May 1 - Demonstrators taking part in annual May Day marches clashed with riot police in the Chilean capital of Santiago. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Annual May Day marches turned violent in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Wednesday (May 01) after hooded protesters clashed with police. The traditional May Day march on Wednesday (May 01) was organized by the Central Workers Union (CUT). But the protest turned violent when a small group of hooded youths began to attack local businesses along the roads surrounding the Presidential Palace. Protesters also lit bonfires which were extinguished by firemen, as clashes ensued between police and demonstrators. Police tried to use two tear gas and water cannon trucks to disperse the youths and bring the protest under control, but struggled when protesters used fences to protect themselves. The hooded youths also destroyed street signs and traffic lights and threw stones and molotov cocktails at police. According to local media, five people were arrested during the melee. The CUT is one of the most important unions in a country where workers' rights were viciously repressed under General Pinochet's 1973 - 1990 dictatorship. Trade union leaders were pursued and killed under the brutal regime. Labour reform and union membership have gradually returned to Chilean life with the return of democracy in 1990.