The struggle for public education in Chile has revived recently. In the streets the slogan is chanted: “Y va caer, y va caer, la educacion the Pinochet!” (the education of Pinochet will fall!). Why do people still refer to the former dictator who left office in 1990? What are the students demanding and who is fighting the battle for education? In October we dedicate two nights to these questions. Scroll down for more info. Free entrance as always, at the Kargadoor, Oudegracht 36, Utrecht.

UPDATES (in Dutch):

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Film night on Thursday, October 6, 19:30
The Battle of Chile: Part One “The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (Patricio Guzman, 1975).

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Location: Kargadoor, Oudegracht 36, Utrecht
Entrance: free
Language: Audio: Spanish. Subtitles: English

To understand the current battle for public education in Chile, we must go back to the beginning of neoliberalism in Chile – and what preceded it. In The Battle of Chile: Part One “The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (1975)” Patricio Guzman documents how Chile first democratically elected socialist president in Latin America – Salvador Allende’s – came to power in 1970. It is the first documentary of an award-winning trilogy in which Guzman shows Allende’s rise, and how after a bloody coup the dictator Pinochet turned Chile into a neo-liberal laboratory.

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Info night on Wednesday October 12, 19:30
The Chilean Battle for Education

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Location: Kargadoor, Oudegracht 36, Utrecht
Entrance: free
Language: English
With: Jan de Kievid, Maurino Alarcón (solidariteitscomité Chili en frontman van Tentempiés), and other speakers

The struggle for public education in Chile has revived recently. In the streets the slogan is chanted: “Y va caer, y va caer, la educacion the Pinochet!” (the education of Pinochet will fall!). Why do people still refer to the former dictator who left office in 1990? And why are peaceful protests in Chile beaten down again and threatened with military intervention, while the dictatorship has been abolished 21 years ago? This evening, speakers will discuss the neo-liberal legacy of Pinochet and the role of students and trade unions in the revived struggle for education.

Read a report of the info night here.

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More:

A sneakpreview into the (Dutch) article on Chile, to be published in upcoming Krantje Boord:
“Het onderwijs van Chile, made by Pinochet of Piñera?” J.Offereins, October 2011 [PDF]

Naomi Klein on Occupy Wall Street & Chilé: Courage to Ask Questions We Don’t Have Answers For

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We continue our conversation with award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein, who came to New York to participate in and address the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Her best-selling book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” focuses in part Chile, where the shock doctrine produced world changing events after Augusto Pinochet’s coup in 1973. One of the biggest transformations of his dictatorship was to privatize education. Now, almost 40 years later students are protesting in the streets. We speak with Klein about the student’s demands, and what they feel is broken with the Chilean educational system. She also dismisses the critique that the related Occupy Wall Street protest lacks a clear set of demands. “What the demands should be to effect a system this pervasive and complex are by no means clear,” Klein says. “So its really about the courage to ask questions which we don’t have the available answers for.” She adds that the Tea Party and political parties have failed to offer their own reasonable alternatives. “It’s a great irony in an economic crisis created by deregulation, privatization, and corporate rule, that the solutions to the crisis become further destruction of the public sphere and more deregulation,” Klein says.

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