Johnny Hazard :
Police attack striking teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico

Eight people were killed in Nochistlán and other parts of Oaxaca in protest-related incidents Sunday.

Hazard teachers protest oaxaca

Cops attack teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico. Image via Democracy Now!

By Johnny Hazard | The Rag Blog | June 21, 2016

MEXICO CITY — Armed federal police attacked striking teachers in Nochistlán, Oaxaca,  Sunday, June 19, in one of the gravest of a series of similar incidents since teachers in six states went on strike a month ago, supported by teachers, families, and activists in most other states and in Mexico City.

At least nine people were killed in Nochistlán and other parts of Oaxaca in protest-related incidents Sunday, with  53 civilians and 50 police officers reported injured, and more protests and arrests occurred in Mexico City on Monday.

Upon learning of the violence in Oaxaca, teachers occupied the streets around Televisa, principal television network and promoter of the dismantling of public education and the firing of teachers.

Thirty people, mostly urban university students, were detained Monday by Mexico City police as they protested outside the national (capital city) offices of the state government of Oaxaca. They were surrounded by granaderos — riot police — who threatened to rape the women and to “disappear” all of the protesters.

The students chose to remain together so as not to be arrested or assaulted separately, and were taken to police headquarters of the delegación (borough) of Cuauhtémoc, where they were gradually being released. The abolition of the granaderos, one of the principal points of the 1968 student movement (which culminated in the massacre of hundreds on October 2 of that year), is still pending.

Incidents of federal, state, and local police, including in Mexico City, surrounding and blocking teachers who attempt to march, are an everyday occurrence. The protests have deepened since the federal government accelerated its policy of firing teachers who refuse to take standardized tests or who miss work to protest.

Mexico’s reform is a ruder version of what has been imposed in the U.S. in this century with the No Child Left Behind Act, the movie Waiting for Superman, and various other corporate and government attacks against education and critical thinking. If the “reforms” here are heavier, it’s also true that Mexican teachers fight back much harder than their U.S. counterparts (with the partial exception of those in Chicago).

The standardized tests have become the only criterion used to retain or hire teachers. The federal secretary of education admits that this is to “break the monopoly” of teacher training colleges and to bring “qualified professionals” with no teaching preparation or experience into the schools.

Read more of Johnny Hazard’s reporting from Mexico on The Rag Blog.

[Former Minneapolis teacher Johnny Hazard is the Rag Blog Mexico City correspondent. Hazard is a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México in Mexico City and is author of Con estos estudiantes: La vivencia en la UACM, a book about that alternative university, and his soon-to-be-released released novel, The Pancho Villa Underground Railroad.]

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2 Responses to Johnny Hazard :
Police attack striking teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico

  1. Roger says:

    This link indicates that other sectors like doctors are joining in on a radical upsurge that could threaten the power and control of the central government. “Fed Up With The Corruption: Mexico On Brink Of Revolution”

  2. That reminds me, as I was down Texas way two summers ago. Ft Worth. Had a lot of business with the Courts there. They insisted. But they also posted posters. Which is what one does with posters. One of which stated a texas gov’ment statistic. Only 50 % of adults in Tarrant Co are functionally literate.

    That’s a really tragedy. Most of my close kin are there.
    No wonder Abbott got elected governor, but more important, George P. Bush got the more powerful office of Land Commissioner. Jeb’s boy.

    You might be wondering, as I often do, “what is that freak peckerhead ranting about this time?” to which I might answer,

    The teachers in Ft Worth and the other 41 municipalities in Tarrant Co need to unionize and take to the streets. In solidarity with the teachers in Mexico. I can see this being posted on a Tarrant County website, or better yet on some walls in public places. Hint: use paint to glue them to the walls. They failed to meet the standards of “one child left behind who became governor then president” and sure as hell failed to teach critical thinking.

    That’s right, nobody is supposed to learn how to think their way out of really stupid propaganda-based decisions. It’s showing up, big time, in Ft Worth. Half the adult population left behind. Say no to it in Texas, say no in Mexico, the word means the same thing in both languages.

    Thank you for reading. Thank your teacher for helping you learn to do that. Now, get the hell out in the streets and stand in solidarity! /rant

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