Chile

More than 20,000 people marched on April 22 through the streets of Santiago to demonstrate their rejection of the Constitutional Court’s ruling, which last week banned the distribution of the morning-after pill through the public health care system.
Violent police repression mixed with President Michelle Bachelet’s bizarre assertion that the right to protest still exists in Chile has been the government’s response to the national Unitary Worker’s Council (CUT) day of protest against neoliberalism, held on August 29. Claims by the governing Socialist-Christian Democrat alliance to be politically “centre-left” now look weaker than at any point in its 16-year reign, given its incapacity to address the underlying political and economic causes that lead to the CUT protest.
Protests involving more than a million students shook the streets and classrooms of Chile in mid-2006. This movement, also known as the “penguins’ revolution” (after high school students’ black jacket and white shirt uniform), arose in response to the continued neoliberal approach to education in the country.

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