Chile education crisis: Water cannons and tear gas on the streets of Santiago (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Clashes have broken out as tens of thousands of students and their supporters demanded improvements to Chile's public education system in the streets of Santiago. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the most radical protesters.

­The march unfolded in a festive atmosphere and ended with a concert, after which several groups of hooded protesters attacked riot police with sticks and stones. The police responded with tear gas and water cannons.

A number of protesters were reportedly arrested.

Smaller demonstrations also took place in other Chilean cities on Tuesday.

The day’s protests drew over 150,000 people, according to organizers, while authorities put the figure at around 50,000.

This time, the ongoing public actions protesting the Chilean education system were supported by educators and labor unions. The movement demands the elimination of school fees and calls for public schools to be better funded by the state.

The latest marches come weeks after Chilean police stormed schools in Santiago where activists had held a weeklong sit-in. They deployed tear gas and water cannons against student protesters and arrested almost 140 people in order to maintain “public order.”

Students clash with riot police during a demonstration against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
Students clash with riot police during a demonstration against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
Student protesters clash with riot policemen during a demonstration against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Ivan Alvarado)
Student protesters clash with riot policemen during a demonstration against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Ivan Alvarado)
A detained student struggles with riot policemen during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters /Carlos Vera)
A detained student struggles with riot policemen during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters /Carlos Vera)
A student holds up a placard next to a burning barricade during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012. The placard reads: "Reminder to Fascist government: if you do not let us dream we will not let you sleep" (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
A student holds up a placard next to a burning barricade during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012. The placard reads: "Reminder to Fascist government: if you do not let us dream we will not let you sleep" (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
A mother supporting student protesters is detained by riot policemen during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Carlos Vera)
A mother supporting student protesters is detained by riot policemen during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Carlos Vera)
A student kicks a tear gas canister during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Cristobal Saavedra)
A student kicks a tear gas canister during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Cristobal Saavedra)
A student throws a wheelbarrow onto a barricade, which has been set on fire, during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
A student throws a wheelbarrow onto a barricade, which has been set on fire, during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)
A student struggles as she is detained by the riot police during a demonstration against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Carlos Vera)
A student struggles as she is detained by the riot police during a demonstration against the government to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Carlos Vera)
Students clash with riot police during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Cristobal Saavedra)
Students clash with riot police during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Cristobal Saavedra)
A student faces off with riot policemen during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Carlos Vera)
A student faces off with riot policemen during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Carlos Vera)
Demonstrators remain near a bonfire during a protest to demand Chilean President Sebastian Pinera′s government to improve public education quality in Santiago, on August 28, 2012 (AFP Photo / Claudio Santana)
Demonstrators remain near a bonfire during a protest to demand Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's government to improve public education quality in Santiago, on August 28, 2012 (AFP Photo / Claudio Santana)