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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2006

Chilean students fight Pinochet's legacy

ON 18 October, around 2,000 angry Chilean school students took to the streets in Santiago and around the country. In May, weeks of school student protests made the government promise an extra $200 million for the education budget, and set up a 'Presidential Authority Council of Education' to review the education system, which is based on gross inequalities between rich and poor areas.

Ben Robinson

This council included representatives of the students' movement. However, the council had yet to meet! The government's unwillingness led to renewed protests by the students, with big marches and occupations restarting in September.

The school students' movement forced Chilean President Bachelet to dismiss high-up police officials because of their brutal attacks on demonstrating teenagers. Unfortunately this did not end state repression and violence.

At the occupied school of Lastarria in Providencia for example, 41 students were arrested in a police raid. Under Ministry of Education orders. a police report was made on every student. Those involved in protests were barred from school next year, with the threat of immediate expulsion for those involved in further demonstrations.

291 students were arrested on 18 October, the day of nationwide protest. The CWI, the international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated, has organised a solidarity campaign for one leader of the May protests who has been suspended from school indefinitely (see www.socialistworld.net for details).

Both the law that students are protesting against, and the state machinery being used to attempt to crush them, are remnants of General Pinochet's brutal dictatorship that successive 'democratic' governments have maintained for the following 15 years.

Workers and young people need a mass party, and fighting trade unions, based on the lessons of history and the need for an end to capitalism and a socialist society.

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In The Socialist 26 October 2006:

Unite and fight to save the NHS

The battle to defend the health service

How can we build an effective campaign to defend the NHS?

A socialist programme for the NHS

Protests force partial retreat from cuts

Marching for the NHS in Torquay

"Action to defend our birthright"

Sack the bosses not the nurses


Socialist Students

Students join the fightback

No to attacks on democratic rights

Chilean students fight Pinochet's legacy


Socialism 2006

Rally for socialism!

NHS SOS


Workplace analysis

How can the trade unions regain their strength?

Trade Union Freedom Bill

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

'Single status' battle continues

How to build a trade union in your workplace

Furious parents turn on councillors


War and terrorism

Bloody chaos in Iraq shatters US war strategy

Sri Lanka: Is peace possible?


 

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Related links:

Chile:

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Lessons of the Allende government in Chile

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Chile 1973 - the other 9/11

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

Students:

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triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Pinochet:

triangleChile: general strike threat as pensions protests grow

triangleVictor Jara's revolutionary life, poetry and politics

triangleDictatorship's methods still reign in 'democratic' Chile

Education:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

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