Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Stand for Children

Magisterial, Seccion 22
Originally uploaded by cooper bates.

My friend and kindred spirit, Cooper Bates, has been doing a remarkable job of covering the unrest in Oaxaca.

Please see his amazing photos here. "In the early morning hours of June 14, armed federal and state police accompanied by helicopters dropping tear-gas grenades attacked an encampment of teachers in the center of Oaxaca, Mexico. According to news reports, after first being driven out of the town center, teachers armed themselves with rocks and sticks and fought back against the ferocious police assault. Conflicting reports of casualties range from 3 to 11 persons dead, including one child, with many injured or detained. About 70,000 teachers Oaxaca state have been on strike since May 22 and thousands of them have been camping in the city center to press their demands for a pay raise, greater resources for poor schools, for school supplies and free school breakfasts, and for scholarships for children. The strike is taking place amid increasing state repression against workers and popular activists. On June 16, thousands of teachers reportedly have retaken the zocalo, or central square, of Oaxaca, and have re-occupied their encampment. Apparently the police attacks have sparked a massive popular mobilization. According to one unconfirmed eyewitness report, “In the face of this barbaric repression, more protests have [been] sparked:10 Municipal Presidencies have been taken over, among which are Juchitán, Zimatlán, Huautla de Jiménez, Teotitlán de Flores Magón, Matías Romero, Huajuapan of Leon, Port Angel and Puerto Escondido. Farmers are marching in from Tuxtepec. Inhabitants of San Salvador Atenco make their way towards the State Capital. The future seems uncertain, but hope grows.” The values and aspirations of teachers and families everywhere are the same: to see the healthy, secure, peaceful development of their students and children to the fullest of their abilities in an environment of mutual support and respect. " - excerpt from New Democracy

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posted by Wendy at 10:27 AM


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