CUNY In Solidarity with Striking Teachers

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.

The resolution below, introduced as a “Special Order of Business” by the PSC at the bi-annual convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Boston, was passed without dissent on July 22, 2006. A similar resolution was passed at the June 15, 2006 PSC Delegate Assembly.

Support of Striking Teachers Attacked
by Police in Oaxaca, Mexico

WHEREAS, Local 22 of the Mexican National Education Workers Union (SNTE)—representing teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico—is on a protracted strike, and, in the best traditions of teacher unionism, is demanding not only decent wages but also adequate funding for schools and stipends to allow the poorest students to attend school; and

WHEREAS, after the Oaxaca state governor, Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, blocked negotiations, the teachers on May 22, 2006, began an occupation of a massive tent city in the main square of Oaxaca; and

WHEREAS, on June 2, 2006, more than 100,000 people marched in Oaxaca to show their support for the teachers’ struggle; and

WHEREAS, at dawn on Wednesday, June 14, 2006, state police brutally attacked the teachers’ camp for four hours, launching tear gas grenades from a helicopter, and leaving nearly 100 strikers injured, some of them severely:

RESOLVED, that the AFT:

condemn the state police attack on our striking brother and sister teachers in Oaxaca;

join the growing international condemnation of the use of state violence to break a teachers’ union;

support the demands of Local 22 of the SNTE for fair salaries and funds for adequate buildings and supplies, and for student stipends for the poor;

express solidarity with their courage and organization in winning such wide public support of their struggle and defending their encampment;

ask the AFT Executive Council to consider contributing funds to replace the teachers’ radio equipment—a vital part of their communication with the public—which was destroyed by the police; and be it further

RESOLVED, that AFT call on the Oaxaca governor and the Mexican president to end all police attacks on the teachers immediately, return to negotiations, and meet the teachers’ just demands.

originally posted at PSC-CUNY


  1. New York campus staff shows solidarity with Oaxaca

    Published Jul 17, 2006 7:26 PM

    About 70 people came to the demonstration that the Professional Staff Congress (AFT 2334) called June 28 to support the striking teachers of Oaxaca, Mexico. The PSC represents 20,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York.

    The United Federation of Teachers (AFT Local 2) endorsed the demonstration and sent a contingent. The UFT represents 91,000 teachers and staff in the kindergarten through 12th grade system of New York City.

    —Story and photo by G. Dunkel

    article posted at

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