Secondary school students in Chile on hunger strike for improved education access
Summary of story from IPSNews, August 25, 2011
Across Chile, 28 secondary school students have been taking part in hunger strikes, as part of a national protest calling for better quality free education.
As of August 25, four had not eaten for nearly 40 days, a teenage girl had been admitted to hospital in unstable condition and a young woman was requiring medical attention.
One of the hunger strikers is Francia Gárate, 18, and in her final year of secondary school.
She wants the government ‘to realize we are not playing games… we are prepared to give our lives for education.’
Teachers and students (see WVoN story) have now been protesting for three months – the longest demonstration since 1990. Government proposals have so far been rejected by campaigners as inadequate and lacking guarantees.
Unrest has also spread beyond the education system.
A two-day nationwide general strike organized by the main union federation, the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, was supported by 80 other social organisations and opposition parties.