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Police in Chile repel protesters with tear gas and water cannons as president speaks to nation

  • Protestors are sprayed with a water cannon by police near Congress where Chile's President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual address in Valparaiso, Chile, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Demonstrators are demanding more involvement in education reform and protesting the death of two students killed during an education reform march last week in Valparaiso. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

    Protestors are sprayed with a water cannon by police near Congress where Chile's President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual address in Valparaiso, Chile, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Demonstrators are demanding more involvement in education reform and protesting the death of two students killed during an education reform march last week in Valparaiso. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protester performs the symbolic death of a student demonstrator during a march near Congress where Chile's President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual address in Valparaiso, Chile, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting the death of two students killed during an education reform march last week in Valparaiso and demanding more involvement in education reform. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

    A protester performs the symbolic death of a student demonstrator during a march near Congress where Chile's President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual address in Valparaiso, Chile, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting the death of two students killed during an education reform march last week in Valparaiso and demanding more involvement in education reform. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released by Chile's presidential press office, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual address to Congress in Valparaiso, Chile. Bachelet announced that in September, a constitutional process will begin in order to replace the nation's constitution, which is from the era of Chile's late dictator Augusto Pinochet. (Alex Ibanez, Chile Presidential Press Office, via AP)

    In this photo released by Chile's presidential press office, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet gives her annual address to Congress in Valparaiso, Chile. Bachelet announced that in September, a constitutional process will begin in order to replace the nation's constitution, which is from the era of Chile's late dictator Augusto Pinochet. (Alex Ibanez, Chile Presidential Press Office, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Police in Chile are launching water cannons and tear gas to repel protesters trying to get past a barrier as President Michelle Bachelet speaks to the nation.

Officers halted marchers several blocks from the Congress building in the port city of Valparaiso, about 66 miles (106 kilometers) northwest of Santiago.

Most of the several thousand people demonstrated peacefully, but some masked protesters set barricades ablaze in the street and some vandalized nearby businesses. Journalists saw several people detained.

Thursday is Naval Day, a holiday when presidents traditionally speak to the nation. This year it comes at a time when Chileans are increasingly fed up with politicians amid several scandals. Bachelet's approval rating is hovering around 30 percent.