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Chilean riot police clash with education protesters

RIOT police clashed with tens of thousands of protesters on the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago on Wednesday.

Students and teachers were seeking to put pressure on President Michelle Bachelet to reform Chile’s education system faster and more thoroughly than she has managed so far.

Police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters in the streets as the demonstration ended outside the Universidad de Santiago.

The demonstrators responded by throwing objects at the police and a number of arrests were reported.

Organisers said there were 80,000 protesters involved in the march, but police estimated the crowd at 20,000.

The protest was organised by the Colegio de Profesores de Chile, a country-wide organisation which is one of the biggest teacher’s trade unions.

Union president Jaime Gajardo emphasised that the protest was “a national strike … which is being replicated in all regions of our country.”

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