Peru: Police fires tear gas and water cannon on striking teachers in Lima

Police hit tens of thousands of protesters with smoke bombs and water cannons during a demonstration against education reforms in Lima, Wednesday, amidst an ongoing teachers strike demanding improved working conditions and salaries. An estimated 10,000 teachers gathered in the Peruvian capital, marching through the city centre before being confronted by police who used tear gas to disperse the... Еще crowds. One of the protesting teachers described the police presence at the rally; «They have been throwing those bombs, pushing us with everything they can. This police do not know that we are teachers, they see us as terrorists. But we are teachers and we are fighting for something fair!» The strike was called for by the Unitary Union of Peruvian Education Workers and began on June 15. According to Education Minister Marilu Martens, the strike has affected 1.5 million school children nationwide. Chairman of the Committee of National Struggle of Teachers Pedro Castille described the proposed educational reforms as being based on «ridiculous» and «shameful» budgets. Government officials have reportedly been using tactics such as repression and minimum offers in salary increases to encourage the strikers to return to work. However, union groups have so far rejected the offers.

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