Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Great way to spend the morning

"This is what democracy looks like!"  (M. Klonsky pic)
I got to march this morning, with thousands of Chicago teachers and supporters who surrounded CPS headquarters to protest the mayor's latest assaults on their collective bargaining rights. Chanting, "Shame on the Board!" "Save our schools!" and "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!" the marchers proceeded to the Bank of America and other downtown corporate offices, chanting and making a loud, but beautifully harmonious noise. Dozens of cars honked their support.

The mayor's hand-picked school board meets this afternoon to put their rubber stamp on his reneging on the pay raise teachers supposedly won in the last contract negotiations and there should be plenty of noise in the conference room as well.

V.P. Sharkey  (M. Klonsky pic)
CTU Vice-President Jesse Sharkey (left) standing atop a mailbox, addressed the crowd through a bullhorn, and made clear what the stakes are in this battle and how powerful the forces of big corporate money are that are arrayed against the union.  He called on teachers to stick together and "act like a labor movement."

"I can't guarantee victory," he to the cheering teachers. "But I can promise that we can't win if we don't fight."

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