Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Clashes in Chile as workers stage 48-hour strike

Chile is set for the second day of a 48-hour national strike called by the main trade unions who are demanding a raft of reforms.

Wednesday's stoppage began peacefully but violent clashes erupted after some demonstrators erected burning barricades and threw stones.

Officials said 348 people were arrested and dozens injured.

The stoppage comes amid ongoing student protests to press for education reform.

Chile's main trade union federation, the CUT, said civil servants, transport and dock workers, teachers and students had joined the stoppage.

But the government said most workers had ignored the strike call.

The protests began peacefully with people banging of pots and pans in a show of discontent known as "cacerolazo".

But some protesters threw stones and burned tires in several cities, including the capital, Santiago. Riot police responded with water cannon and tear gas to dismantle roadblocks on main streets. more