Teachers and students marched together yesterday to commemorate the Tlatelolco massacre on 2nd October 1968, when an unknown number of unarmed student demonstraters were massacred by the security forces of the PRI government, a party which is back in power today under Pena Nieto. At least 51 people were injured in yesterday's demonstration when security forces clashed with protesters. 

Despite being violently evicted from Zocalo square in Mexico City by thousands of riot police, where they had been camped out for weeks, the teachers, who are members of the union CNTE, a breakaway from the corrupt SNTE teachers' union, are continuing their fight. The teachers are not fighting for increased salaries, despite the fact that they earn only slightly more than the minimum wage, but against the 'reform' of education on neo-liberal lines. Although the dispute is being framed in the media as a struggle by the teachers against evaluation, this is far from being the case. The teachers are keen to transform education and for proper evaluation, but they do not want a punitive system, based on standardised testing in a country which is rich in many different languages and cultures. To give one example, the teachers will be evaluated in English and Spanish, yet many of them teach through the medium of idigenous languages, which would not be included in the evaluation.

Teachers have had exhaustive meetings to develop a new education policy, however all their ideas have been ignored by the governent which is determined to push through its reforms, which apart from standardising education, will also open the door to privatisation. The teachers struggle is about the whole neo-liberal ideology of the government - they are also campaigning against the decision to privatise the state oil company.

On Tuesday, teachers once agains blocked the airport in Mexico City and then left to march on the Interior Ministry. La lucha continua!

To read more background go to previous posts on this site. See also this article from TruthOut.