Uruguayan Teachers and Students Strike for Safe Buildings

Prensa Latina, 12 May 2004

Montevideo, May 12 (Prensa Latina) Demanding essential educational resources from Uruguayan President Jorge Battle, teachers and students gathered in Montevideo's Liberty Plaza Tuesday, as part of a 24-hour strike.

The incentive for the strike was police repression of a weekend protest by parents, teachers and students of Instituto Vazquez Acevedo in Canelones province, because the four-year-old school's humid walls dangerously conducted electricity.

The riot police were instructed not to permit protestors to block traffic to the nearby Punta del Este beach resort, and witnesses say when they attempted to cross the street to join another group, police pushed and beat them with riot shields.

School administrators have admitted that some 70 middle schools do not have minimal conditions to hold classes, with some buildings deteriorated to the point of lacking windows to protect against the cold and rain of the coming winter.