EZLN supports the teachers in their fight against the education reform

[Here’s a sneak peek at the the new comunicado from the Zapatistas. We’ll publish the entire comunicado when the official English translation is available.]

A member of the EZLN in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Photo: Isaín Mandujano.

A member of the EZLN in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Photo: Isaín Mandujano.

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chis. (apro). – The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) today came out in favor of the teachers fight against the education reform and asserted that with the repression and the closure to dialogue and negotiation, the Mexican government does not seek to apply the law, but rather to do violence to it.

The government: “is not applying the law, the law is being violated. It says it is defending the constitution –the education reform–, violating the constitution -the laws that guaranty fundamental rights such as the rights of assembly, petition and free movement,” it accused.

By means of a comunicado called “May: Between authoritarianism and resistance,” it pointed out that the battles that the teachers, as well as their families unleash now, do not end with May: “They are barely the beginning of many months and struggles that will happen, and not only with the teachers. In the geographies and the calendars of below history doesn’t elapse, it is made.”

At 16 days from the start of the fight of the “teachers in resistance and rebellion,” Subcomandante Galeano and Subcomandante Moisés, spokespersons and military leaders of the EZLN announced today their position on what’s happening in Chiapas and other parts of the country where battles against “the misnamed education reform” are taking place.

“The misnamed ‘education reform’ is not about education, it’s about labor. If it were educational the views of the teachers and families would have been received.  When the government refuses to dialogue about the reform with the teachers and families, it is recognizing that we’re not dealing with improving education, but rather with ‘adjusting the roster –that’s how capital calls the firings,” says the missive signed by both masked men.

To the EZLN, what the paid communications media do is useless. Statements come and go: “everything’s normal,” “the majority of the schools are working.” “Ninety something percent of the teachers are working.

“But those statements don’t know the reality, because the teachers are in the streets. In the towns the families already said clearly that they are not going to accept the substitutes, that they are not going to let them enter or that they are going to run them out,” the leaders of the rebel group said.

It clarifies that the teachers are not defending privileges, they are struggling in the last trench for any human being: the minimum living conditions for themselves and their families.

“Does it surprise you that anyone is willing to defend what little is left to them? An infamous salary, some classrooms that appear to have been bombed (and they have been, but by economic bombs), not one but rather several shifts, excessively numerous groups?  In sum: little pay, bad working conditions and very fucked up. The EZLN questions: sound familiar?

In the comunicado the spokespersons for the EZLN say that: “the objective of the alleged educational reform is to destroy that teacher that prepared for years and has dedicated practically all of his or her life to that craft.”

With perseverance “which in the media is paid with banknotes,” they said, the image has been constructed of corrupt leaders, but that image is the lure for biting the fishhook: “No, the objective isn’t the leaders, but rather all the teachers, including those in the servile National Education Workers Union. Now, if you want a model for corrupt leaders, you have it there in the leadership of the SNTE.”

According to the EZLN the objective of the education reform is to privatize education and that in fact, that privatization is already underway, because leaving the schools without attention or a budget won’t finish off public education in México for a human reason: the teachers.

Now the other objective, the guerrilla group abounded, is to destroy those teachers. “It tries to provoke a catastrophe in the education system so that the families tend, doubling shifts, to private schools; or are in agreement that their daughters and sons are formed consuming television, radio and digital media, or in the street.

“The teaching profession does not improvise, nor is it a question of intuition. It studies, demands preparation.  Not just anyone has the ability and the knowledge to educate.  Because one is educated in school, one doesn’t just learn.  Not just anyone can successfully face a group of school-age or pre-school age children.  Therefore, the Teachers Colleges (escuelas Normales) are necessary,” the EZLN’s leaders add in their missive.

Galeano and Moisés ask:

“Have they told you that what occurs is that the teachers are loafers and that they don’t want to be prepared? They lie, any teacher aspires to be better, to be better prepared.  Do what the government hasn’t done; speak with a teacher.  Even better, listen to her!  You will see how, when he or she talks about their situation, it seems that they describe yours.

“If a government is not willing to dialogue and negotiate with its opponents, what path do they leave them? If only the argument of force is used, what do they expect as a counter argument?”


Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Re-Published with English  interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




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