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Cusco Teachers Take to the Streets

A 72 hour work stoppage organized by the SUTEP (The Education Worker’s Union, and the SITASE (union of Administrative Workers in Education). The Tupac Amaru Plaza was where the protesting teachers gathered. They demand an increase in salaries and a true educational reform that will establish a free and quality public education.

The mobilization brought together teachers from Cusco’s 13 provinces, among them La Convención, Urubamba, Quispicanchis, Anta, and the rest. All were present and accounted for with the banners and signs. The teachers took to the streets and main transportation routes. From the Túpac Amaru Plaza they marched to the Avenida de la Cultura and on the the Plaza de Armas, the main square.

As they marched, you could hear whistles and applause after they would toss out slogans intot he air. “Atrás, atrás, atrás, gobierno incapaz” (Back, back, back, incapable government), “si no hay solución huelga indefinida” (If there is no solution, indefinite strike), , “sueldo indecente mata buen docente” (An indecent salary kills a good teacher), “el SUTEP ya lo sabe. Sin lucha no hay Victoria” (SUTEP knows that without a struggle there is no victory), , “somos profesores y no agitadores” (We are teachers and not agitators).
With whistles at their lips, banners and signs held high, the teachers made the people and the Peruvian state hear their voices of protest. The media covered the march and in them teachers could be heard comparing the salary of a police officer or a congressperson with that of a teacher, which is much lower and promotes inequality. The protest is a means of releasing the teachers’ frustrations.

The police were also present. From the sidelines they maintained order all along the path of the teachers’ great march.

Because of this work stoppage, school has been suspended for 3 days. The school children suffer, one again, because of the promises the state makes to its teachers.

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