In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, police descended on teachers protesting against neoliberal education reform and the arrests of their colleagues. At least six people were killed and dozens more wounded. Activists said police also cut power to the Oaxaca city center. The teachers have set up blockades to protest the reforms and the arrest of two teachers’ union leaders last week on what protesters say are trumped-up charges. Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the popular rebellion in Oaxaca, when a bloody state crackdown on striking school teachers sparked a popular uprising against Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. In Mexico City Friday, thousands took to the streets to protest President Enrique Peña Nieto’s education reforms, which include teacher evaluations opponents say could be used to justify mass layoffs. Teacher Francisco Bravo denounced the reforms.
Francisco Bravo: “There are two issues that we’re dealing with. We demand that the government reverse education reform, which is not about education. Fundamentally, it’s about labor and an end to repression. In particular, we demand our political prisoners to be freed and our dismissed colleagues to be reinstated.”