.”

“We believe that Chile is a multicultural country. Among these various cultures, there is one that deserves special recognition: the culture of our indigenous peoples, who were here long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived,” the head of state highlighted.

At the same time, a new meeting was taking place in Temuco between Minister of Social Development Joaquín Lavín, Minister of the Interior Andrés Chadwick, and representatives of the Mapuche communities. The indigenous leaders questioned the government members about their representation, and the ability of the National Corporation for Indigenous Development (Conadi) to satisfy their demands, such as the creation of an Indigenous Ministry.

Minister Chadwick said that the information gathered through the different summits would allow the government to start working on reforms. However, he dismissed the possibility of an Indigenous Ministry, because “the existence of a state within another state is impossible”.

“Nobody can pretend that a dialogue will solve all the current problems,” he concluded.

Source 

It’s annoying how he said “I have decided,”… like it wasn’t that the Mapuches demanded recognition and built a movement around it or that the state was scared of Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco but instead, that he decided to ‘give’ constitutional rights. I wonder if it’s a translation thing or if he’s really just a prick. 

The United States & Canada even more-so have such tremendous responsibility to empower the communities our entire history has been built on the genocide of, and all we do instead is stifle, starve and subject. 

MUST WATCH: Police teargas Chilean youth demanding an education
October 26, 2012

Students clashed with police on the streets of the Chilean capital ahead of this weekend’s municipal election, as protesters vent their anger over the government’s inability to respond to demands for education reform.

Protests turned violent in Santiago as police used tear gas and water cannons to push back the hostile crowd of student who resorted to Molotov cocktails and stones to get their message across on the grounds of the University of Santiago.

The crowds of young people also gathered peacefully in many parts of the city to once again pressure officials to act on their behalf ahead of Sunday’s vote. 

President Sebastian Pinera recently introduced the 2013 budget bill, which showed a record-high 12.8 billion US dollars in education financing. 

But students say it is too little, as the system fails families with poor-quality public schools, expensive private universities and education loans at high interest rates.

Source

Chilean student movement floods the streets as brutality escalates
September 28, 2012

At least 20 people have been arrested as thousands of students clashed with riot police in Santiago, Chile after a rally in support of education reform turned violent.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hooded youths that started throwing objects filled with paint at police and turned over demarcation barricades. 

Earlier, thousands of high school and university students had come together to march in support of educational reform, asking Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera to consider their demands ahead of 2013’s national budget consolidation.

On Wednesday, Pinera’s government introduced a law that cut the interest rate of student loans from six per cent to two per cent, but activists said it was not enough. 

One of the main demands of the crowd is for the government to stop funding private education, arguing that the country’s educational system fails families whose children attend poor quality public schools. 

The government is expected to raise $1 billion in taxes for education, which students and their advocates say is still not enough.

Source
Photos

As Madrid, Athens & Chile continue to show us, oppression will only fuel incredible backlash from the oppressed. 

Power to the Chilean students!

Quebec student movement begins the fight for free higher educationSeptember 23, 2012
Police in Montreal dispersed a student march as several hundred people took to the streets, despite the government’s recent cancellation of a proposed tuition hike, which caused massive outrage. The students are now rallying for free education.
Police arrested at least two demonstrators after projectiles were thrown, the Montreale Gazette reports.
A projectile hit a policeman in the knee, causing a slight injury, a police spokesman reported.
On her first day in office, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois said that the government was ending the tuition hike proposal and nullifying Bill 78 – an emergency law designed to curb the powerful protests.
Marois said that an inflation-only hike may be put into place. An inflation increase would raise tuition by a rate of around one to three per cent – compared to the 82 per cent increase proposed by the previous Charest government.
In addition to the cancelled fee hike, Marois has promised not to decrease funding for universities.
The news was considered a triumph for many students who spent over a year protesting against plans to raise tuition costs by $1,533 over the course of several years.
“It’s a total victory…it’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation,” Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (Québec Federation of University Students), told the Montreal Gazette.
“Together, we have written a chapter in the history of Quebec. Together, we have just proven that we can stand up and reach one of the student movement’s greatest victories,” he said.
However, one organization says the government’s peace offering simply isn’t good enough.
CLASSE student group says the tuition hike cancellation doesn’t put an end to the students’ battle. The organization is seeking completely free university education.
Jeanne Reynolds, a co-spokesperson for the group, says CLASSE “must celebrate a victory,” but that the struggle must continue.
Group members will take to the streets on Saturday, as they have done on the 22nd of each month since spring, to fight for tuition-free education.  It’s a concept that Quebec’s new Premier may be willing to consider.
“That’s a proposal I’m putting on the table…it’s a debate we need to have,” Marois said.
Students began the campaign against the proposed tuition hike in August 2011, with the movement quickly gaining momentum. Demonstrators hit the streets in protest just three months later.
The protests were largely peaceful until spring 2012, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began clashing with police in Montreal – leading to the arrests of thousands of students.
Many were detained under the controversial Bill 78, which restricted mass gatherings and increased fines for violations during large events.
SourcePhoto
Canadian & Chilean students are really pushing worldwide student movements forward with these massive demonstrations demanding fair education opportunities. Chile is especially radicalizing younger high school students fighting for more funding for schools and to eradicate the profit motive from higher education. Canadian students really have shown the power of unions and opposition demonstrations to keep tuition affordable so that everyone may have an equal chance at education. 
After their victory of crushing the proposed tuition hike, this is their next monumental struggle that could really send shockwaves of energy & optimism to other movements. 

