Thousands of students and teachers marched on the streets of Santiago and in other cities on Tuesday August 28, 2012, to demand education reform. This massive march is part of the student movement's ongoing efforts to overhaul the education system in Chile. Earlier this month, students occupying schools denounced [es] excessive aggression by police as they were forcibly removed from school premises.
The Santiago Times reports that yesterday's march “was notably peaceful and good-natured until it officially ended at 2 p.m. and quickly descended into chaos with ‘encapuchados', or hooded vandals, attacking police [...] The police were quick to respond by firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters.”
As in previous protests, citizens were actively covering the march throughout the day via social networks. Most users used the hashtags #YoMarchoel28 (I march on the 28) [es] and #YoApoyoaLosEstudiantes (I support the students) [es] to share pictures, videos, reports, and reactions.
Architect and sociologist Daniel Jadue (@danieljadue) [es] wrote:
Coralito (@krisalid_a) [es] referred to the role of teachers in the student movement:
YouTube user Gonzalo Afa shared the following video, challenging the figures reported by carabineros:
@mmlagoscc: Muy extraña la felicitacion del gob a la marcha pacifica de estudiantes.: Yaaa. Y ahora q? Q responde a las demandas q originan la marcha?
Despite the peaceful nature of this march, citizens [es] and the media [es] reported several clashes between protesters and police. According to reports by carabineros, 200 people were arrested and 13 police were injured.
Several netizens, like SebastiánCaiceoBacon (@sebastiancaiceo) [es], criticized the media's coverage of the march:
@sebastiancaiceo: La prensa es increíble, cuando la marcha es pacifica le dan los 1ros 5 minutos de pantalla y chao, cuando hay desmanes los muestran 1 hora.
Supporters of the student movement stress that the government must respond to the student's demands. The Dean of the School of Medicine of the University of Chile, Cecilia Sepúlveda (@decanamedicina) [es] tweeted:
@decanamedicina: Orgullosa x marcha masiva y pacífica de ayer. Ahora el gobierno tiene la palabra ¿q espera para enfrentar la crisis de la educación?