Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mexico: Striking Teachers Victorious Versus Anti-Labor Crackdown

I've been totally out of it for a while when it comes to news about mass movements, so this is a little late, but this is an amazing example of recent mass action:

OAXACA, MEXICO, June 17 — The strike of 70,000 teachers in Oaxaca State, which began May 22, erupted into an all-out battle with the fascist police at 4:00 AM on June 14 when the state’s governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz ordered 1,500 Federal cops, waiting on the city’s outskirts, to attack a massive encampment in the city’s center. The workers fought back with stones, clubs and whatever they could lay their hands on in confronting the helmeted cops armed with clubs and using shields, aided by a helicopter spraying tear gas at the encamped strikers and their supporters. Despite all that force, the cops were defeated, sent running like whipped dogs.

However, this criminal government action killed two women teachers and two children. One pregnant teacher lost her baby, another teacher lost an eye, many were wounded and other arrested. Although the encampment was destroyed, many police were beaten and several taken hostage. Then the workers, armed with clubs and using school buses as battering rams against the cops, retook the plaza and reconstructed their encampment. Two days later a "mega-march" brought out 300,000 teachers and their supporters, demanding the Governor’s resignation.

The strikers have also blockaded the city’s airport, destroyed political campaign posters, and delivered the "remains" of the city’s new parking meters to the doorstep of the state capitol building.

Complete story at Challenge, organ of the Revolutionary Communist Peoples Labor Party.

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