On June 14th 2006, when police forces attacked thousands of striking teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico, the annual strike turned into a widespread popular rebellion, demanding the governors’ resignation. A broad social movement of teachers, social organizations, unions, students, activists, and indigenous communities took over the city in an effort to change the devastating conditions imposed on them by international trade agreements and corrupt politicians.
Through massive actions of civil disobedience, highway blockades, general strikes, takeovers of radio and TV stations, government buildings and cars, they temporarily forced out the governor without spilling a single drop of blood. Eventually, federal forces entered the city and reinstated the governor. Hundreds of activists and bystanders were imprisoned and tortured, and the ongoing repression against the social movement intensified.
In only a few months an alternative society emerged, and the groundwork for a new constitution was written. Movement radio and TV became forums for community participation, reported on current events, and broadcasted alarms when death squads linked to the governor’s political party circled the streets, shooting and killing teachers and activists at the demonstrations and barricades of the social movement.
“From the Edge of the Blade” tells the story about the 2006 popular uprising in Oaxaca, as told by some of the teachers, activists, workers, students, human rights workers, tortured and imprisoned.