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This woodcut print commemorates the events of June 14, 2006 in Oaxaca City, the capital of the state of Oaxaca. Between twenty and thirty thousand teachers, members of Section XXII of the national teachers’ union, had been occupying the zocalo (main square) since mid-May in a lawful demonstration, voicing their demands for pay raises and basic medical services and educational materials for their students. Under Article III of the Mexican Constitution, all citizens are guaranteed free education and elementary schooling is mandatory.


Shortly after 4am on June 14th, 3,000 state military police, under orders from Oaxaca’s Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, entered the planton (tent city) of the striking teachers, with the intention of removing them from the zocalo. Since the governor took office in 2005, he had pledged to dismantle traditional forms of social protest protected by the Constitution, stating “ni marchas ni plantones” (neither marches nor sit-ins).


Police swarmed the zocalo wearing riot gear, equipped with firearms, tear gas and water hoses laced with pepper spray, accompanied by attack dogs and helicopters. They dragged teachers and their supporters out of their makeshift shelters, beating and arresting those who resisted, and destroying the encampment.

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