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Chilean police detain over 100 students for occupation of schools

08-03-2010 14:42 BJT

SANTIAGO, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Chilean anti-riot police detained 101 students Monday after expelling them from three secondary schools in the center of the capital.

The students occupied those schools in the morning, demanding an education reform and reduction of public transportation fees. They were peacefully dislodged by the police upon mayor Pablo Zalaquett's request.

This was the second of its kind in less than one week.

Students representatives said they will not give in.

The spokeswoman for the Middle School Students Coordination Assembly, Victoria Riquelme, said on Monday the occupation of schools will take place in all of Santiago and spread to other regions as well.

Secretary General of the Student Center of the Middle School "Confederacion Suiza" Damian Contreras said the students had demanded secular, free and quality education, as well as free meals, health services and transportation for all the students in the country.

"These acts of occupation are illegal, and we do not support them. They have not any sense as they do not look for anything new. It is the same as always. The government is working hard to make the changes needed in public education," Zalaquett said.

He added the students "are making a severe damage to the public education" and the occupation was done by a few students without the support of most other students, parents and professors.

In 2006 a massive students movement of middle school forced then Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to step down. The government then launched a reform called the Education General Law, but it was rejected by the students and professors, as it did not meet their demands.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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