PERU - Teachers on strike!

On this Thursday, the 5th of April, teachers took to the streets to protest for better wages. The SUTEP (Syndicate of Education Workers of Peru), one of the biggest syndicates in Peru, only joined at a regional level. The national executive committee of the SUTEP decided the protests would be "inconvenient" and decided to stick to negotiations with MINEDU (ministry of education).

The teachers of the regional syndicates decided otherwise and went on with the strike in the regions of Puno and Ancash.

In Puno they started street blockades on the major highways connecting different towns, which disrupted transit heavily, forcing drivers to take detours. When police forces started clearing the streets, the teachers moved on to block other streets on an attempt to block transit inside the city. Another disruption, which made itself felt was the closing of many schools of these regions, which remained unattended during the whole of the protest.

In many cities of Ancash thousands of teachers took to the main streets to take part in the 24-hour strike in which they denounced the MINEDU.

All demonstrating teachers did so, taking the risk of losing money and job by joining the strike. The Peruvian state threatened to discount money from each protesting teacher's salary and to take even stronger measures in case of mobilizing their students. All these teachers were not stopped by these threats, for their labor conditions are bad, their wages by all means are NOT enough and their cause is a JUST one.

While the protests were only partial, it was a good sign and a good preparation for a coming national teacher's strike. Many teachers formed meetings right after the protests, showing that they want to struggle and not wait for the SUTEP to negotiate with their oppressors. What they now need is to turn this spark into a flame and use this victory to lead new fights and new victories.

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