Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Teachers turn out in force

On Saturday 27th two marches converged on the Zocalo to commemorate the murder of US indymedia journalist Brad Will and local teachers. One left Calicanto in the Santo Lucia del Camino district near the scene of Brad's murder, whilst the other started at the Prokuradia (State Attorney's office) about 3 miles from the Zocalo.
Around 5,000 mostly teachers attended the Prokuradia march, the main demand being justice for the victims and an end to the impunity protecting the murderers.
The march on Monday 29th kicked off the new action plan of Section 22 of the teacher's union. Their leaflet vowed to reactivate their struggle against the neoliberal policies imposed by international organisations, causing misery, unemployment, drug addiction, wars and the handover of natural and strategic resources to multinationals.
In particular they oppose new IMSS (social security) legislation which will privatize services such as pensions. This law was first passed in 2005 but an amended version was passed on 31/03/07, which cancels the right to a pension. Section 22 vows legal resistance to the new law and to petrol price rises which wil have a knockon effect on other products.
As well as the usual demands for the release of political prisoners, cancellation of pending arrest warrants and 'recovery' of Section 59 schools, they also call for a General Strike to stop the neoliberal structural reforms.
Marches occured across the state with the one in capital Oaxaca attended by over 10,000 teachers and supporters. They marched the 4 miles from Brenamiel district in the north as this was the site of the murder of IMSS nurse Jorge Alberto Lopez Bernal a year ago when the PFP (Federal Police) also invaded the Zocalo. The megaphone speakers made continued references to socialist principles, mentioning Chavez' resistance to US imperialism.
There was some spraypainting around the Zocalo (the usual mix of anarchist and Marxist), including the bandstand and an out of place wooden march recently erected. This activity was brought to a halt by an overstrict teacher, obviously missing classroom discipline.

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