MORELOS, Mexico, Oct. 10 — For several days over 2,000 Army troops and state and federal cops, using tanks and helicopters, viciously attacked teachers, parents (many of them indigenous) and other supporters blocking a national highway. Some 24,000 teachers in this state have been striking for two months against a government “reform” called Alliance for Quality Education that aims to privatize schools and intensify attacks on working conditions teachers have won through many decades of struggles.
The teachers are not only fighting the repressive arm of the bosses’ state but also the “mother of all union sellouts,” Elba Esther Gordillo. She is “President for life” of the SNTE (National Teachers’ Union), a Senator and firm supporter of the government of Felipe Calderón.
The militant teachers and supporters have also repudiated all the bosses’ parties, burning electoral propaganda of the PAN, the ruling Party, the PRI (which ruled Mexico for 60 years) and the so-called pro-people PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution).
The teachers and their supporters fought against the military-cop attack even after being forced off the highway, battling the cops and troops from side streets. The rulers sent more reinforcements. Helicopters launched tear gas against protesters. Homes were raided and numerous arrests made, with many injured.
It was another major class battle workers and their allies waged against the capitalist dictatorship ruling Mexico. In the last several years, similar struggles occurred during the massive strike and popular uprising led by teachers in Oaxaca and by striking miners who repelled a massive attack by cops and troops.
During this battle, teachers and supporters marched from three different places and rallied at a major square to oppose the assault. Contingents of teachers from Oaxaca, Mexico City, Michoacán and Guerrero joined the demonstration.
On Oct. 8, in Mexico City thousands of teachers from 17 different regions marched to the Secretary of Education headquarters opposing the educational “reform” and denouncing the violent attack against teachers in Morelos. The marchers stopped at the Interior Ministry, ripped down fences surrounding the building and fought federal cops. They then set up a permanent “plantón” (picket line) at the Secretary of Education.
Some PLP teachers and friends from Oaxaca have gone to Morelos to support fellow teachers there, bringing our communist literature to them. Marches have been held in Oaxaca to support the struggle in Morelos. A national teachers’ strike is now pending and should become a general strike of the entire working class.
These militant actions take place amid the global capitalist economic earthquake which is hitting Mexico very hard since it is tied to the U.S. economy. The recent drop in oil prices and the decreased funds sent to Mexico from immigrants in the U.S. — who have lost their jobs because of the U.S. recession — have worsened the economic crisis here. Even the fortune of Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest capitalists, has been cut in half because of losses in the local and international stock market.
Only the drug cartel business is prospering here, producing a violent war for the control of the drug profits involving different sections of the ruling class and their corrupt politicians and cops.
PLP teachers, workers and students must redouble our efforts to bring our revolutionary communist politics to the masses of workers and their allies who are experiencing the violent dictatorship of the bourgeois “democratic” state over the working class. DESAFIO must become a key ideological tool in this important task of turning the anger of workers and their allies into a mass revolutionary storm to destroy capitalism.
Teachers, students and workers in the U.S. should stand in solidarity with Mexico’s striking teachers, raising support in their unions and mass organizations