PSC-CUNY [Professional Staff Congress – The City University of New York] continues to mobilize solidarity with striking Mexican teachers in Oaxaca, marching on a picket line on June 28th, passing a resolution of support at the June Delegate Assembly and introducing a “special order of business” at the bi-annual convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on July 22 which 3,500 delegates passed unanimously.
PSC-CUNY picketed at the Mexican consulate on East 39th Street on Wednesday, June 28th, to support our brother and sister Mexican teachers fighting a bitter, difficult strike in Oaxaca, southern Mexico. PSC leaders met with consulate officials, calling on the Mexican authorities to stop the violent use of police against the strike, and to meet the just demands of Local 22 of SNTE (National Education Workers Union). On June 14 Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortíz sent 1,700 armed state police against the teachers, bombarding them with tear gas from a helicopter, causing nearly 100 injuries. As teachers and as unionists we protested this outrage.
“This government is capable of anything,” one of the union leaders said, but added that the Popular Assembly “is prepared for any eventuality,” and that “none of our members will take a single step backward” (Jornada June 22, 2006). A New York Times report on June 22, describing the failure of the dawn police raid on June 14, confirmed the teachers’ resolve: “The raid failed miserably, as the teachers armed themselves with sticks and stones and fought running battles with the outnumbered police.”
June 22 marked a month into the teachers’ strike and encampment in the historic center of Oaxaca. The strike is for higher pay, but also for schools, supplies, and student stipends.
The teachers of Oaxaca and their allies in the Popular Assembly inspire us with their courage under attack and their effective organization. We call on all New York City unions, our students and other concerned citizens, to protest police brutality against these teachers and to support their strike.
CUNY Students and Professors First Hand Report on Oaxaca Teachers’ Strike, Thursday, Sept. 14, 6:30 pm, room 5414, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St. Sponsored by the Association of Latino and Latin American Students.
originally posted at PSC-CUNY