August 2011 Government Proposal and Subsequent Protest

On August 1, the government of Sebastian Piñera introduced a new 21-point proposal to reorganize Chilean education from pre-school to higher education and thus reach an agreement with the student movement. The proposal included many of the students' demands, such as:
a constitutional guarantee to a quality education
allowing student participation in university governance
the end of local control over public secondary education
increase university scholarships and provide help for people with unpayable student debt

However, student leaders did not accept the proposal and signalled that the student movilizations would continue with a national strike and march on August 4 and an official written response on August 5. In interviews, they noted that the proposal did not criminalize profiteering in education, did not seek to provide free or equitable access to higher education, and was not specific. Using the same language that was used to describe the July proposal, the August proposal was called "a backward step" and "a band-aid solution."

The protests of August 4 were the most confrontational of the movement to date. 874 protestors were detained, and the center of Santiago was called a "state of siege" by University of Chile student federation president Camila Vallejo. Police cordoned off the streets and used tear gas. Protesters destroyed signs and set small fires in the street. Additionally, 90 carabineros (militarized police) were injured and a La Polar department store was burnt down. The evening saw a cacerolazo protest, where protesters bang pots and pans, often from their homes.