The teachers' strike in Chile is continuing as they and their allies in the student movement continue to campaign for free public education at all levels and against the neo-liberal reforms which are planned. As they took to the streets of the capital Santiago yesterday they were confronted by riot police. The teachers blocked streets in front of the education ministry and were attacked by police with water cannon. 

The teachers union yesterday voted by a large majority to continue with their strike which is now into its fourth week. Teachers are demanding improved working conditions, smaller class sizes, more time for planning and an end to precarious contracts. Another main bone of contention is a method of evaluation, which is based on a distrust of the profession and disciplinary measures. Teachers say that evaluation should be based on collaboration and that it fails to take into account the context in which teachers work - underfunded and understaffed school.

High school students as well as those at university have been in the forefront of the protests, and have occupied many schools. Port workers have also been on strike over labour reforms and they and the teachers have protested together in towns on the coast.

Teachers in Chile are asking for messages of solidarity - see for details. And go for more background to this long and inspirational struggle.