Bloody Riots Rock Santiago

Thousands battle riot police in Chile capital
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2007 5:17 AM CDT
Bloody Riots Rock Santiago
Riot police use a water cannon against demonstrators blocking a street during a protest against the economic policies of the government of President Michelle Bachelet, in Santiago, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Santiago Llanquin)   (Associated Press)

Riots erupted in Santiago, Chile, yesterday in what the Guardian calls a "middle class revolt" against the government of president Michele Bachelet. Burning barricades brought the capital almost to a standstill, riot troops used water cannon and tear gas, and protesters hurled stones. Protesters' demands include greater wage equality and a cap on food and energy prices.

Among the injured was a senator who was bleeding after being clubbed by a police officer, who later apologized. Hundreds were arrested in the riots, which followed a wave of strikes, as leaders of Chile's largest labor union threatened to lay siege to Santiago. "This protest will start to change things," said one union official. "There will be one after another." (More Chile stories.)

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