Police in the capital stop hundreds of teachers from Chiapas for 7 hours

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By: Laura Poy Solano

Yesterday, hundreds of dissident teachers from Sections 7 and 40 in Chiapas joined the La Ciudadela [1] occupation, after members of the Capital’s Secretariat of Public Security detained and kettled them for almost seven hours, preventing the advance of more than 30 buses coming from Tuxtla Gutiérrez. They were finally able to continue on their way, but guarded by the police.

300px-artesaniasciudadela

Teachers from the Selva-Ocosingo region denounced that after their arrival in the capital at 5:30 am, “two patrols closed our passage by lowering the La Concordia Bridge, over the Ignacio Zaragoza freeway, and in minutes the police “kettled” us. For hours they didn’t even want to let us get out of the buses. Their only argument for detaining us was that we were going to cause harm to third parties.”

They pointed out that members of the capital police even boarded some of the buses “to inspect them,” but their access was prevented in others.

“We asked them to show the court order to search us. We are teachers, not criminals,” they asserted, after reiterating that: “at every moment we expressed that it was about a peaceful demonstration and that our destination was the La Ciudadela occupation,” because they announced that they would participate in the mass march convoked by the National Coordinator Nacional of Education Workers (CNTE) this Friday.

Beatriz Díaz Pérez, a member of the Chiapas teachers’ leadership, explained that faced with the refusal of the police to let the caravan advance towards the occupation in La Ciudadela, at a little after 11 o’clock in the morning it was determined to hold a march of the “tired feet” (at a slow pace) towards their destination in the capital’s centre.

However, she indicated that: “we only advanced a few metres when they blocked our way once again. There was some pushing and shoving because they led us to the sidewalk so that we couldn’t march through the Ignacio Zaragoza freeway. There was a new negotiation, and at the end they let us pass, but guarded by the capital police.”

Tired, loaded down with suitcases, boxes, blankets, tarps and tents, hundreds of dissident teachers, parents and student teachers arrived at La Ciudadela Plaza a little after 1:30 pm.

p1100546Minutes later, the teachers started to organize themselves by region for the purpose of determining the location of the tents. Teachers from the Jungle, Centre, Southern Border, Highlands, Sierra Madre, Maya, Valley, Costa Grande, Costa Chica, Frailesca, Cuxtepeques, Sierra Norte, Lagos, Zoque, Bachajón, Cañera and Cafetalera Zones, among others, organized themselves to occupy the sidewalk outside the artesanía market.

Meanwhile, dissident teachers from Guerrero and Michoacán made a human wall in front of the Senate, without obstructing vehicle traffic, to demand a dialogue table with the federal government and freedom for all “political prisoners.”

With signs and banners, dozens of teachers delivered flyers and shouted slogans.

[1] La Ciudadela, or The Citadel in English, is an indoor artisans’ market in Mexico City with booths displaying traditional crafts and folk art. Shown the 2 smaller photos above.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, June 17, 2016

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/06/17/politica/011n1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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