Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chicago teachers show strong, united, and ready to strike if needed

What a great night! Thousands of Chicago teachers and community activists packed Grant Park last night in a show of strength and unity reminiscent of the days leading up to the 2012 teacher strike. Check out DNAInfo for best tweeted pics from last night.

The Little Emperor is back after splitting town, as he usually does in times of crisis. He ran off to China. Remember, Rahm's the guy who said: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." What he obviously meant was, when things get hot, get out of town and let underlings like Forrest Claypool or Garry McCarthy, or whoever, take the heat.

And if you're going to run and hide, this is the week to do it. Panicked by the CTU's militant show of strength and the black community's possible response to Wednesday's court-ordered release of the video showing officer Jason Van Dyke pumping 16 rounds into defenseless 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the administration is in full retreat mode. They're dropping crumbs along with way to soften or divert the protests, and pausing every few steps to take pot-shots at the teachers union.

Karen Lewis: "If we strike, we do so to protect our children."
Today, the day before the video release, charges are expected to be brought against Van Dyke. Coincidence? Yesterday, top cop Garry McCarthy (is he still here?) called for the firing of Dante Servin, the cop who pumped 5 bullets into the skull of unarmed Rekia Boyd. Servin was never convicted on murder charges. So, in the face of growing protests and the video release, McCarthy ordered him fired for "poor judgement".

Claypool's response to the CTU rally was, duck/dodge/divert. He claims the CTU should be joining hands with him in Springfield to push Gov. Rauner and the legislature to bail out the debt-ridden and broke-on-purpose Chicago. He tells the Tribune:
"It's a sad day when the Chicago Teachers Union is not fighting with us in Springfield for equal funding for the most vulnerable and impoverished children in the state of Illinois," Claypool said.
Is that some kind of joke? It's been Claypool who has stalled contract talks with the union as a signal to Rauner that he and Rahm are willing to beat down the CTU in exchange for a bailout. He could have easily come to an agreement with the union, headed off another strike and set the conditions for a united effort in Springfield. Instead, he's ended serious talks and is threatening to fire thousands of teachers and staff (especially in special ed), blow-up class size, cut after-school programs and sports, and open more privately-run charters.

Helping the "most vulnerable and impoverished" -- right.

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