Special police forces end feminist occupation of Universidad Católica

SANTIAGO – After feminist protesters shortly took over the Oriente Campus of the Universidad Católica in Santiago, special police forces were called in to end the occupation. 57 protesters were detained in a clear show of force by the elite troops. The occupation was aimed against a worker who had gone back to work after being denounced 30 times for sexual harassment.

At least eighty protesters occupied the Oriente Campus of the Universidad Católica on Wednesday after a university worker was rehired, despite 30 denouncements for sexual harassment filed against the man last year.

The students took over the campus in one of the first feminist protests of the new academic year in Chile. Last year various universities throughout the country were occupied for weeks or months, out of protest against sexual abuse by teachers and workers against female students.

Violent response

Where last year decision makers at universities sought dialogue with protesters, the response from the university board was different this time. According to a police official, the rector of Universidad Católica asked to have the campus cleared by police forces.

During the violent police action that followed, led by special police forces, 57 protesters were arrested in a violent manner.

The organization behind the occupation released a statement later, stating that “The special forces have not shown a court order at any moment. We demand a safe space for dialogue, where we can mobilize freely and without the oppressive forces of Carabineros and their violence.”

A most feminist year: how female voices were heard in Chile

A most feminist year: how female voices were heard in Chile

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