Mar 18, 2012, 3:39 PM
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Mexican teachers fight to defend public education By Rafael Azul
Teachers are not all for the SNTE Teachers Union politics
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28 November 2011
On November 22, education workers across Mexico launched a day of protest against the government’s so-called Alliance for Educational Quality (ACE). The actions involved a one-day strike, marches, building occupations and setting barricades across main streets and highways.
ACE, launched by President Felipe Calderón in 2007, is an attack on teachers and part of a global offensive to subordinate education to corporate interests.
The National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) union, which is allied with Calderón, is backing the anti-teacher measure. The National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers (CNTE)—a self-proclaimed “dissident” group of SNTE—has led the protests and is calling for the resignation of SNTE leader Elba Esther Gordillo.
Teachers in 14 Mexican states joined the action, with major participation in the CNTE strongholds of the southwestern states of Michoacán, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas. In Morelia, Michoacán’s capital, tens of thousands of teachers marched on and rallied in front of the state government house while others occupied the Education Ministry.
In Oaxaca, Gabriel López Chiñas, leader of Section 22 of the SNTE reported that 14,000 schools had shut down and that 48,000 teachers had joined the strike. The educators blocked downtown Oaxaca and took over the municipal and judicial buildings. Some of the protesters took over the tollbooth along the Oaxaca-Puebla highway. In some areas educators organized meetings with parents to enlist their support.
In Guerrero, 500 demonstrators blocked the highways from the city of Tlapa de Comonfort into Chilpancingo, Puebla, Metlatónoc, and Marquelia; educators at language and Native schools joined the strike.
Angry educators in Chiapas also joined the strike and blocked roads leading to Mayan tourist sites and into Guatemala. Thousands marched on the capital city of Tuxla Gutiérrez from across the state. Many carried signs demanding an end to the privatization of electricity and water services, an end to price increases of gasoline, tortillas and other basic necessities, and an end to the sacking of teachers and public employees.
Teacher demonstrations also took place in northern and central states such San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Durango and Sonora; in addition to government buildings and highways, the teachers also occupied commercial shopping malls. Baja California teachers rallied at border crossings. In Zacatecas, teachers also organized a march.
(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Mar 18, 2012, 3:42 PM)