Written by Lois Beckett, ProPublica
At first glance, the synchronized protests that took place in more than 900 cities around the globe on Oct. 15 seemed to indicate that Occupy Wall Street had achieved a kind of worldwide resonance.
But the truth is more complex. Many of the protests elsewhere grew out of movements that pre-date Occupy Wall Street and out of frustrations that, though similar in some ways, are also specific to their countries.
Here’s a look at the origins, demands and affects of five of these global protests, as well as the criticism they’ve faced.
In Chile, Students Protesting for Free Education Occupy Schools
The Santiago protest in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street took place during a week of ongoing national demonstrations. Since May, Chilean students have been staging protests demanding that the government make education free to all.
Secondary school students have occupied their schools, sleeping on the floor and holding their own classes. Last week, protesting students occupied Chile’s senate building in Santiago. Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in marches over the past six months. At times, the protests have become violent, with police using tear gas and water cannons on the protesters, and “masked assailants” setting fire to a city bus.
Opinion polls show more than 80 percent of Chile’s citizens support the protesting students, who also have the backing of labor unions and teachers. Government officials, including the president, have resisted the demands, saying the government cannot afford to pay for education for all students.
Top photo from tranZland via flickr
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