Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Kiss Party" Protest in Chile

Students demanding education reforms kiss during the "Kiss Party", a protest against the Education system in Santiago, on September 1, 2011.


Protests have been mounting since President Sebastian Piñera announced wide-ranging education spending cuts earlier this year, even though the country has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Piñera's government will launch a dialogue on Saturday with leaders of the Confederation of Students of Chile (CONFECH) to address their demands for higher quality education.


Hundreds of Chilean students have taken part in a kissing demonstration in the capital Santiago. This is the latest in a series of protests demanding education reforms. Students kissed in front of Santiago Cathedral on Thursday. Their protests began three months ago with demands for state funding, better teacher training, and a guarantee of free quality education to all Chileans.


But the demands have expanded to include a new constitution and popular referendums to give Chileans a direct voice in the government. And they hoped the kissing demonstration would attract attention to their cause.


Chilean students said, "We are here for our cause, and we are protesting in a very beautiful way." "We are supporting the cause. We have a long way to go."