Chilean Student Protests Continue

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The setting of this New York Times article was Chile, where students congregated to protest college tuition. The story began in a bar, where students met to protest. According to the article, the bartenders gave the students bags full of lemons to bite into, should they be sprayed with tear gas.

The 23-year-old president of the University of Chile student federation, Camila Vallejo, has been part of organized student protests since last June, the article reports. College students across Chile participated in protests that are described in the article as the "Chilean Winter."

This article described the author's experience during a protest that began at Plaza Italia, through Bustamante Park. The author describes it as being relatively small: "official estimates were 7,000 people; unofficial 15,000."

The protestors included students as well as older adults. The writer described the protest as having a somewhat relaxed atmosphere -- once the police administered tear gas, however, the crowd dispersed, trying to hide from the gas. The gas not only burned the eyes, but the skin of the body, as well.

The presence of encapuchados was a factor in the disturbance of the protest. Encapuchados were people who created violence by throwing molotov cocktails, among other forms of disruption, in order to get a reaction from police. These people were often stationed in the protest to stop it from being successful.

On a positive note, the protests, although interrupted by policemen and tear gas, have been effective: by December, protests "had forced the resignation of two education ministers and succeeded in placing educational reform at the top of the parliamentary agenda." The article credits Vallejo for this success, describing her "charisma and talent for capturing the public imagination."

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This page contains a single entry by olso5558 published on April 8, 2012 8:34 PM.

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