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Running battles in Santiago

Thursday, October 06, 2011 - 02:35

Oct. 6 - Police unleash water cannons and tear gas on Chilean students as running battles erupt in Santiago after talks collapse. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Chilean police wielded their water cannon and tear gas again on Thursday (October 06) in Santiago after protesting students said talks with government officials the night before failed to meet their demands. Thousands of students marched in the streets of downtown Santiago following the failed five-hour-long meeting with Education Minister Felipe Bulnes, which they said did not meet student's demands of free quality education and other reforms. The students said they disagreed with Bulnes on how to cut education costs and work towards a free education system. The meeting was negotiated between student leaders and government officials in an effort to put an end to months of protesting. In a scene familiar in the streets of Santiago since the demonstrations began in June, police tried to contain the demonstrators shooting water cannons and firing tear gas to disperse the ballooning student movement. The massive group of both university and secondary students responded throwing rocks and other projectiles as they violently clashed with police. Police arrested several students. The students, who have been protesting almost daily, say Chile's education system is profit-driven and provides poor instruction. Students say high costs make higher education inaccessible and saddle graduates with heavy debt loads. They want to make higher education more accessible with expanded scholarship programs for poor students funded in part by higher taxes on the wealthy. Students also claim unpopular President Sebastian Pinera is doing a poor job of distributing wealth from a copper price boom. Pinera, a billionaire businessman who has seen his approval ratings fall dramatically since the protests, had said he prioritized education in the next year's budget.

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Running battles in Santiago

Thursday, October 06, 2011 - 02:35