United Federation of Teachers –Resolution on Stopping the Violence in Oaxaca

The Delegate Assembly of the United Federation of Teachers/ AFT overwhelmingly passed this resolution on Wednesday, December 6, 2006.

Resolution on Stopping the Violence in Oaxaca

Whereas, the strike of the teachers in the Mexican province of Oaxaca went on for six months, and there was minimal evidence that the provincial government negotiated in good faith with, or addressed the legitimate demands of, the provincial section of the Mexican teachers union; and

Whereas,
the provincial government of Oaxaca has attacked the striking teachers without justification; and

Whereas the teachers have agreed to return to their classrooms but continue to be assaulted and arrested, even taken from their homes, schools and communities;

Be it therefore resolved,

That the UFT call upon the national Mexican government to withdraw all federal forces and bring a non-violent end to the conflict through peaceful negotiations that recognize the legitimate issues of the teachers of Oaxaca and their supporters ; and

That the UFT adopt the AFT 2006 Convention Resolution in support of the striking Oaxaca teachers.

AFT 2006 CONVENTION RESOLUTION

Whereas,
Local 22 of the Mexican National Education Workers Union (SNTE)-representing teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico-is on a protracted strike and, in the best traditions of teacher unionism, is demanding not only decent wages but also adequate funding for schools and stipends to allow the poorest students to attend school; and

Whereas, after the Oaxaca state governor, Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, blocked negotiations, the teachers on May 22, 2006, began an occupation of a massive tent city in the main square of Oaxaca; and

Whereas, on June 2, 2006, more than 100,000 people marched in Oaxaca to show their support for the teachers’ struggle; and

Whereas, at dawn on Wednesday, June 14, 2006, state police brutally attacked the teachers’ camp for four hours, launching tear gas grenades from a helicopter and leaving nearly 100 strikers injured, some of them severely:

Be it therefore resolved, that the AFT:

  • condemn the state police attack on our striking brother and sister teachers in Oaxaca;join the growing international condemnation of the use of state violence to break a teachers’ union;support the demands of Local 22 of the SNTE for fair salaries and funds for adequate buildings and supplies, and for student stipends for the poor;

    express solidarity with their courage and organization in winning such wide public support of their struggle and defending their encampment;

    ask the AFT Executive Council to consider contributing funds to replace the teachers’ radio equipment-a vital part of their communication with the public-which was destroyed by the police;

    Be it further resolved, that AFT call on the Oaxaca governor and the Mexican president to end all police attacks on the teachers immediately, return to negotiations and meet the teachers’ just demands.

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