Since this article was written we have heard that Heriberto Magariño López, leader of Oaxaca's Section 22 of the union CNTE was arrested on Tuesday. CNTE is demanding his release and has reaffirmed that the mass strike described below will go ahead as planned.
Teachers organised into the dissident union, CNTE are preparing for a new mass strike to begin on May 15th. They are demanding the release of political prisoners, the return of the 43 student teachers and other 'disappeared' activists and the repeal of the government's education reform act.
The government of Pena Nieto is threatening to sack teachers who take part, but organisers say they are expecting hundreds of thousands to protest in the capital, Mexico City. Teachers organised in Oaxaca, Michoacan, Chiapas and Mexico City are among those who will be striking.
To prepare for the strike teachers took part in protests on May 1st - to demand labour rights and an end to the exploitation of the people's natural resources by corporations. Despite temperatures of 35 degrees in Oaxaca, thousands took to the streets. Communication and health workers joined the protest as well as children, because as one teacher put it: 'we have to teach our children to struggle, because the times in which they have to live are very difficult.' Other campaigners on the May 1st protest were feminists demanding an end to violence and discrimination against women.
These protests follow the honourable traditions of the Mexican dissident teachers, who seek to widen their struggles out to include all those fighting for social justice and against the damaging and violent policies of the neoliberal state.
To read more background to he long struggles of Mexican teachers go here.