Saturday, July 08, 2006

Oaxaca teachers' strike - it aint over till it's over.

The striking teachers' union, which announced this past Monday that it would be returning home after almost two months of creating chaos in this capitol city, appears to be fracturing over that announcement. A group of especially radical union members is angry and refusing to leave their tent city which occupies the city's center. To emphasize their disagreement, they once again commandeered large city busus and blocked the major intersections of the city this past Thursday. They also blocked most of the major highways into and leaving the city.

The dissident members of the dissident union have a point, I guess. They say that, after all of this effort, there is still no new labor agreement, they have not won anything, and Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz is still in power. His destitution has been one of their main demands.

A quite large group of citizens formed an entity calling itself the Asambléa Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca (APPO, which rhymes with sapo, which means toad). They have been joining the marches as well as participating in some of the vandalism and theft that has marred this city's image and threatens to disrupt the upcoming Guelaguetza festival. APPO has pledged not to abandon the actions against the state government.

The union president, Enrique Rueda Pacheco, accused radical groups of trying to destabilize the teachers' movement while at the same time denying that there was any rupture within the union nor between the union and the APPO. The APPO has announced that they ain't goin' nowhere.

The APPO now wants to break into and occupy the ex-government house, which is now a museum, on the zócalo. I thought they had already done this. Perhaps they're going to do it again. Rueda Pacheco said that the teachers would offer "moral support" to APPO during any occupation of the museum. In any event, the situation in Oaxaca, which on Monday looked like it might finally be improving, is now almost back to square one.

Stay away.

Please visit the Pale Horse Galleries online store
for art, gifts and collectables -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.


No comments: