I arrived in Oaxaca City at 7:30AM yesterday and headed directly to my house family’s home to eat a quesadilla and collapse into bed. When I woke up, the other student staying in the house mentioned all the tents that were blocking her view of the zocalo because of the teacher’s strike. One person’s annoyance is another person’s excitement. I had heard about the teacher’s strikes since 2006 when the APPO was formed and violence broke out around Oaxaca. Although I definitely do not hope for the same police oppression and turmoil in the city this time, it was an interesting experience to see the teachers and what this whole movement is about.
I tried taking a few photos of the tents, flyers, banners, and books, but I felt a bit awkward doing so. I also tried to listen in on some of the discussions and pick-up some materials, but to no real avail. I didn’t see many other foreigners hanging around and even though I knew it was safe to be there, I definitely was the odd-woman out. I still haven’t figured out exactly what’s happening, but it seems from online news reports that it has something to do with demands regarding unemployment benefits and mandatory standardized testing. I’m going to try and find out what’s happening in more detail, but overall, it’s quite an experience to see an occupied Oaxaca.