Quebec student movement begins the fight for free higher education
September 23, 2012

Police in Montreal dispersed a student march as several hundred people took to the streets, despite the government’s recent cancellation of a proposed tuition hike, which caused massive outrage. The students are now rallying for free education.

Police arrested at least two demonstrators after projectiles were thrown, the Montreale Gazette reports.

A projectile hit a policeman in the knee, causing a slight injury, a police spokesman reported.

On her first day in office, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois said that the government was ending the tuition hike proposal and nullifying Bill 78 – an emergency law designed to curb the powerful protests.

Marois said that an inflation-only hike may be put into place. An inflation increase would raise tuition by a rate of around one to three per cent – compared to the 82 per cent increase proposed by the previous Charest government.

In addition to the cancelled fee hike, Marois has promised not to decrease funding for universities.

The news was considered a triumph for many students who spent over a year protesting against plans to raise tuition costs by $1,533 over the course of several years.

“It’s a total victory…it’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation,” Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (Québec Federation of University Students), told the Montreal Gazette.

“Together, we have written a chapter in the history of Quebec. Together, we have just proven that we can stand up and reach one of the student movement’s greatest victories,” he said.

However, one organization says the government’s peace offering simply isn’t good enough.

CLASSE student group says the tuition hike cancellation doesn’t put an end to the students’ battle. The organization is seeking completely free university education.

Jeanne Reynolds, a co-spokesperson for the group, says CLASSE “must celebrate a victory,” but that the struggle must continue.

Group members will take to the streets on Saturday, as they have done on the 22nd of each month since spring, to fight for tuition-free education.  It’s a concept that Quebec’s new Premier may be willing to consider.

“That’s a proposal I’m putting on the table…it’s a debate we need to have,” Marois said.

Students began the campaign against the proposed tuition hike in August 2011, with the movement quickly gaining momentum. Demonstrators hit the streets in protest just three months later.

The protests were largely peaceful until spring 2012, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began clashing with police in Montreal – leading to the arrests of thousands of students.

Many were detained under the controversial Bill 78, which restricted mass gatherings and increased fines for violations during large events.

Source
Photo

Canadian & Chilean students are really pushing worldwide student movements forward with these massive demonstrations demanding fair education opportunities. Chile is especially radicalizing younger high school students fighting for more funding for schools and to eradicate the profit motive from higher education. Canadian students really have shown the power of unions and opposition demonstrations to keep tuition affordable so that everyone may have an equal chance at education. 

After their victory of crushing the proposed tuition hike, this is their next monumental struggle that could really send shockwaves of energy & optimism to other movements. 

Chilean students continue fight for education in escalating protests
August 24, 2012

Over the past year, Chilean students have been protesting for education reform. Hundreds of students—mostly in their teens— have taken over schools in Santiago. High school entrances and traffic have been blocked in Chile’s capital.

Despite promises from President Sebastian Pinera, protestors complain that not much change has happened.  45% of families who can’t afford private schools have to settle with poor quality public schools. Others attend private schools for both secondary school and university. However, these private institutions are becoming too expensive so families have to get loans with interest rates too high to pay off.

“It is a direct assault on public education and on the chance to advance towards ending inequality in Chile,” said Student Leader Camila Vallejo.

For the several past months, student protests have been getting louder and more violent. The protesters are demanding free, high-quality education for all without central government control inside of public schools. Students have taken over several schools and damaged city property. Recently, three city buses were set on fire, injuring many people.

“If we’re coming to this extreme-this level of anger among students-it’s because this government has been unable to have a dialogue and give us any answers,” said Gabriel Boric, President of the University of Chile Student Federation.

In response the police took violent actions against the students as well. They have used water cannons to disassemble marches. They stormed into three secondary schools and detained over a hundred students. Santiago’s Mayor, Pablo Zalaquett, threatened to take away scholarships from students who take part in the protest.

