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Mexico: Riot Police Break Up Teacher Protest
Riot police have fired tear gas and water cannon at thousands of angry teachers to end their weeks-long occupation of Mexico City's Zocalo Square.
They swept into the historic heart of the capital city to re-take control of the iconic plaza and its surrounding streets, the culmination of weeks of demonstrations where the teachers had set up a massive protest camp.
Although many teachers had acted upon an eviction notice calling for the removal of their camp in time for Independence Day celebrations, a group of protesters vowed to stay on.
Armed with metal pipes and wooden clubs, they tried to defend themselves but were quickly overwhelmed by the police.
Protesters accused the authorities of using excessive force to clear their camp.
"With a lot of viciousness, they grabbed me and (put me) on the ground, holding my feet. They caused injury on my septum and hit my body," said one teacher called Alejandro.
In keeping with tradition, President Enrique Pena Nieto is scheduled to deliver Mexico's Cry of Independence from a balcony of the National Palace that looks over Zocalo Sqaure.
The striking teachers are angry at Mr Nieto's reforms to introduce a universal evaluation system which would change the way they are hired, evaluated and promoted.
They have marched through the capital at least 15 times over the last two months.
Mexico's record on student achievement is one of the worst among countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development despite dedicating more than a fifth of its budget to education.