Chilean Students March to Demand Education Reform One Month Before Elections

The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech) called for a march on October 17 to demand free and high quality education for all Chileans. Photo shared by Prensa Opal on Facebook.

The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech) called for a march on October 17 to demand free and high quality education for all Chileans. Photo shared by Prensa Opal on Facebook.

Chilean students participated in protests calling for education reform exactly one month before the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 17, 2013.

The protests are part of ongoing mobilizations calling for an overhaul in the country's education system.

The day before the protests, the University of Chile Student Federation (Fech) posted a video [es] relating the student's struggle to the national football team's efforts to qualify to the 2014 World Cup:

No one said it would be easy. Yesterday we made a big step. Today, a new stage begins. There are still matches left to win. Never again without us. See you on the 17th.

The site Revolución 3.0 [es] gathered citizen photos and live streamed the march. They also explained:

Esta marcha tiene como fin emplazar a los nueve candidatos a la presidencia de la república, sobre las medidas que tomarían en un eventual gobierno. El vocero de la Cones, Moisés Paredes, dijo que el “llamado que se le hace a todos los candidatos es claro, acá no se necesitan consignas de que van a hacer una gran reforma educacional, sino que se necesitan propuestas claras”.

The goal of this march is to summon the nine candidates for the presidency of the republic, regarding the steps they would take in a new government. Cones [National Coordinator of Secondary Students] spokesman, Moisés Paredes, said the “call to all candidates is clear, we don't need slogans saying they will carry out a great educational reform, we need clear proposals”.

TeleSur reporter Raúl Martínez wrote on Twitter:

Students warn presidential candidates that they will continue to mobilize if there are no solutions to their demands.

Citizens and media outlets shared pictures, reports and reactions with the hashtags #NosVemosEl17 [es] (See you on the 17th) and #marchaestudiantil [es] (student march):

Thousands of students begin to march.

From the Alameda [main avenue in downtown Santiago]

FREE EDUCATION these secondary school students yell without fearing repression. We continue in the student march.

Others reacted to reports of violence during the protests:

I support the student movement's cause, but why incidents again when in the end that is the only thing they will talk about

And the same dumb delinquents go out to cause disturbances after the student march…Just in time for the news, how “curious”

According to reports by the University of Chile Student Federation, 50,000 people participated in today's protests:

Today we march because we are still brave! 50 thousand people on the streets. Because without us there is no reform! [Photo: “The students teach us to be brave”]

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