Teachers Protest in Algeria and Jordan
Submitted by Mary on Sun 30th January, 2011 - 3:48 pm
Demonstration in Jordan this Week
Teachers unions have joined calls for mass protests in Algeria on February 12th to demand regime change
Thousands demonstrated in the Algerian city of Bejaia yesterday. Teachers from that city called for mass struggle against the neo-liberal policies of the Algerian regime last year http://www.teachersolidarity.com/blog/algerian-regional-union-calls-for-widening-of-struggle/#more-568 and there were teachers' strikes in the spring of 2010 for the payment of back pay which was owed and against the privatisation of education. This was part of wider protests against poverty, rising prices and unemployment - which some estimates put as high as 66% among young people. Now teachers are once again joining the protests which have been growing over the last few weeks and are part of a wave of protests spreading through the Arab world against despotic and corrupt regimes - regimes which are being partly bankrolled and supported by the West.
Meanwhile in Jordan hundreds have been on the streets this weekend demanding regime change and political freedom. Again teachers are prominent in this struggle. As reported on this website, Jordanian teachers have been campaigning for many years for the right to form a union. Their union was dissolved in the 60's and in 1993 the Jordanian courts upheld the decision with the bizarre ruling that: “establishing an association for teachers opposes the nature of the teaching profession and is inconsistent with the Constitution; teachers are considered public employees, which means that their loyalty and organizational background should only be to the state”. Earlier this month teachers demonstrated for the right to form a union. There have been demonstrations every Friday by trade unionists and opposition groups to demand an end to the government and an end to free market reforms such as privatisation which are widening the gap between rich and poor in Jordan where
unemployment is running at 30% and many people live below the poverty line.
Uprisings continue in many other parts of the Arab world today including Egypt and Yemen