In the plaza at the center of the city of Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, hundreds of protesters have made camp in order to make a stand against the exploitation and oppression forced upon them by the government and multi-national corporations.
Although my minimal Spanish skills made it difficult to understand every word, my conversation with Oscar taught me about some of the reasons why the protests are occuring.
The privatization of land has removed many people's ability to provide for themselves. Some in the state of Oaxaca live on as little as 5 pesos per day. ($1 US = 15 pesos)
Journalists are killed for trying to report on peoples issues in Mexico. Oscar had known American journalist Brad Will (wikipedia page) who was killed in Oaxaca in 2006 while filming a teacher's strike.
Por la defensa de la educacion, la madre tierra, el agua y los sabera de los pueblos originarios (For the defense of education, mother earth, water and the knowledge of the original peoples.)
Todas se llaman lenguas (All languages are named) www.todas-lenguas.mx (Many languages and dialects are spoken in the southern states of Mexico, watch the video below to hear the differences between some of them)La lengua nativa nos da una identidad soberana (The native language gives us a sovereign identity) Nadie debe discriminarte por hablar una lengua originaria (Nobody should discriminate against you for speaking a native language) Porque la igualdad de las lenguas comienza desde el nombre (Because equality of languages starts from the name)
Faltan 43 no somos todos (We are not all missing 43) 43 Students are missing a protest on September 26, 2014. Read more on the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping wikipedia page. Vivos se los llevaron vivos los queremos (They were taken alive, we want them alive) Apoyo total a Ayotzi (Full support for Ayotzi [the city of the college that the students attended])
Tierra y libertad (Land and liberty) Zapata vive, y la luche sigue (Zapata lives, and the fight continues) Emiliano Zapata(wikipedia page) was a prominent figure in the Mexican Revolution, fighting for peasant's land rights. His legacy in Mexico is far reaching around the entire country. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a town or city that does not have a street bearing his name. The ideas he fought for have inspired the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (wikipedia page) in Chiapas.
Ofrecen miseria, violencia y represion, nuestra alternativa la organización (They offer misery, violence, and repression, our alternative: organization)
"Reforma educativa" ...intereses políticos y empresariales... ("Educational reform" ...political and business interests...) Pagarás la educación de tu hijos! (You'll pay for the education of your children!)
Reconocimiento a la ley estatal de educ (Recognition of the state education law) Sí al PTEO! (Yes to the PTEO [Plan for the Transformation of Education of Oaxaco])
14 de Junio 2006, A nueve años (June 14, 2006, to nine years) Ni perdón, ni olvido! (never forget, nor forget!) A teacher's protest in Oaxaca occured on that day, resulting in more than 100 hospitalizations. Read more on the 2006 Oaxaca Protests wikipedia page.
Mujeres en resistencia! (Women in resistence!) Contra la violencia y militarizacion (Against violence and militarization) Por la defensa de la educación y salud (In defense of education and health)
Basta de represion! (Stop repression!)
Oaxaca no es cuartel fuera ejercito de el! (Oaxaca is not a barracks outside the army!)
Los desplazados seguimos viviendo en la calle, sin trabajo, sin salud, ni educación. Creemos que nuestras demandas son justas. (The displaced are still living on the street, no job, no health, no education. We believe that our demands are fair.)
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