Monday, June 20, 2016
They are Murdering Teachers in Mexico and We Will Not Be Silent!
By Dr. Michael Flanagan, Co-Director BATs Action Team
As of the writing of this blog piece, at least six teachers have been killed by the government of Mexico while protesting the privatization of education, and the testing of teachers. The local and federal police have also been locking up teacher union leaders and terrorizing our colleagues. The teachers killed were members of the group known as the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/mexico-teachers-protest-160620042629755.html
There are many things wrong with the reporting of the events in Oaxaca, Mexico. First, in the article I have linked in this piece, the Associated Press refers to, “clashes with the police”. When there are six teachers’ dead and dozens more wounded those are not “clashes”. They are executions. The government of Mexico killed 43 student teachers in September of 2014, and as of now not a single person has been held accountable. The bodies of the victims were never found. The government lies.
Secondly, the AP article consistently refers to the CNTE as “radical teachers union”. This is another propaganda technique to minimize and vilify those who are fighting for their rights. History is always written with the blood of such radicals. The slaughter of educators will be spun into a heroic effort to save society. The spin will become the ultimate “bad teacher” narrative.
We in the U.S. are no strangers to the oppression of corporate privatizers and anti union fascists who target teachers for various reasons. Chief among them are that teachers are now, and always have been, the voice for social change. We educate and enlighten the next generation. We lead by example. We encourage our students to strive to make a difference in the world. That is a threat to the elites who refuse to relinquish their power. Teachers are a danger to those who seek to condition our children into being the next wage slaves. All that the corporatists and their political lackeys want is the next heard of sheep to be led to the slaughter. They will stop at nothing to silence dissent, especially by educators. I know there is no comparison to the murders in Mexico, but just this past week on June 15th, we saw 14 teachers arrested protesting the Governor McCrory of North Carolina’s anti-teacher education policies. We have had teacher strikes in Chicago, and sick outs in Detroit where the politicians threatened the arrests of those protesting for better learning conditions for their students. It is time for teachers to rise up en mass. Corrupt power knows no borders.
During this most disgusting of presidential campaign seasons, we in the U.S. have been saturated with racist rhetoric and anti Mexican vitriol. “Build a wall… they are rapists and drug dealers… illegals …deport them…”. Our politicians have no problems de-humanizing our Mexican colleagues, because in this country bigotry is a campaign platform. That propaganda now comes at the price of teachers’ lives. The mainstream media is silent as the bodies of teachers and student protesters pile up. Do we here in the U.S. really think a wall will stop our government from turning on us? The repugnant anti-teacher, anti-union propaganda is rampant in the U.S. We teachers are already the victims of persecution by politicians and the media, so can state led massacres be so inconceivable?
We cannot sit by and allow our government, and our mainstream media to plaster Donald Trump on our cable news while our brethren die in the streets right over the border. We are teachers; we are the change our society needs. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? We must stand with the brave teachers of Mexico, and never forget those who have fallen. We are teachers, and we will educate. Our martyrs lie in the streets of Oaxaca, Mexico and they will not have died in vain.
Please go to #CNTE or @CNTEMX to follow events in Mexico. #Solidarity