Coverage and commentary on the Chilean Student Movement; and on occasion related things. If you can't get enough of me I also have spilloverfrommyotherblog.tumblr.com. If this is your first time I advise you to go to the archive and/or ask me. Scholarships are welcome forms of appreciation. Not kidding. Thanks for visiting, and please tell your friends that this movement exists. Just add "/ask" to my URL to talk to me.
“Indebted Down to the Bones”
September 27, 2012
“Advance and Don’t Compromise the People’s Education
University of Chile in the Struggle”
September 27, 2012
An occupied high school.
September 27, 2012
[Written by Aaron Walck for The Santiago Times on September 14, 2012 - Original]
Standoff between diversifying movement and unyielding government prompts growing criticism.
After a dramatic month of student demonstrations, this week saw the end of various school occupations throughout Santiago, most notably at Universidad de Chile, a campus that stood as a symbol of the “Chilean Winter” the year before. While the demonstrators and occupiers claimed to be continuing last year’s fight, the most widespread protest since Chile’s return to democracy, it now appears to have petered out comparatively anticlimactically.
Students of the occupied National Institute (very prestigious high school) display the tear gas canisters police shot inside their walls on August 28, 2012
August 29, 2012
An occupied University of Chile’s main campus on August 17
Photo by Lee Purvey
From The Santiago Times on August 17 by Lee Purvey; Original
Around 30 students take over of the emblematic university.
A group of approximately 30 university students took over the main campus of the Universidad de Chile late Thursday night. It is the first time the emblematic university has been occupied by students since the end of the “Chilean Winter” last year.
“Enough of the abuses, now is our time and we will make ourselves heard,” the statement continued. “We demand a return to the debate in favor of public, free, and quality education.”
Organizers hope that the toma will serve as a catalyst to re-ignite the student movement for educational reform that peaked last August, but has remained largely dormant this year.
“[We hope to] to revive the movement,” Danae Spinoza, one of the original occupiers, told The Santiago Times. “The movement has slowed, student interest is falling… We’re going to continue fighting alongside our allies in secondary schools.”
Government spokesperson Andrés Chadwick spoke out against the occupations in an interview with Canal 13, calling them violent and unrepresentative of students in general.
“This movement is very different from last year’s,” Chadwick said. “We are seeing small groups who are engaged in very focused action. We now see 30 students taking over the Universidad de Chile’s main campus without consulting or coordinating with their leaders and we have six occupied high schools. Therefore, we in the government believe we are facing a very small group that acts through violence and tomas.”
While the Universidad de Chile toma is not specifically endorsed by the Federation of Students of the Universidad de Chile (FECH), the university’s official student organization, it is currently being discussed by the various faculties of the university and will be voted on Monday.
Depending on the results of Monday’s plenary meeting, the toma will either continue as a FECH-sponsored occupation or come to a close, according to student occupiers.
FECH president Gabriel Boric did make an appearance at the Casa Central soon after the toma took place to verify that the occupiers were indeed students of the Universidad de Chile.
“Our convictions remain firm for all of Chile, secondary schools and universities,” said Boric, refraining from endorsing the Universidad de Chile occupation specifically.
Although police have evicted hundreds of occupiers in five high schools since Thursday, students at Universidad de Chile do not consider police intervention to be a likely, as law enforcement needs special permission to enter university property.
[By Miles Coleman and Angus McNeice for The Santiago Times on August 16; Original]
High school occupations rock Santiago, after negotiations with Mayor Zalaquett break down.
The wave of student protests in Santiago continued on Thursday, with a fresh series of high school occupations or “tomas.”