Peru: Teachers' strike defeats 'government' and traitors

Greve Nacional avança atropelando direções oportunistas, Lima, 22/08

The massive indefinite national strike of teachers in Peru continues vigorously, taking to the streets and incorporating increasingly broad sectors of Peruvian society in defense of public education, decent working conditions for teachers and the people’s rights to strike and to struggle in general.

In the last weeks of August, the struggle between dozens of regional bases of the Union of Workers in Education of Peru (Sutep) who wished to continue the strike until the conquest of their demands was highlighted. They beat up against the revisionism and opportunism installed in Sutep's national leadership and other regional bases, which maneuver to capitulate and return to work defeated.

The Sutep National Executive Committee (CEN), controlled by the opportunist Patria Roja for decades, treacherously, as always, made an agreement with the Ministry of Education to end the strike, accepting the offer of the management of the old Peruvian state for miserable teacher salaries and the vague promise of "empowerment" before performance assessments. Some regional bases, run by this branch and others that follow the right opportunist line of Movadef (Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights - renegades of the People's War and supporters of the "letters of peace") have agreed to return to class.

The semi-colonial management of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, through his education minister Marilu Martens, governors and the press monopoly, intensify the campaign of demonization of the strike. They aim to throw students' parents against teachers while criminalizing the movement, with increased violent repression of protests, daily salary deduction and threats of dismissal.


On the other hand, on August 20, a national assembly of Sutep's regional fighting bases disavowed the Ministry of Education negotiations with CEN-Patria Roja, and decided to continue the strike nationally. Among the deliberations are the following:

"1 - To ratify the need for direct dialogue between the Minister of Education and the National Fighting Committee of the Sutep Bases.

2 - To reaffirm the presence of the mouthpieces of the congressional benches of the republic to guarantee the direct negotiations.

3 - Ratify the struggle platform as the only document of the dialogue actions.

4 - Demand from the parliamentary benches to present, schedule and approve bills to solve the struggle platform.

5 - To reject and ignore the agreements between the Ministry of Education and false leaders outside of our representation.

6 - Refuse with indignation and denounce the defamatory campaigns of the government to demonize the leaders and teachers of the regional bases of Sutep.

7 - Continue the Indefinite National Strike in the regional bases of Peru.

Not a step back, the strike continues! "

As a consequence of this struggle, the regional base of the Cusco Sutep, which had announced the suspension of the strike, stopped again a few days later, undoubtedly pressured by the vigor and decision of the other bases that reject the agreement.


The MCP, in a mid-August statement, reported on teachers' strike in 21 jungle, mountain and coastal regions, with important days of struggle, such as mobilizations, teacher awareness in schools, tire burnings, squares, airports and roads takings, etc., waving their banners of struggle, being the most forceful the regions Huancavelica, Junín, Cusco, Puno, Ayacucho, Madre de Dios, Ancash, Arequipa, Apurímac and so on. The teachers of Lima, the capital of Peru, attend to the cries of the bases, imposing respect for this struggle and unmasking the traitors of CEN-Patria Roja and Movadef.

Gigantic demonstrations were held in Lima and Callao, bringing together students, their parents and mothers, and defending the people and education.

Almost daily manifestations occur in Lima. On August 16, a protest of teachers was harshly repressed on Abancay Avenue, access road to the Peruvian parliament. The same day, in the morning, the teachers blocked the access to the Ministry of Education, preventing the entry of officials, demanding an audience with the education minister, Marilu Martens. The next day university students took Plaza San Martin in support of the teachers' struggle and also clashed with the forces of repression.


Professores radicalizam greve e bloqueiam estradas

Also on August 16, the traditional civic parade on the anniversary of the city of Huánuco (478 years) was canceled. In the morning, the access to the square where the parade would take place was closed. The striking teachers, who were not allowed to enter the perimeter, protested to prevent authorized delegations from accessing the site and police repression clashed the protest.

The confrontation ended up scaring the manager Kuczynski, who canceled his appearance at the event.


On August 17, a crowd protested in Lima in solidarity to teachers and other categories on strike. The demonstration, convened by organizations defending people's rights, brought together teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, students, parents of students and other sectors that stopped working.

Already on the 22nd, another major demonstration in the same region of the city of Lima caused, according to the monopoly of the Peruvian press, "chaos in the city".

Delegations of teachers from many regions of the country are in Lima, following the negotiations between the Ministry of Education and Sutep. Lodged in camps and lodgings, they thicken the growing demonstrations in the capital.


A general strike of 48 hours in support of the teachers', doctors' and nurses' strike was convened on August 24 by the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP). Tens of thousands of workers attended the call of the Confederation and held demonstrations in several cities, the largest of which were registered in Arequipa, Cusco, Tumbes, Junín, Tacna, Puno, Loreto and Ancash, and also in Huancayo and Moquegua, where there was confrontation with police and demonstrators were arrested.

In Lima, a crowd gathered in the vicinity of Abancay Avenue, the historic center of the capital, aiming to march to the National Congress, but were prevented from occupying the avenue by repression. There was a great confrontation and the people’s forces sustained combat until the end of the afternoon. In addition to the professors, doctors and nurses, on strike for more than two months, the civil construction workers and civil servants, besides several people’s movements, had outstanding participation.

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