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Chileans Protest Ahead of Referendum on Constitutional Changes

Police spray anti-government protesters with water during a demonstration against police after an officer was accused of allegedly pushing a youth off a bridge during a previous protest in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 9, 2020.

Chileans took to the streets of the capital, Santiago, for a third consecutive Friday, demonstrating against the government, inequality and police brutality as a postponed referendum on constitutional changes nears.

Protesters threw rocks at police, who responded with water cannons and tear gas.

A few hundred people gathered in the city’s iconic Plaza Italia, a considerably smaller crowd than those at last year’s gatherings and those earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic.

The protests started last October because of increased transport costs.

The protesters’ main demand is the change of the constitution. Chileans will be voting Oct. 25 on whether they want a new constitution and whether it should be drafted by the current Congress or a new constituent assembly.