SANTIAGO, Chile-- Chilean police have arrested nearly 900 people in a crackdown on students protesting for better public education.

Government spokesman Andres Chadwick says it was time for the government to take strong action. Police arrested 874 people after the latest protests started Thursday.

The protests grew to include many other people who banged pots in support of the high school and university students striking for more than two months now.

Several hundred students also occupied the studios of the Chilevison TV channel until station managers agreed to record a message to the people. Then they left peacefully. As of midday Friday, the station had not broadcast their message.