Thursday, January 04, 2007

Oaxaca, Mexico: Take a look at some real teachers

UPDATEs: Please scroll down.

Mark in Mexico,, Pale Horse Galleries for gifts, collectibles, Mexican arts and crafts,, Erika Rapp Soto and the rest of the leadership of the CCL. The CCL is composed of about 5000 teachers who refused to remain on strike and returned to makeshift classrooms in September. Jaime René Calva Aragon, a CCL leader, paid for that with his life.
Erika Rapp Soto and her CCL - Sección 59

This is Erika Rapp Soto, leader of the Consejo Central de Lucha (CCL), the teachers group that wanted to teach children rather than camp in the Zócalo and repaint the downtown. I don't know the rest of the fine folks pictured here and they are not identified by El Universal, but there is a key figure missing. That would be Jaime René Calva Aragón, who was picked by Sección 22 (the striking teachers).

By "picked", I mean, of course, ice picked to death in broad daylight on a busy city street. Professor Calva Aragon had the temerity to, you know, actually try to teach school rather than fire bazookas at city, state and federal police officers. The former leader of the CCL paid for that temerity with his life.

Erika Rapp Soto and the other CCL members are showing some, er, brass here by appearing openly in a published photograph. After what happened to Professor Calva, I would imagine that it took some heavy inhaling before agreeing to be photographed.

The CCL has been rewarded for its commitment to the school children of Oaxaca by being commissioned by the SNTE national to form its own sección right in the middle of the striking Sección 22. The new SNTE teachers union section will be known as Sección 59 and is expected to attract about 5000 of the the 70,000 Sección 22 members.

UPDATE I: Reforma is now reporting that some 50 communities across the state of Oaxaca have specifically requested that teachers from the new Sección 59 be sent to their schools to replace the striking Sección 22 members.

UPDATE II: I probably should have reported this yesterday, but I really didn't think it was that big a deal. However, it seems that APPO thinks it was a big deal, so here you go.

In Tule on Tuesday, the director of a school in the El Rosario neighborhood arrived with Sección 22 treachers and opened the school. Within an hour, a mob of angry parents arrived, entered the school and backed the teachers and the director into a corner of the school's courtyard amidst much pushing, shoving and shouting; things like,
"You shut down our school for seven months. You have no right to come back to work here!"
After a couple of hours of rising tempers and increasing violence, the director suggested that the Sección 22 teachers make like Bobby Hull and get the puck out of there. Which they did. Twenty or so state police arrived to help keep a lid on things.

APPO says that this proves that the teachers' fight is not over and that, "with conditions, we will support the teachers union". I would suppose that among the "conditions" would be never, ever having to face the PFP in the streets again.

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