I was in Santiago in October filming an episode of Fault Lines about the student movement there. At one of the demonstrations the marchers passed by a tall apartment complex where someone on top of the building was throwing buckets of water over the edge. The students loved it. Check out the show here.
En Toma: Scenes from an occupied high school in Santiago, Chile.
Students in Chile have staged massive protests demanding free education. I went inside one of Chile’s oldest high schools, Liceo Miguel Luis Amunátegui, a school held by students for eight months last year, to interview Alfredo Vielma, 17, for an episode of Fault Lines. (Alfredo is pictured in two of the photos above: in front of the mural and silhouetted.) For the episode—which debuts tonight on Al Jazeera English—we followed the movement for two weeks and discovered that the students’ anger went well beyond issues of education.
The promo for our Fault Lines episode today at 2230 GMT/5:30p EST on Al Jazeera English on the frustrated students in Chile who are demanding a fairer education system.
We examine the student movement and the issues behind the anger.
A student is punched in the face by a police officer in Chile. Students in Chile are demanding a new framework for education. (Reuters / VICTOR RUIZ CABALLERO)
See our new Fault Lines episode about this issue tonight at 2230 GMT/ 5:30p EST on Al Jazeera English. You can watch online.
“Chile Rising” photos from our new episode that airs Monday, January 2, 2012 at 2230 GMT/ 5:30p EST on Al Jazeera English.
Fault Lines travels to Chile to follow the student protests there, and examines the underlying issues driving the anger.
Chile’s student protest movement claimed its second ministerial victim today when President Sebastian Pinera named Harald Beyer to replace Felipe Bulnes as education minister.
Bulnes took over from Joaquin Lavin in July, a month after the start of protests that shuttered hundreds of state schools and led to almost weekly clashes with police in the streets of Santiago in the second half of the year.
While the scale of protests has subsided, Beyer will face an increasingly radicalized student movement. Earlier this month, University of Chile students ousted Communist Party member Camila Vallejo as president in favor of Gabriel Boric, who advocates a harder line against the government. The protests helped push Pinera’s approval rating to 23 percent, the lowest for any president since the return of democracy two decades ago, according to an opinion poll released today. Pinera also named Luis Mayol as the new agriculture minister today.
“Chile’s Student Protests Claim Their Second Ministerial Victim,” Randall Woods and Sebastian Boyd, Bloomberg, December 29, 2011.
Our new Chile episode about student protests and politics airs next Monday, January 2, 2012 at 2230 GMT/ 5:30p EST on Al Jazeera English.
Why did an $800 fee hike spark a school-wide protest with police intervention at the University of Puerto Rico in early 2011?
10,000 students could be priced out of university [with that fee hike]; many are the first of their family to attend.
Watch the entire Fault Lines episode “Puerto Rico: The fiscal experiment” from June 27, 2011.
Fault Lines presenter Zeina Awad explains how the mood changed on campus when the media wasn’t there, and how one student arrest happened.
The new episode of Fault Lines, “Puerto Rico: The Fiscal Experiment” first airs tonight, June 27, 2011 2230 GMT.