The fight for free public education goes on in Chile, and now it is the turn of the teachers, who have announced an indefinite strike. They are demanding improved working conditions and protesting new laws being brought in by the government of Michelle Bachelet, which would see them being sacked if they refuse to do extra hours of work, imposed by the education department. Teachers say that their strike is also in defence of public education.

Teachers are starting their strike today, June 1st, and part of their mobilisation will involve talking to local communities at lunch time about the reasons for their action. There will be a demonstration in the capital Santiago today and another on Wednesday. Importantly, university students have voted to join this protest.

Students have been in the leadership of the fight for free and democratic education in Chile, which we have reported in detail over the last period. In particular in the last week they have been protesting the brutality of the police, who have used tear gas and other repressive measures against students demonstrating for education. Tragically, two protesting students were killed last month. Another was brutally attacked by police and is in a serious condition.

High school students too have been prominent in the protests, with schools occupied. One such occupation was evicted by the police yesterday. School students' leaders say these occupations will escalate, since students are extremely discontented with the government's failure to carry out its promises on free public education.