Government spokesman Andres Chadwick supported the violent actions of the police. He stated, “”We reject the violence of a small group of students who occupy those schools, often wearing balaclavas. Their sole purpose is to disrupt… classes and normal life.”

Source
Photos

Chile is truly inspiring! Additional note: 113 people were arrested in these protest events. 

Last Monday, Chilean Police (called Carabineros de Chile) arrested several Mapuche men who were occupying their own land near Collipulli. As part of the process of arrest, those arrested were taken to a local hospital. Family and friends went to the hospital to find out what was happening & to see their loved ones & police responded with fire. Pellets were sprayed into the crowd, injuring many adults and at least four children. (Photo: Nelson Miranda)
Source

Last Monday, Chilean Police (called Carabineros de Chile) arrested several Mapuche men who were occupying their own land near Collipulli. As part of the process of arrest, those arrested were taken to a local hospital. Family and friends went to the hospital to find out what was happening & to see their loved ones & police responded with fire. Pellets were sprayed into the crowd, injuring many adults and at least four children. (Photo: Nelson Miranda)

Source

Mexican Student Movement protests overt election fraud
July 03, 2012
Reports have indicated that there have been at least 500 incidents of vote rigging, including vote buying.
Mexico leftists from the camp of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party, have been voicing criticism of the campaign where biased media clearly favored Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, particularly Mexico’s semi-monopolized television industry.
Lopez Obrador was predicted to lose to Pena Nieto by a double-digit margin. But with 99 percent of the vote tallied in the preliminary count, Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party trails by just 6% behind the election’s apparent victor.
Some pollsters claimed that voters had changed their minds in mass, on the day of the election and switched to Lopez Obrador, an argument which didn’t convince the left, who argued from the start of the campaign that pollsters were manipulating pre-election surveys to favor Pena Nieto as a way to boost the idea that the PRI candidate was far out in front.
Lopez Obrador said he would not accept the preliminary election results reported by the Federal Elections Institute and would wait until Wednesday, when the official results are to be announced, before deciding what he will do. Mr. Obrador said he probably would challenge Sunday’s vote results. “We will not accept a fraudulent result,” he said.
Source
More social movement and leftist news at The People’s Record.

Mexican Student Movement protests overt election fraud

July 03, 2012

Reports have indicated that there have been at least 500 incidents of vote rigging, including vote buying.

Mexico leftists from the camp of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party, have been voicing criticism of the campaign where biased media clearly favored Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, particularly Mexico’s semi-monopolized television industry.

Lopez Obrador was predicted to lose to Pena Nieto by a double-digit margin. But with 99 percent of the vote tallied in the preliminary count, Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party trails by just 6% behind the election’s apparent victor.

Some pollsters claimed that voters had changed their minds in mass, on the day of the election and switched to Lopez Obrador, an argument which didn’t convince the left, who argued from the start of the campaign that pollsters were manipulating pre-election surveys to favor Pena Nieto as a way to boost the idea that the PRI candidate was far out in front.

Lopez Obrador said he would not accept the preliminary election results reported by the Federal Elections Institute and would wait until Wednesday, when the official results are to be announced, before deciding what he will do. Mr. Obrador said he probably would challenge Sunday’s vote results. “We will not accept a fraudulent result,” he said.

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Violent Backlash Against Growing Sudanese Student Movement

June 23, 2012

Sudan’s police force ordered its officers to put an end to the demonstrations “immediately”, state media said, after the protests spread throughout the capital a day earlier expanding beyond the core of student activists initially involved.

Angered by a raft of planned austerity measures meant to tackle the country’s $2.4 billion budget deficit, activists have tried to use discontent over a worsening economic crisis to trigger an “Arab Spring”-style uprising against the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Security forces have used teargas and batons to break up the demonstrations, which have taken place in several neighborhoods but have never garnered more than a few hundred people.

On Saturday, the smell of teargas hung in the air and smoke rose from burning tires amid a heavy security presence in the Al-Daim neighborhood, which was also the site of some of the larger protests a day earlier.

A Reuters correspondent saw around 300 to 400 demonstrators, but it was difficult to estimate the total number of protesters as they were scattered in small groups on different streets.

Protests followed the same pattern in the Sajjana neighborhood, where small groups of demonstrators moved through side streets, blocked roads, burned tires and chanted “freedom, freedom”, and “the people want to overthrow the regime”.

In January, last year, similar protests broke out after students in the nation vowed to replicate the Arab Spring that has swept over the Middle East. The government cracked down on those protests harshly too. But with the experience of last year’s social movement, can the people of Sudan turn this movement into something capable of stopping the oppressive Sudanese government? thepeoplesrecord.com will continue to monitor the situation.

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