The state of Oaxaca has always held a distinct position in Mexico: Not only is it among the poorest, but its population is also considered to be particularly combative. It therefore does not seem surprising that the state harbors the most prominent and vocal union section of the teachers’ union SNTE and the dissident teachers’ movement CNTE. The power and influence of the Sección 22 reach beyond the limits of educational matters and the schools and into state politics, affecting the lives of many Oaxacans — also due to frequent street blockades and strikes that lead to educational deficits for children. The teachers’ embeddedness in society and their narrative of protest sets their struggle in the context of the defense of the entire Mexican people’s rights and in the idea of the state’s cultural heritage. The result is an outstandingly strong social movement, apparently organizing in protest as a reflex against government policies, even when these aim at a long-necessary democratization.