Fear of the teachers

Police confront teachers in Mexico City.

By: Gloria Muñoz Ramírez

The teachers are right and the State is afraid. Rejection of the labour reform, which is not educational, is on the streets. The mobilization of Friday, June 3 demonstrated the health of a movement that grows despite the aggressive campaign of discrediting. The desperation of a government that has renounced dialogue and opted for the threats and blows that led to a dramatic and televised criticism of PRI members who shaved the heads of teachers and then forced them to walk barefoot through the streets of Comitán, Chiapas, an action for which the CNTE was blamed. The fact that the victims exposed the lie only strengthens the movement and its demands. It was not the CNTE; it was the PRI and its allies.

Even if one were not in agreement with the teachers’ demands, the teachers have the right to walk and march through the streets of Mexico City and any other state; to protest and to demonstrate like in any democratic state. Not in Mexico, where they are treated like dangerous criminals that one must encapsulate to impede free transit. This Friday, the Federal Police boarded public buses, went into the Metro, literally took over the city, in an operation in complicity with the Mancera’s police.

“Distinguished visitors,” the rector of the UACM, Hugo Aboites, called them and thus would receive a population for whom public education is fighting. Therefore the UACM University Council, without any ambiguity, receives them with the highest of honors. “We are doing what concerns us: that the university shows that it’s in favor of the best social causes,” the rector said.

The threats and harassment in the media play in favour of the teachers. Until a few weeks ago one could think that they didn’t have citizen support, but in recent mobilizations people have come out in the streets to show their support. They are the common people, but also from organizations that are filling the streets. The day laborers from San Quintín; the parents of the normalistas from Ayotzinapa; the Mexican Electricians Union; the students from the UNAM, the Poli, the UAM, the UACM, and the Zapatista National Liberation Army, among many others, are openly supporting the demands.

The reform “is trying to provoke a catastrophe in the education system in such a way that the families will turn to private schools, working double shifts (to pay for tuition); or resort to educating their children through television, radio and digital media; or in the street, or not even that,” warned the Zapatistas.

The wave of teacher insurgence is on the rise. The CNTE insists on its will to dialogue, while the State sends thousands of police to encapsulate them like cattle, which does nothing but inflame the indignation.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, June 4, 2016

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/06/04/opinion/012o1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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