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Clashes in streets as Chilean students protest

A masked student throws back a tear gas canister during clashes with riot police in Valparaiso, Chile, Wednesday Nov. 9, 2011. Thousands of students seeking education reforms marched Wednesday to coincide with the start of the 2012 budget talks in the legislature. Congressional leaders and a representative group of students were to meet for the first time since the protests began. A masked student throws back a tear gas canister during clashes with riot police in Valparaiso, Chile, Wednesday Nov. 9, 2011. Thousands of students seeking education reforms marched Wednesday to coincide with the start of the 2012 budget talks in the legislature. Congressional leaders and a representative group of students were to meet for the first time since the protests began. (AP Photo/Luis Hildalgo)
November 9, 2011

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SANTIAGO, Chile—Thousands of students marched through the Chilean port of Valparaiso on Wednesday to demand more money for public education and to show support for student leaders who met with lawmakers.

While most of the demonstrators were peaceful, some hurled rocks and other objects at police, who responded with water cannon and tear gas. Three police officers were hurt, and about 20 protesters were detained.

Protest organizers estimated the crowd at about 15,000, while police said about 5,000 marchers took part.

It was the first time leaders of the protest movement have formally met with leaders in Congress since the demonstrations started in early May.

Protesters have demanded more funding and other changes to the public education system. The annual budget is due to be approved by Nov. 30.

After meeting with lawmakers, university student Giorgio Jackson said: "We should at least obtain a small victory."

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