The Chilean Battle for Education

The struggle for public education in Chile has revived recently. In the streets the slogan is chanted: “Y va caer, y va caer, la educacion the Pinochet!” (the education of Pinochet will fall!). Why do people still refer to the former dictator who left office in 1990? And why are peaceful protests in Chile beaten down again and threatened with military intervention, while the dictatorship has been abolished 21 years ago? This evening, speakers will discuss the neo-liberal legacy of Pinochet and the role of students and trade unions in the revived struggle for education.

Read a report of the info night here.

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More:

A sneakpreview into the (Dutch) article on Chile, to be published in upcoming Krantje Boord:
“Het onderwijs van Chile, made by Pinochet of Piñera?” J.Offereins, October 2011 [PDF]

Naomi Klein on Occupy Wall Street & Chilé: Courage to Ask Questions We Don’t Have Answers For

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We continue our conversation with award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein, who came to New York to participate in and address the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Her best-selling book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” focuses in part Chile, where the shock doctrine produced world changing events after Augusto Pinochet’s coup in 1973. One of the biggest transformations of his dictatorship was to privatize education. Now, almost 40 years later students are protesting in the streets. We speak with Klein about the student’s demands, and what they feel is broken with the Chilean educational system. She also dismisses the critique that the related Occupy Wall Street protest lacks a clear set of demands. “What the demands should be to effect a system this pervasive and complex are by no means clear,” Klein says. “So its really about the courage to ask questions which we don’t have the available answers for.” She adds that the Tea Party and political parties have failed to offer their own reasonable alternatives. “It’s a great irony in an economic crisis created by deregulation, privatization, and corporate rule, that the solutions to the crisis become further destruction of the public sphere and more deregulation,” Klein says.

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